My father was born at home 24 Vista Street Mosman on 23 July 1916 and died at BSC Shalom Centre in Marsfield on 16 July 2010. I was with him as was my dear friend Heather and Bella the nursing home cat who is known for her sixth sense at times like this. He was named after his father’s brother Horace Owen Marks who was killed in action in France on 29 October 1916 and his mother’s brother Norman, who also served in WWI and was gassed. He suffered from respiratory disease for the remainder of his life. His elder brother Tom couldn’t say Horace and called him Bark. All his life he was known as Bark or Barkie to his family. His mother Ida Lillian (nee Copeland) (b 3 March 1889 d 2 August 1978) was the granddaughter of Sir Henry “Battleaxe” Copeland [Henry Copeland snr – 1838-1904, was born in Hull, Yorkshire and qualified as a navigator at 15 but failed to get into the navy so joined the merchant service. At 18 he reached Victoria where he deserted to join the gold rush at Ballarat. He spent 15 years on the fields making a small fortune and in 1863 returned to England and married Hannah, daughter of a Yorkshire brewer, James Beecroft. In 1872 he came to NSW and became active in politics. In 1883 he became Secretary for Works but only lasted 12 weeks because of a drunken toast at a St Patricks’ Day banquet! As Secretary for Lands 1891-4 he passed important land legislation including developing a green zone around Sydney – known as Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park – was he Australia’s first greenie? He had four sons and seven daughters by his two wives Hannah and her sister Mary, who he married when Hannah passed away. A lot of England and the Copeland family lies in the Sydney suburb of Beecroft: Copeland Road, Hull Road, Hannah Street, Mary Street and Malton Road – where the Beecroft sisters were born. The mining town of Copeland near Gloucester NSW still bears his name.] His father Howard Arthur Marks (b 9 October 1887 d 20 February 1981) was one of 11 children whose father died when he was around six. [His family came from Kilrea, County Derry in Ireland and his father had operated a store in Mudgee. He was born in Mudgee and started his career as an articled clerk with a law firm in Bombala. The Bombala Times - News and Notes page 14 20/3/1914 reports Howard Arthur Marks was admitted to practice as a Solicitor in NSW. He later opened a practice in Bellingen then moved to Sydney with his wife, Ida Lillian (Lil) and their three sons where he set up his Manly practice in 1942. He took a partner, Mr Lloyd Tilbury, who retired after a few years, and then in 1956 Mr Ray Griffiths joined the firm, which became Marks and Griffiths. Howard Marks was one of the early members of Manly Civic Club and Manly Rotary Club. He was honoured with a testimonial dinner to mark fifty years in legal practice before he retired at 75. However, he worked on for another ten years as a consultant and passed away aged 93 at the Manly Vale Nursing Home.] The Manly solicitors firm that Howard Marks founded still bears his name today and is known as Marks, Griffiths and Bova however has moved from the original Belgrave Street premises. Lil and Howard married at Kogarah on 10 April 1913 and had two other sons Thomas Howard Copeland born 1914 and Henry Owen born 1919 (known as Harry). The family moved to Bellingen in the early 1920s on the advice of Lil’s father (Henry Copeland jnr) who suggested there were good opportunities in the country for solicitors. Lil was very active in the Red Cross and became President of the local branch. It was a great place to grow up and young Bark enjoyed an idyllic country childhood riding his pony Tommy to school. He was too small to mount so placed food in front of Tommy to make him put his head down and then clambered up his neck and onto his back. In those days travelling boxing tournaments would toured the countryside and his father entered him in the competitions where he gained local renown by winning tournaments at aged 9! This skill stood him in good stead in the army later in life. Dad also related a story to me about batting off a ball bowled by the great Don Bradman at a local exhibition game. All the boys were sent to boarding school and because Howard has a falling out with the headmaster of Newington, Dad was sent to Trinity Grammar in Summer Hill as was his younger brother Harry He did well academically – scoring 100% in Divinity he proudly told me! For a very irreverent man that was a surprise! He was an accomplished sportsman playing cricket, joining the swimming and athletic teams as well as captaining the rugby team. In the book ‘Rugby at Trinity 1917-1979’ he is mentioned several times as follows: “1931: HN Marks (team member) 1932: No records (but Dad has written a note in the book Rubbish!) 1933: HN Marks (team member) 1934: HN Marks (captain) 1935: HN Marks (captain) Trinity on Top: "The 1935 team was led by half-back, Horrie Marks, whose 1st XV career spanned five years and a record 46 games. He was an inspiration to the team, and in the final, decisive match against Knox he scored all his team’s points in a close 6-5 win. Trinity were by no means favoured to succeed and most of the matches were quite close. With the exception of Marks, there were no outstanding players but each member of the team was competent and hardworking and there were no weaknesses in the XV. Scoring records: Youngest 1st XV players – H N Marks, 13 years old, 1931 Most 1st XV Matches: 46 H N Marks 1931-35 (NB S R Bibb 50 to date, 1978-80 Sydney First Grade: A great number of Trinitarians have played in the Sydney First Grade competition.....Horrie Marks (Gordon).” Like most young men of his era and he went to war signing up as a signaller in the 7th Division AIF 2/6th Australian Field Regiment RAA. He served as a Lance Sergeant in the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo from 1940-1945 gaining lifelong friendships with the men he served with in particular Peter Lloyd, Barry Mulholland and John Vincent (who passed away in 2009). The friendship with these three men sustained him all his life and he never missed a 2/6th reunion meeting and an Anzac Day March – until he reached his 90s. After the war Horrie returned to the family home which was now in Crescent Street Fairlight. His younger brother Harry had returned from the UK with his Canadian-born wife Mary and their daughter Kathleen. This meant that he had to move out of his bedroom to a mattress on the floor in the lounge room where he was often woken up by Kathy sitting on his head in a wet nappy. That certainly got him out of bed! Tom’s wife Nancye also stayed at Crescent Street to recuperate after the birth of Stuart, who remained in hospital. She used to express milk and leave it in the fridge until the next visit to Stuart. Dad came home one night and felt thirsty so drank a glass of “milk”. He of course chose Nancye’s breast milk and spat it out because it was so sweet! Sadly Stuart did not survive. Dad just wouldn’t settle down and in fact was a “bit of a lad” - never short of girlfriends. One day a beautiful young woman walked into his father’s office to settle the estate of her late mother - her name was Irene Troy. Legend has it that Howard said to Lil that night “I’ve just seen the girl that I think Bark should marry.” He arranged for Dad to hand deliver some papers to Irene who was living in Austin Street Fairlight next door to a girlfriend of Dad’s…hoping of course that once he met her he would be blown away by her beauty and….. Anyway, Dad dutifully did as he was told ….knocked on the door which was opened by one of her brothers who took the papers! As fate would have it, Dad met Irene socially anyway and the rest is history! Irene was a widow with a young son Ian. On their wedding day 17 March 1951 a St Matthews in Manly Ian asked Dad what he should call him. “What do you want to call me” he asked. “Dad I guess” said Ian. “Ok then call me Dad” replied Horrie. As the happy couple were farewelled by family and friends, Ian yelled out “Goodbye Mummy The newlyweds and Ian moved into a house in Manly Vale and eventually bought a house at 48 Kempbridge Ave Seaforth. On 14 December 1952 his only natural child Suzanne (me) was born. His great passion was fishing and Mum and I had to endure endless holidays camping in out of the way great fishing spots. As a girl this held no interest for me even though he made me my very own fishing rod. On one occasion sitting with him in the dinghy – nothing was biting – I was bored and started throwing bits of bread over the side - naturally this attracted all the fish which were jumping and splashing about on my side of the boat eating the bread – boy did I get into trouble when he realised what was happening! One night prawning in Merrimbula we were shining torches onto the water to attract the prawns. It was a good night with lots of beady little eyes coming towards us and into the nets – suddenly I spotted a couple of beady eyes that seemed to be set quite wide apart….SHARK! You’ve never seen people move so quickly out of the water. He was a wonderful gardener growing beautiful flowers and was famous for his veggie patch. He was also a wonderful handyman and could fix anything or even make it. His knowledge and love of cars was legendary having spent the post war years with Nuffield Motors as their supply manager. His car was his pride and joy – always impeccably kept. I remember once on a visit to Tuncurry where my parents had retired to in 1988, he inspected my car, which I had cleaned for the occasion knowing it would be inspected. He declared “It’s in a disgusting state” and proceeded to give it a proper wash himself. After his time with GA Lloyd and importing Morris cars from the UK at Nuffield, he decided that he would go into business himself and opened a hardware store at Balgowlah Heights – what a perfect job for a handyman. At the grand opening, his brother-in-law, Stan Todd came into the store making a great scene exclaiming loudly to everyone in earshot “What a wonderful store with such great products – I will always shop here”! It was such and over the top performance it embarrassed everyone and Stan was told to shut up and go home. Unfortunately the store did not do well – it was a new suburb and a bit out of the way – at that time shopping centres were becoming the preferred way to shop. He cut his losses and went to work with Wunderlich, a building supply company, as their supply manager. When CSR took over the firm he was unfortunately forced to retire – far too early - at the age of 62. For someone who had been used to giving orders this was a big loss of face. In fact he told everyone that it was hard being at home all day long because there was no staff – He was looking forward to retirement and fishing trips with elder brother Tom – it was a big blow when Tom passed away suddenly on 17 December 1981. Horrie was at a loss and spent far too much at the Balgowlah RSL Club. So my mother decided they should leave Sydney to get him away from all his “Kennel Friends” as she called them because they always pissed on the lawn when he brought them home after drinking bouts at the Club. The house sold quickly for $130,000 in 1988. Unfortunately they missed the housing boom which happened about six months later. The house sold a few years later for nearly $700,000. The Marks family had always holidayed on the mid-north coast, owning a holiday house in Urunga and often visiting Tuncurry/Forster which was a very sleepy hollow in the 1930s. Trying to relive his youth, he bought a house at 41 Susella Crescent Tuncurry, which had become very popular with retirees – ‘God’s waiting room’ as it was known. They lived very happily for 16 years although Mum seemed to become sick almost as soon as they moved there. Her arthritis and various ailments meant lots of trips to the doctor and hospital – usually to specialists in Sydney! Horrie became the model husband taking care of her during her illnesses. I had bought him a home brew beer kit whilst he was still living in Sydney – hoping it would encourage him to save money by making his own and stop him going to the Club every day. However he didn’t start brewing beer until he arrived in Tuncurry. It was great stuff and everyone was constantly on the look out for interesting beer bottles for him to fill up. They celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on 17 March 2001 with a surprise party at a local restaurant with family and friends who had travelled far and wide to attend. Eventually Irene became very infirm and after the merry-go-round of going in and out of hospital and nursing homes, she passed away on 30 August 2004 with Horrie by her side. Dad tried to cope on his own and I arranged for carers to visit him each day. Unfortunately he was developing dementia rapidly and had to move to BCS Kularoo nursing home in November 2007. This insidious disease totally took complete control of him and it was cruel to watch someone who had been such a vibrant person with a prodigious memory fade away to a shell of a man. Eventually the waitlist cleared at the end of June 2010 and I moved him to the BCS Shalom Centre in Marsfield only 10 minutes away from me. He only lived there for three weeks before passing away after seven days without food or water. His amazing motor of a heart finally gave out at 3.25pm on Friday 16 July – one week shy of his 94th birthday. His funeral was celebrated on what would have been his 94th birthday on 23 July 2010.