I was born in Canberra of migrant parents. They left Latvia in the early 1940s when they heard the Russians were coming. Having escaped Latvia they moved through a series of displaced person’s camps in Germany until they ended up in Italy.
There they boarded a ship to Australia. I am grateful that in those days Australia welcomed refugees! My parents never talked much about that time – it was too traumatic for them to remember, so I never learnt much.
My parents were never fully part of the Latvian community in Canberra. They did, however, make me join the folk dancing group. I loved the dancing but I felt estranged from the group. There was a lot of drunkenness and very little care among relationships. I felt God protected me from a lot of that.
I knew from about age 10 that I wanted to be a scientist, and that's the direction in which I took all my studies. I studied at the ANU doing Zoology and Biochemistry, then did honours looking for an obscure enzyme that may or may not have been there, in tapeworms that enabled them to metabolise anaerobically.
Followed the Lord
I became a Christian, got married, then I got a job at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, working in a lab with Chris Parish, who has become world renowned in cancer research.
I left work after 6 years to have kids. 3 wonderful boys! Bill (husband) had started work with the Department of Main Roads in Sydney before we were married, then became a teacher of metalwork, woodwork, graphic design and maths and science!
So after my Dip Ed year of teaching high school I discovered that I loved it (don't you hate it when the husband is right?) and started teaching at Trinity Christian School.
Through the school I have been able to do an amazing number of things: canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, skiing, bushwalking (I have coordinated the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which meant taking kids on overnight hikes and teaching them to be sensible and navigate in the bush). I have hiked in Namadgi, Kosciuszko, Morton and Ben Boyd National Parks and a few other spots.
My teaching areas were Science and Christian Life Studies, mainly to Years 11 and 12, and in pursuing those I have attained a Master of Contemporary Science and a Cert IV in Christian Ministry and Theology as well as a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. I may have been a teacher, but God is constantly teaching me!
Also through the school I have been to India three times now, taking groups of students on mission trips. These have been very eye-opening and confronting, but a truly worthwhile experience for both the students and the leaders.
People would always tell me that when I retired I would be busy! Well, guess what – for me it’s true – Bill is always telling me I’m never home and doing too much!
I still do a bit of relief teaching when I tell them I’m available. But I’m also a volunteer at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, sometimes working in the Visitors Centre, sometimes in the reserve talking to people or running activities.
I have joined a group called Walking for Pleasure and we do regular walks around Canberra and in the National Park.
I lead a Bible study for some beautiful women from a range of churches – challenging, and keeps me from getting stale! I am also part of a team of ladies that run retreats for other ladies. Again we come from a variety of churches and we have been asked to lead retreats in a variety of churches in places as far flung as Bateman’s Bay, Batlow, Cootamundra and others closer to home.
Bill and I are active in our church – Vision Christian Fellowship, an independent charismatic church. We are on a prayer team and participate in a number of activities.
I'm enjoying being a panellist and an editor, there is a huge variety of topics and it is really interesting reading different ideas and styles. I'm looking forward to getting to know these young writers better as time goes on. Some are amazingly mature in their outlook and they all have a lot to offer.
I bless the Lord for bringing me this far and holding me in the palm of His hand!
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. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html