Lyndale’s ‘gentle giant’ deeply missed

Mark Moir, left , with students Sarah and Mineth and school council president Kerrie Hayhow at a newly-opened admin building at Lyndale. 196482_01 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Mark Wayne Moir

18.10.1958 – 28.6.2021

A revered leader for 30 years at Lyndale Secondary College has been showered with tributes at a funeral service at Springvale on 14 July.

Mark Moir, 62, a father, grandfather, lifelong friend and Lyndale’s principal for nearly a decade, had died suddenly on 28 June.

Stories of him were rich with his zest for life, loud infectious laugh, razor-sharp wit, cheeky personality and keen dress-sense.

Colleague Brad Allen shared insights and memories of the “kind and gentle giant” from several admiring principals and teachers.

He took special care for students making the jump up from primary school. Out of his devotion for students, he’d often pose the question: “Is this what I’d want for my kids?”

He was also there for staff when life threw out challenges.

Mr Allen told of ‘The Big Fella’s’ confidence in AFL club Richmond’s now-faltering three-peat, his prowess on the golf course, love of classic cars, “standing his ground” when faced by a wild gorilla and a life-highlight swim with a placid whale shark.

“A man loved by so many not only for what he did and how he did it, but also for who he was,” Mr Allen said.

“He will be sorely missed by all his colleagues.”

Bill Hollingworth told the service that Mr Moir – who had hovered on the edge of elite sport as a talented footballer – was a keen exponent of ‘taking the mickey’.

It was a gift of sharing a sense of humour to keep things in perspective and bring people together, Mr Hollingworth said.

On becoming principal, Mr Moir introduced a new school uniform out of his belief in the “power and value in pride”- that it would inspire students to be proud of themselves.

He had an “instantaneous finger-snapping” ability to call rowdy students to heel but also the common touch.

Mr Moir knew all students by name and a student wrote movingly of how it hurt to hear of Mr Moir’s death, that he had wished to have more conversations with him.

“We too want more conversations with Mark, more of his presence,” Mr Hollingworth said.

“It is good that the way Mark lived his life allows us to be consoled. By the many fond and amusing memories and admirable achievements he has left for us to remember him by.”

For all of his achievements, Mr Moir was said not to have sought the limelight.

Recently the Journal featured one of the college’s far-reaching initiatives – helping to build an RV-12 sport aircraft with other schools across Australia.

When assembled with the help of Sport Aircraft Association of Australia, students will have a chance to fly the craft.

Mr Moir joined Lyndale Secondary as a teacher in 1991. He rose through the ranks of leading teacher, assistant principal and then as principal from 2012.

Lyndale assistant principal Pam Robinson said the passing of the “devoted educator” would be a “huge loss to our community”.

“He will be remembered as a dear friend, a respected colleague, a mentor and an advocate for young people.

“His immense contributions will continue to have a lasting impact.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

His daughter Kylie told of Mr Moir’s love of the beach and fondly-cherished holidays with his two children and seven grandchildren.

Unstintingly, he was there offering support, brimming with pride for his family.

“No matter how busy he was, he always made time for a chat.”

Daughter Jodie said Mr Moir taught her how to be good, caring and honest.

Mr Moir was farewelled to the tune of Van Morrison’s ‘Brown-eyed Girl’, which he used to sing to Jodie as a child.

Mourners were invited to take home a flower to remember a “wonderful man”.