REMEMBERING MY FATHER, IVAN VERDUN BOWEN
I was so blessed to have such a wonderful father. If he was still living, he would be 108 years now. He was a man of many abilities—the world champion shearer (he invented the “Bowen” technique of shearing which is now used around the world), sawmiller (he and his brothers owned a sawmill), logger, butcher, dog trainer (he sold the sheep dogs he trained all across the world), horse trainer, taxidermist, and he was also a gospel preacher.

And yes, he was the greatest meat cooker, especially lamb. It always melted in your mouth. Each year he cooked all the meat for a thousand campers at our annual Christian family Camp. And all his friends used to come to him for haircuts! I guess they thought if he could shear a sheep so well, he could shear their hair!

There is the saying, “Jack of all trades but master of none,” but he was master of them all. He was the hardest worker I have ever seen and, in his eighties, could out-work any young man. He didn’t know how to comprehend a lazy person. He was known as a legend. At his funeral people shared that “he was the last of his breed.” He lived by the adage, “A good man’s never stuck.” This was passed down from his father, was passed on to us, and now on to our grandchildren!

But best of all, he was the most amazing father. Oh yes, he lived the busiest life, and yet he always had time for us children. We were his life. He took time to be interested in everything we did, no matter how insignificant. I remember in high school learning Pitman’s Shorthand (I later became a Shorthand/Tying teacher although shorthand is now obsolete today). He would spend hours dictating to me so I could practice my shorthand and become faster and faster.

He loved to talk to everyone about his children and when grandchildren came along, they were added to this list. In New Zealand we use the word “skiting” for the word “boasting.” My father skited to every person who walked in the door about his children and grandchildren. I am sure they must have got sick of hearing it!

I honored and loved my father. And oh, yes, he had to severely disciple me too. But I certainly needed it but had such a relationship with him that I always knew it was for my good. It was all part of dealing with this “wild” child that God brought into their lives.

I know I am what I am today because of his fathering—his love and his encouragement. He believed in me far beyond what I was capable of and his trust and belief in me kept me. I could not bear to go astray or do anything that would hurt him or dishonor him.

image