Dave Nash and Ken Thompson: Two Dads, Similar Quests

Dave Nash is running. Ken Thompson is cycling. Nash is running across Canada. Thompson is an Australian cycling across Europe. Nash’s message is broad; Thompson’s is entirely personal.

But the two have much in common. They’re both about connecting fathers and children.

Dave Nash has vowed to set the Guiness Book of World Records for the fastest time by a male crossing Canada on foot. He’s doing that remarkable thing for one reason – to try to get Canadian MPs to see sense and finally pass bill C-422 that would establish in Canadian law the presumption of equally shared parenting post-divorce.

Here’s his website, and it’s a good one. Its title is “For the Sake of the Children,” and that’s no accident. That was the title of a 1998 report by an all-party committee to the Canadian Parliament. The report examined shared parenting after divorce and recommended that Parliament enact it into law. The committee’s report was filled with gender-balanced notions and even contained this:

there shall be no preference in favour of either parent solely on the basis of that parent’s gender.

What a concept. It recommended that mediation should come before litigation in divorce and custody cases and criticized the widespread use of false allegations of abuse, while retaining exceptions for legitimate cases of abuse or neglect. In short, both parties got together and recommended the type of legislation that would make possible wholesale changes to the way courts treat fathers and children in Canada.

Not surprisingly, it was ignored.

So Nash’s mission is the passage of MP Maurice Vellacott’s equal parenting bill. He gives visitors the opportunity to send a letter of support for bill C-422 to their elected representatives. I strongly urge our many Canadian readers to do so.

Meanwhile, Ken Thompson’s ex Melinda kidnapped their son in Australia and he’s bicycling all over Europe looking for the boy. The German magazine Viel Spass has an article about it, but I can’t seem to get a link to it. My German is worse than passable, but I managed to read the piece well enough. For example, I can reliably report that Melinda told Ken he would never see his five-year-old son Andrew again. Thompson has ridden some 3,500 kilometers throughout England, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium looking for Andrew with the help of police.

Originally, Thompson, 56, thought he had found the woman of his dreams in Melinda, now 48, but needless to say, that’s all changed. He’s alerted police, but thinks that Melinda and Andrew are in hiding with friends somewhere. Now, he’s doing his best to locate his son and swears “I will never give up my search for my son whom I love above all else.”

Here’s Thompson’s website with photos of Melinda and Andrew which will be a valuable resource for locating the boy.

Thompson’s is a lonely quest, aimed solely at regaining his son. Nash hopes to change the laws of an entire country. Thompson would be satisfied with a glimpse of Andrew. Nash stalks bigger prey. But both are traveling across broad expanses of territory for a similar goal – reuniting fathers and children.

We should congratulate and support them both.

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