Walks With My Father

Welcome to the second of our blogs. Every school is full of people and everyone has a
story; and the interaction between us all is what creates our community. This week, I have
asked Mrs Gurbakhash Bussan, whose two daughters, Manita (Year 5) and Avneet (Year
3), are part of our school community, if she would share some of her aspirations for her
children and where she finds that they are being met by being in partnership with Bradford
Christian school.

Beneath Gurbakhash’s writing I have included a previous interview that I held with G – as
she is known to friends in the school. In 2014, our Year 10’s produced a magazine of
peoples’ stories entitled ‘Destination Bradford’. I had been invited to the Bussan’s home
for tea, met Manita and Avi, when they were about five and three, and heard Mrs Bussan’s
inspirational story of her relationship with her father.

As parents we are drawn to the school due to the basic principles it holds that meet with
how we hope to bring our children up.My children each day look forward to coming to school
with big smiles on their faces. The teachers are pupil focused, committed caring and
professional, each child is unique and special in this school. The teachers are approachable
and listen to my views, I like how that they have always encouraged and supported
parent-teacher partnership for the progress and development of my children.
The headteacher and the form Tutors are not just names but are out in the school front
meeting and greeting parents and building relationships, to me that is very important to
know who the leaders are, how they interact with parents and that I know who my children
are spending time with at school.

My girls have learnt to be confident, Independent and free-thinking as well as be thoughtful
and mindful by respecting their surroundings and other children/people. Everyday I can
see the progress my children are making at school. They are encouraged to succeed and
as a parent I can confidently see their characters and personalities forming through the
nurturing quality of education and friendly environment being provided.
Despite being of another faith our children and us parents have never been made to feel
any different.
My heartfelt thanks to all the staff for their commitment and the extra-mile they go for my
The School is welcoming to us all who want the best for our children.
Mrs Gurbakhash Bussan

• • •

On first meeting Gurbakhash Bussan, one is Greeted with an engaging smile and a sense of
confidence and joy. Gurbakhash’s joy is special because it does not come from her circumstances,
accomplishments or possessions, but from a sense of significiance she has received from one
special individual in her life… her father.

Gurbakhash’s father has recently passed away, but he still has a hugely significant place
in her life, shaping her identity even in the present. She is planningto take part in August in
a Run for Life event, which she will run in memory of her late father.
Gurbakhash was born in the small town of Arusha at the foothills of Mount Kilamanjaro in
Tanzania. She walked these foothills with her father and this is where their special

relationship was cemented.
The middle of three girls, Gurbakhash enjoyed a happy childhood. Father was always
head of the family and his wishes were always carried out without question. Mum was also
a disciplinarian, but Surinder, Gurbakhash’s father also loved to spoil his daughters.
Surinder was close to his children but Gurbakhash especially loved to spend time alone
with him

Diagnosed with high blood presure and a heart condition, doctors prescribed daily walks
for the benefit of his health. Needing to work and provide for his family, these walks were
best taken early in the morning before the day had begun. He would often rise as early as
four in the morning and walk the foothills surround ing his home. Gurbakhash would rise
with him and keep him company. Thus for six years between the age of eight and fourteen
, Gurbakhash would walk with her father.
These times became to be the most precious part of her day and their walks would include
conversations on life and on Gurbakhash’s future. ‘We would talk about everything and
anything, we talked about boys when I got to be a bit older’.
‘He taught me how to pray. I didn’t understand them at the time, but he brought me closer
to God through them.
These times came to an end when Surinder’s health took a turn for the worse. The walks
stopped but the bond remained between father and daughter.

An Interview with Gurbakhash Bussan by Phill Moon

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