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Mary's Ireland: 2016 (Mary's)
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Born in Macksville, the home of cricketer Phil Hughes and VC and BP Pick-a-Box winner Frank Partridge on the mid-North Coast New South Wales, Mark's schooling was largely in Sydney. His childhood and teenage years were fun filled with life in a big family dabbling in schooling, rugby league, cricket, surfing and netball. Mark is now a retired Primary School Teacher and Principal. He was a Principal for nineteen years and previously a curriculum consultant in social science with the department. In his younger days, he was never a reader, find it hard, slow and uninteresting. Teaching taught him much and reading and writing and as a young teacher, he became set on the challenge of bringing literacy to all children.As a Principal, and over time, writing became a pleasure. It so challenged and enthused him that in retirement he choses to write.Mark has written an unpublished text, 'Keep 'em Laughing...From Polish Peasant to Australian Anzac'. It is biographical in that it traces the life of his Polish grandfather from his times as a child through days as a sailor to his time in the 1st AIF and the battlefields of Gallipoli and France and onto Australia. Through research for that text, he stumbled upon the files of the Australian National Archives dealing with the German Concentration Camp on Torrens Island during World War 1. He thus wrote the also unpublished text 'Fair, Strict and Impartial', which he is currently reworking.Raising three sons in the ACT region, Mark and Toni lived in the rural town of Gundaroo initially at the former 'Prickle Farm', and then onto a 45 acre bush block of gum trees, kangaroos, birds, dams and acres of fun, family and friends. They returned to suburban Canberra giving the boys their early adulthood in this unique and wonderful city. With the boys now grown, he and Toni still live in Canberra and have time to travel, garden, surf 'down the coast', walk and to enjoy our now larger family including three grandchildren

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