Father Mark is 'the rock' in Kate's life

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 June 2011

(click on image for larger view) Kate Emmery and her father Mark Bennett - the winners of the Weston Mercury Fathers Day competition.

(click on image for larger view) Kate Emmery and her father Mark Bennett - the winners of the Weston Mercury Fathers Day competition.


THE winner of our Father's Day competition is a dad who helped his daughter through the sudden death of her mother when she was just 11 years old and has battled cancer and a stroke himself.

Kate Emmery, of Montacute Circus in Weston Village, touched the Mercury newsdesk with her email about the man who has helped her overcome a number of hurdles in her 31 years, as well as dealing with many in his own.

She said of dad, 63-year-old Mark Bennett: “My dad has been an absolute rock in my life.

“Nothing has been easy for him, yet he always has a smile on his face and will always help anyone in need.

“When my mum died when I was 11, I never thought I would get over it. It didn’t feel real.

“However, with the support of my dad we got through it.

“He carried on supporting everything I did, helping me with guides, drama, dancing, GCSEs, college and university.

“Dad has had to put up with so much, including throat cancer four years ago and a stroke a while ago and redundancy.

“Each time he was knocked down, he’d pick himself up again and fight.”

Kate, an NVQ assessor for Weston College and electronics engineer and father-of-five Mark, of Spring Valley in Worle, regularly take to the stage with Worle Operatic Society together.

They will now be able to enjoy a day out together with lunch and ride vouchers, courtesy of the Grand Pier in Weston.

Kate added: “Throughout my teens I probably didn’t realise how many sacrifices dad made for me and what he actually did to make me the woman I am today, its only now I realise what an absolute legend he is.

“I am proud to call him my dad and feel privileged to have him in my life.

“I think he deserves this day as he is a legend and really deserves to have some fun and I just wanted a way of showing him how grateful I am for everything he has done for me.”

● Here are some of the other things that people who entered our competition said about thir dads and what makes them special.

● Alexiis-Imogen Heal, aged four –

“My daddy deserves to win the Father’s Day competition because he isn’t my real daddy, but he has brought me up from the day I was born.

“He gives me cuddles and kisses and reads me bedtime stories.

“When I fall over my daddy makes it all better and wipes away my tears.”

● Louis and Rhys Smith, talking about their stepdad Timothy Durston-Heseltine – “In the three years that we have know Tim, he has always put us first and has been like our real dad.

“He is just brilliant, he looks after our mum so well, we call him dad, he has taught me to drive my car in the past few months and he always attends football for my brother standing in all sorts of weather.

“He advises us and helps us with our problems, he is fun to be around and is a great role model for myself and my brother.”

● Cara Baker –

“My dad is amazing - he is caring and helpful, he just wants the very best for me and my brother.

“He helps takes calls for my business, he helps me when I do the gardening.

“I’m not very good at wallpapering so if I’m decorating he’ll come and help me out, he feeds the cats when we’re away and he usually pops by on a Saturday for a cuppa and a chat.

“As dads go, he is the very best of the best.”

● Bekki Daniel about her stepdad Mark –

“I think my stepdad Mark should win because he has treated me and my sister like his biological children.

“He is the nicest man who works ever so hard and I feel that he doesn’t always get appreciated.

“He was the only person who could help me at 14 when I was bullied and self-harming.

“He is the most amazing person with a kind heart who I hope influences my son to be like him.”

● Suzanne Cowley about her dad Terry Gilbert –

“My dad’s a giver - generous through and through, infectious, positive, always smiling, protective, loving, kind, helpful, supportive, funny and always a comedian.

“We count ourselves lucky all the time and are ever grateful for the love and support he has given us all.

“One of our big milestones was when my brother was born 32 years ago at 4lb and was very ill indeed.

“Nine operations later we still have our brother.

“My dad’s charity work has been massive over the years and I’m sure if added up it would go into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“My father also dedicates a day a year to take his grandson somewhere special.

“It used to be a day he spent with his ill brother but when he passed away he carried on the day in a special way by taking my son out.”

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