M V Tronson, was a locomotive engineman on the New South Wales Government Railways for 10 years during the last vestiges of steam in the late '60s before going into the Christian ministry in 1977. He was invited this year (2007) to become the Footplate Padre for the 'On Track' Railway e-magazine.
Since 1984 he has written 16 books on train drivers' anecdotes. Moreover, he has served the Australian cricket fraternity as their chaplain for 23 years; first as the Australian cricket team chaplain, then moving sideways in 2001 to 'Life After Cricket'.
Mark Tronson, a Baptist minister is chairman of Well-Being Australia, whose Country Town Tour ministry take elite athletes and coaches in role-model and mentor roles to rural Australia. This recent Tour began at a cross cultural outreach function at St Judes Anglican Church in Melbourne city.
"One might think that university students (young men and women), many of them Asian, would be the most inappropriate audience possible for the inaugural promotional showing of a 3 minute DVD which included steam engines roaring through the Australian countryside," explained M V Tronson.
His wife, Delma Tronson. had some doubts as to how it might go over, but she was delightedly taken aback by their engagement. It was a magnificent hit! "They delighted watching those huge wheels and rods of steam locomotion at high speed and the nature of the Footplate Padre's ministry," M V Tronson mused.
But, he said, there is still a little refining to do on the DVD editing, and this has now opened a whole new ministry door to the role of the Footplate Padre. "It is one thing to 'talk' about this ministry but a dramatic short DVD initiating such a presentation brings the subject alive and gives it a whole new meaning. The effect is remarkable," M V Tronson exclaimed.