The Ties That Bind
Hello, Marcus Blackie here, a very proud former student of St Johns' College Nambour from 1985-89, graduating as part of the outstanding class of 1989. I recently dropped into the school whilst back on the Coast visiting family and was graciously invited to write this article, which I consider a follow up to the article I earlier wrote for the 2000 yearbook. Nice to be asked again.
The late 1980's was indeed a time of rapid development, expansion and increasing student numbers at St John's but it still stayed “country". It was truly great to be a student in that golden Queensland era when the unforgettable savoury smell of the Nambour Sugar Mill would drift over our school. I remember when we took on the “vertical timetable" (whatever that was…) and I was a member of the legendary first school overseas trip to Indonesia (Bali) back in 1986. Almost all of the teachers and staff are now gone from my era and all of the early demountable classrooms replaced with state-of-the-art modern buildings but I still get the same familiar feel traversing the roundabout and starting up the hill through the gates. I have very fond memories of my time at the school and give much credit back for all I have achieved in life thanks to the foundational high-quality education and inculcation of Christian values.
After graduating from high school in 1989 I then went to university in Melbourne during the early 90's living with my very generous late Grandparents, before embarking on a long military career. I was accepted to the Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra, graduating at the end of 1994 as an Army Officer. As this is for social media consumption, I won't go into specifics except to say I had a fantastic military career over 30 years, living all over the country as well as being an international representative of Australia on many occasions and a veteran.
I got out of the military in 2019 determined to focus more on my family and also develop the beautiful Tasmanian property we had acquired years earlier but had neglected due to distant postings to Perth & Darwin. That plan worked for a while and then one thing led to another as it often does, resulting in me being elected Mayor of King Island Tasmania in Oct 2022. I was the only candidate in the statewide Council elections to be elected both Councillor & Mayor together at the same time, for the first time. Everyone said to me it couldn't be done…., ye of little faith! So, I continue to serve our country but now in a very different capacity as an elected Mayor. It is a great honour to be a Mayor and the media down here now calls me the “Mayor of Country Heaven" a tribute to our spectacular and legendary King Island. I now finally have the best job of my long career. If anyone else from St Johns has ever been elected Mayor anywhere I'm keen to know about it, highly likely given the calibre of what the school has produced for many many decades. Anyway, this is but a short tribute from a very grateful former student. My very best wishes to the current crop of staff and students, we know you will continue to take the school to the next level. Please look me up if you are down this way, fellow St John's alumni are my people. If I can ever be of further service to the school do not hesitate to ask. “UNBIND AND SET FREE".
© Brisbane Catholic Education, St John's College (2023)