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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3686..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

about public housing stock numbers in the territory. He says the numbers are run down. The truth is that the former ACT Liberal government, run by Liberal Senator Humphries, with the support of Mr Stefaniak and Mr Smyth, ran down the stock numbers and we have had to find the money to rebuild those numbers.

In summing up, I do acknowledge that the Australian government employees make a huge contribution to the ACT—but not the Australian government.

Death of Brother Mark and Brother Crispin

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (6.12): I rise to honour two people who were great heroes in my life. They are two men of the Marist order, Brother Crispin and Brother Mark, who both passed away in recent months. Brother Mark and Brother Crispin came to Canberra in 1968 to establish what is now Marist College, Pearce. It originated in the old Forestry School at Yarralumla, then in May 1969 moved to its current site at Pearce.

Brother Crispin was the founder of the school and the superior of the college here for six years from 1968 to 1974. Unfortunately, the last couple of years have not been kind to Brother Crispin. He had a heart attack, with his diabetes onset he lost a leg and was finally diagnosed with cancer. He passed away this year on 13 September 2007 which, oddly enough, is Crispin Day. He was certainly well regarded by all in the community and was very much known as a gentle giant. He was a man who always had a kind word and was really keen to educate people.

The other person is Brother Mark May, who died on 19 October. Brother Mark spent a great deal of time here in Canberra and indeed was the second principal at Marist College. Brother Mark in 2002 celebrated his golden anniversary as a Marist brother and I think 50 years of serving the community is something that does not often happen these days. To do it in one profession and to do it so well is to be acknowledged.

Brother Mark unfortunately had a massive stroke, lingered for a week and then passed away on 19 October 2007. Brother Mark was buried here from the cathedral, and to see the cathedral full, not just of religious but of old boys of all ages who had graduated from the college or been members of staff at the college over the last 40 years, was a tribute to the guy.

He returned to Canberra in 2001, where he was the superior in the community. That was his retirement. He had ceased active duties a couple of years back due to ill health. He was a tremendous inspiration, always interested in the important things in life, education and football. To his great shame he was a diehard South Sydney supporter and was greatly relieved to see them readmitted to the NRL some years ago.

He was always a gentleman, he was always a charitable individual and the recognition of his skills is quite interesting. Back when he became a brother often the brothers were not given formal, as we would understand it, teaching qualifications, but Mark very quickly became a principal. He was also sent off to be the supervisor of primary schools and he did a lot of work in terms of renewal around the country for the Marist order. He also established a number of schools, not just here in Canberra but up on the Sunshine Coast, and all of those schools prosper and thrive today.


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