One such story was from the political associates of Bob Menzies in the mid 1960s who claimed they could never imagine anyone referring to their esteemed Prime Minister as "dad" …. It just wasn't a term utilised in the political millstream of Australian politics associated with Bob Menzies.
But as Andrew Hornery points out this has changed in recent times with the daughters of Tony Abbott front and centre as are the children and grandchild of Kevin Rudd. Their political value are worth votes and moreover their working hours likewise are engaged in the political frey.
The usual wisdom of political life, especially with the future ramifications of politician's children being in the limelight too much, is that family life is kept well away from the glitter of politics and allowed to go about their business as if nothing else was about.
Bob Menzies' son was interviewed on television some years ago, something that I watched with interest. He found himself distanced from the political realm that his dad's life was enmeshed and this created some relationship issues. That was three generations ago but in today's climate children are not seen as a hindrance, rather an asset.
Numerous articles have been written on the daughters of Tony Abbott after so many claims that Australian women would not vote for him, and likewise Kevin Rudd's children – an author, political office workers, grand child. It might at this time to note that the Governor General is often seen with her grand children. (www.news.com.au)
The business world too find this where the children of very successful business and corporate identities get caught up in their parent's limelight. Once again it is a case whereby this is appropriate but when business disappointment occurs, so too the children get tarred with the same brush.
Yes, go to Google and type in Pastor's Kids and up will come page after page after page of such discussions on Pastor's kids. My intention here is not to reiterate those innumerable sites which contain similar stories whereby the children are placed under microscopes for which they are neither equipped to handle nor understand any of it. (www.google.com.au)
One of our Press Service International New Zealand young writers wrote of this very issue recently. Mercy Cornish article was titled: "Growing up as a P.K." (au.christiantoday.com)
In this space I wish to highlight a couple of situations from my own experiences as a father whereby it can be shown that is not all bad. Certainly there is ample evidence that Pastor's Kids generally do well at life, have a wherewithal from their childhood experiences to deal with awkward and difficult situations.
We were in a slightly different situation as I served as the Australian cricket team chaplain, established the chaplaincy to professional sport in 1982, ran the respite facility in Moruya for AIS elite athletes and often on the news and in Christian media.
The eldest went to study Law at university moved from the south coast of NSW to UNE in Armidale well away from the knowledge of her father's calling only to have her residential college friends and university staff be alerted after an ABC television Compass program. This didn't do her any professional harm whatever.
When she and her husband relocated to a northern Sydney suburb the Minister called for a pastoral visit having heard she was a PK – it turned out both she and her husband are Pks..
Our second went to an ACT combined churches university college at ANU and it wasn't an issue whereas our third went to a highly acclaimed business college run by the Baptist Denomination and a Baptist youth college for country young people studying in Sydney and he found it rather amusing. He was nonetheless grateful that for his high school work-experience was at the AIS elite athlete office in Canberra and business college work-experience with Qantas Sports Groups.
He sought to live and work in Britain where his name wasn't associated with Christian ministry and did well, even a banking platinum award for sales and when he came home after seven years, it still required a phone call to get one's foot in the door and he's now a manager of a bank branch.
For the fourth it was totally different as she was following the third at the business college rather than her parent's name. Many siblings in every area of life have experienced this. Our fourth did accountancy and having graduated one week, started work the next, through a church contact: nothing to do with either her brother or parents.
But not every Pastor's Kid does well. Some years ago now, our eldest filled in an anonymous PK survey run by the Baptists. Some very high profile Baptist ministers have to their dismay and sadness found their children engaged in things that greatly disappointed them. Many came back to their roots later in life.
Is there a formulae to all this? But for the Grace of God go I! In our family it was Delma who glued the family together with the bonds that tie. I was often in my office to busy doing 'stuff' - stuff that ultimately didn't matter. Often I was away on mission or with the cricketers. Like many of the cricketers with families, I too would come home only to find myself surplus to the smooth running of the home.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html