My name is Ron Parnell. This is a short history about me. I was born 1934 in Young, a country town in New South Wales. My mother would have been 38 years of age. I was the youngest of seven children living on a farm in the Grenfell area, at the foot of the Weddin Mountain range.
My schooling began when I was six years of age, using slate board and chalk, by going in a horse drawn sulky with youngest of my four brothers to a one teacher country school. As well there was the Blackfriars Correspondence school system.
Around 1940/1 the family had all finally moved to live in Sydney. Living on the farm was a very difficult thing to do, with drought, dust storms, at times no water, cruel isolation while being a great lesson in the values of life. Fortunately, no critical accidents occurred, to my knowledge.
From arriving in Sydney to live, life went on, and on, me moving around a lot, while not realising that I was not building a long-time friendship base, not realising how important that is in life.
Doing a “time-jump” here, after about ten places where I lived, to the year 1998 and living in Dundas Valley, a Sydney suburb, with family. I decided to sell my successful local tennis coaching business at the age of 63 years and enrolled with The University of Western Sydney I had heard about other men enrolling in Social Ecology and Life Long Learning. I was accepted as A Mature Age Student. Doing two years for the degree I then did another year to get a Masters in Applied Science, majoring in Cultural Action with credit.
The Cultural Action was the setting up of an Older Men’s Network support group in Hornsby and the MISTER newsletter idea. Few years later another OMNi support groups was established in Epping, NSW.
My main activity is the MISTER newsletter that I produce every month. I started it back 1999, when I noticed two men were producing rather long newsletters and I felt there was far too much content in them. I got the idea to have a single page, back and front, with very short copy and paste information, later on, from websites of authority.
Mailing list is 400, bulk emailed around Australia, New Zealand, and other places as well as some interest from USA.
Further around year 2015, with great assistance from Like Mind in Seven Hills, we set up a Male Carers support group which is being a help to many of us male carers.
When I was 70 years of age, a few months after my wife passed on from Bowel Cancer, I made my debut in the theatre with Castle Hill Players (Sydney suburb) in the Pavilion Theatre. Have done nine plays there and one In Parramatta Riverside theatre. I do frequent theatre promotion stints now and enjoy that very much.
And so at 85 years of age, life goes for me yearning and learning being the big issues.
Thank you for being interested in what I love to do. Best regards from Ron Parnell.