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When I think of my relationship with my father I feel that it is an ever evolving journey of discovery. Our relationship like many is solidified by blood but it is our friendship which has slowly evolved over the years. From the very beginning I have always wanted to be by my father’s side, I would hear him leave every morning at 6 am to go to work and would look forward to that point in the afternoon where I would hear his car pull up the driveway and the rattle of his keys as he came through the door. My sister and I would be so excited to greet him to tell him of our adventures of the day and often what mischief we’d been up to.
This feeling of always wanting to be by my father’s side was one of the main reasons I got into playing golf, as my dad is a Golf Professional who ran his own independent Pro Shop business at Rich River Golf Club. So to spend as much time with him I followed him to work and practiced, cleaned golf clubs and just hung around the Pro Shop to be with dad. As with any small business’ the hours are long and hard and we certainly have no regrets with the amount of time dad worked as he provided far and above what our family needed and always made it to recitals, concerts and sporting events. I would love to play golf with dad in the weekly competition and join in the banter and fleece his mates for rounds of drinks at the bar as we beat them. Dad was always the joker and would always look to humour at the most awkward of situations, from the birds and the bee’s being reverted to a watering can and a flower to, dating girls is like riding a bike – you’ll fall off the first few times. But he also had the final word and would keep us inline if things got out of hand.
As the journey continued my father got into grape growing when I was in my early teens and as always I followed him where ever he was and that was right by his side planting, training and pruning the vines we had planted. As I went through those difficult teenage years my attitude towards parents changed and I felt my attitude towards them was destructive. However dad being the level headed knowledgeable man took a gamble and recommended I attend an elite private school in Melbourne. This was a risk as I was an average student at best, often resorting to being the joker and trying to get the girls attention in class. However this experience made me grow up quickly with my realisation of how much dad believed in me driving me to repay his generosity and belief in me; that I could actually be successful educationally contrary to what some teachers had informed me. This time away from my dad created this deep link of not just respect but love towards him. The teenage attitude soon made way for a point where I felt comfortable to give my dad a hug in public as a show of affection, rather than a pat on the back. I believe this evolution caught us both off guard a bit but now there’s nothing more comforting or reassuring then a hug from the old boy.
As school came to an end and many discussions were had on my future, dad was always saying ‘You can be successful in any career you choose, but remember success doesn’t come without hard work, grit and a strong determination’. These words stick with me every day and thus the seed was sown, figuratively speaking, and I realised that Viticulture and Wine Science would be my calling, with being a Fly Fishing Guide a very close second. Graduating meant so much to both my parents but I could see how much it meant to dad as he could see that his investment in me was worth it not just on a career path but for our relationship as well. I then worked my way around the world before landing back home to work for our local winery, which when I left town wasn’t on my radar as a place to come back to work. However things change and it has been the best move of my life as I’ve now got a wonderful family but I also get to be close to dad. This notion of being by dad’s side has now led me to starting up my own wine label which recognises our relationship and strong connection, thus MoFro Wines was born. The story is simple and so are the wines but they speak of passion and of our easy going personalities. Dad has the Mo and I have the Fro, people once seeing the logo can then see the connection we have and our story, dad grows the grapes and I make the wine. We speak about the business in every way and dad is very open to my ideas and happy for me to learn on my feet rather than follow his advice – but he’ll give some advice when he thinks the time is right or when his ‘Book of Life’ says the time’s right. Our journey is long from over and I look forward to what our future holds but all I know is that there’s no better place than being by his side with whatever we choose to do.—Trent