This is not an obituary. This is about the importance of teaching girls about using tools.
Still in Australia, there are industries where women and girls are discouraged.
If we are to fix that, we need to start shifting that discouragement as they are growing up.
We need to do more, all of us, to change the lack of gender diversity in trades.
My hand is of a vintage Disston saw with a carved wooden handle.
It was one of two out of the tool trolley at the Salvation Army store for $2 each.
They are weathered, blunt and rusting.
They show all the signs of being once loved and then disused.
I'm going to restore them and gift them to the Hands-on-Learning Program at Koroit to use to make Bandicoot Motels for landcare.
But that's another story.
It was the carved handled one that snagged me.
When I laid it out to see how much work it needed, something in my mind shifted and I was back at my father's tool bench. The last time I saw him.
Dad was leaning into dementia and it was curling like a vine in his memory, blocking the reasons why there were two vintage Disston saws hanging above the bench.
We were working together cleaning up the flotsam he had abandoned on the bench.
Bits of scrap wood, underlay, poly pipe, bags of rags, exhausted paint brushes, pens from long closed businesses and tins of rusting nails covered with wood dust.
He was dropping tools into a box to go to charity.
"No use to me now", he said.
Tools that I remembered him teaching me how to use.
"Like this, there, that's the way, you've got the knack, keep going," he said while sharpening a garden spade clamped in the vice.
As we progressed, he looked up at the peg board above the bench and stopped.
Hanging there, carefully wrapped in oiled cloth, were the two Disston saws that belonged to his father.
He hung them high and we were never allowed to use them.
Dad made a gesture like they should be added to the charity box.
I put my hand on his gnarled, mottled, scarred, huge one and said: "dad, I think Fred's saws should stay here".
He nodded, not really listening, already off focusing on sorting a drawer of screw drivers.
He didn't remember the one time he let me use the carved handle one and how afterwards he taught me to sharpen, clean and wrap it again in the oiled cloth.
He didn't remember that the saw had stayed exactly as I had left it, 22 years before.
This, in that moment, said more to me about where his mind had gone than any other thing.
Dad was raised in times when what girls were taught was very rigidly defined by society.
But he taught me about tools, lawnmowers, paint and wood as if none of that mattered - and helped me develop a practical inventive, hands-on style that has continued to build and grow.
By fostering tool savvy, he gave me confidence that what are still regarded by many as masculine skills, weren't just for men.
The legacy of the inclusiveness and learning remains as a powerful tool in me.
As I prepare to fix these old saws for other kids, including girls, to learn to use, I think my father would be quietly proud.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.