My parents and older brother David left England in 1951 (then known as '10 pound poms') and settled in South Australia, where dad got a job at Adelaide University. In early 1959, at the Glenelg Hospital maternity ward, my parents got a big surprise –identical twins (brother Roger and myself) – mum had been told to expect only one child. I guess technology wasn't as advanced in those days.
After befriending Arrna Beaumont (Beaumont children) at Somerton Park kindergarten (1962, 1963), the family left Adelaide and headed to Melbourne at the beginning of 1964, where dad was appointed the assistant registrar at the new Monash University. Roger and I started school at Mt Waverley primary school (fantastic school) and David commenced Arts (majoring in Russian) at Monash University.
Mum, like most mums in those days, kept the home fires burning. (Later we would learn of the Beaumont children's disappearance at Glenelg Beach on Australia Day, 1966.)
Waverley High School (1971-76) was a pretty ordinary school. In the early years, I wagged school a fair bit and played a lot of golf with my school mates. However, by form 5, I knuckled down and started to do much better academically; including achieving excellent HSC results (Roger's results were even better).
In 1972, through a mutual friend living a few doors down from our place, Roger started going to Clayton Church of Christ youth group. After a while, I also started going, eventually also attended the Church services on Sundays. On 3 December 1972 at the evening service, I publically declared my faith in Jesus Christ by walking to the front of the Church at the end of the service (the day after Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister).
Straight after high school, I studied Economics at Monash University (1977 – 79) and commenced work as an accountant on 14 January 1980 in the Australian National Audit Office in Melbourne city. Thirty-four years later, I am still working as an accountant – now for the Australian Taxation Office, in the Melbourne suburb of Box Hill. Maybe a career change is around the corner, as I recently completed a Grad Dip of Psychology (online, at Edith Cowan University in WA). I thoroughly enjoyed this study.
While I first met Mary-Jane, at a Monash University Christian Union event in 1977, we didn't start going out until 12 ½ years later, on 2 December 1989, while holidaying with a group of Church friends on the Sunshine Coast (the night Wayne Goss became Qld Premier), and got married in early 1991. William came along in 1993 (now a fourth year Mechatronic Engineering student at Monash University) and Anneliese in 1996 (completing her VCE at Mentone Girls' Secondary College.) Mary-Jane works three days a week as a social worker and loves it. My family have been and remain very important to me.
We have had four or five one week holidays at the Well-Being Australia Moruya respite facility where Dr Mark and Delma Tronson resided (and more recently, caught up with them for a couple of afternoon teas in Melbourne) and got to know them quite well. I must add that Mark and Delma are two of the nicest people – warm, open and as friendly as can be. They don't stand on ceremony and are not too proud to admit their humanness from time to time – basically, my type of people !
Like family, my Christian faith is very important to me. Over 41 years I have been involved in half a dozen or so churches and met some great people (for example, aside from Mark and Delma, I also received great friendship and support from fellow panellist Peter Nelson in the early 1980's). We have been going to a local Pentecostal church (Bayside Church) for the past 3 years, which I have found both wonderful and challenging at the same time (I regard myself as a 'non-Pentecostal' going to a 'Pentecostal' church, but I am sure that statement is theologically incorrect !)
By listing my goals for 2014. These goals are close to my heart at the moment, as our Church recently went through an exercise of goal-listing for 2014, which included a Church service where we were prayed over and had oil rubbed over our hands and wrists ( I told you I found some things at our new Church challenging !) My goals are listed below, with the most important one first:
To have a greater understanding, experience and revelation of God's love in my life. With God's help, to be the best husband and father that I can be. To best use my gifts, talents and passions to further God's kingdom on earth. Thank-you for letting me share something of my life with you.
Each of our young writers is a Christian leader of the future. I would encourage them to set goals for 2014 and beyond (if you have not already done so.) Seek God and wise counsel. And then go for it.
I have now taken voluntary redundancy and continuing my theological studies.
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 mentors young writers and 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