This Father’s Day will be different for me as it’s the first one without my dad.
Joaquim Sequeira, died on March 22. I debated writing about him for various reasons. I decided to as a way to pay tribute to him.
Emotions hit me as I try to write something since I admire him. He came to Canada from Silves, Algarve, Portugal in the early ‘60s where there was opportunity, unlike his homeland. I admire him for the adversities he faced and overcame, beginning with a language barrier. Many times he told me the first city he saw in Canada is Montreal.
He wanted to start a new chapter in his life, a better chapter. His first job was working for CP Rail in Castlegar, then he was part of the crew that helped construct the Hugh Keenleyside Dam. His last employer before retiring after 28 years was Westar/Celgar/Pope & Talbot, a sawmill.
It was weird for me during my time as a reporter at the Castlegar News to cover the eventual end of the company that he worked hard for to support his family.
I even worked there for a stretch which allowed me to save money to pay for part of my college education. Let me tell you, hauling heavy lumber off green chains is no easy feat. At least for me it wasn’t. Once I thought it would be interesting to work alongside my dad there, but that never happened.
I’m not sure how to describe the relationship my dad and I had. I felt close to him, but we didn’t really have a lot in common. Most of my memories with him are watching wrestling, when it was first televised on BCTV out of Vancouver. We would get right into it cheering loud. Eventually we got into the World Wrestling Federation. My favourite was the Ultimate Warrior. He had his guys that he liked watching. I eventually lost interest in it because of the ridiculous story lines, though I did get a kick out of Razor Ramon and his toothpick. And, of course, there is The Rock. My dad eventually lost interest which shocked me.
My dad watched hockey with me, sort of. I remember when the Soviet Union’s Red Army team toured the NHL, I made the mistake of telling him who the Vancouver Canucks were playing. My father didn’t think too highly of Russians. I believe there were some he could tolerate, but others, mainly their government officials, he strongly disliked. I won’t repeat what he would say in Portuguese about them.
For the few Canucks games that would be televised back in the 80s, he would watch part of it. Before starting though, he’d have to walk up to the TV to check the score. I would tell him, but it didn’t matter, he still insisted on checking. I should point out that the TV we had was 20” inches I think. He had to practically kiss it to see the score. I don’t think he ever watched a full game with me, but when he realized it was over, he would ask who won.
When I was a kid I used to watch him make wine with the machine he had. I think I enjoyed watching him do that because when he sold that, and I remember that moment, I was sad. It wasn’t like he ever let me try some, though I did sneak in quick sips of his beer.
What I appreciate most about my dad is that he succeeded in giving us a better life, with the support of my mom. For that I thank him. Happy Father’s Day, dad.
Emanuel Sequeira is the sports editor at the Penticton Western News.