Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Frank Steps Down as President

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Frank Steps Down as President

Article excerpt

Byline: Lesley Apps

DESPITE spending 25 years as member of the Clarence Historical Society, the last 14 of those as president, Frank Mack says he wasn't all that enamoured by history when he was growing up.

"No, I never liked it when I was student," the retired Grafton High maths teacher said. "It was something I accidentally became involved in."

The catalyst for his newfound love came from his sporting interests. His long-time involvement with the Grafton Men's Hockey Association - he was president in the 1960s - meant he ventured into the Schaffer House Museum's (home of the CHS) research room where he invested many hours doing what a lot of people looking for local information do, flicking through old Daily Examiners (the museum has every edition since 1859, bar one) to compile a history on men's hockey in Grafton.

"I spent a lot of time down there typing up notes and, over time, well you eavesdrop a bit. I ended up joining in conversations here and there to help out as I was learning a lot looking through the old papers.

"I found I was doing more of this each time than my own research work and, 10 years later, I still hadn't finished it so I ended up handing it over to the hockey association to complete and joined the society."

Frank has remained a fixture there ever since, up until he went on leave in the middle of Jacaranda Festival last year for family reasons.

Frank said he was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to continue in the role but confirmed it when he officially resigned as president this week.

During his quarter of century at the museum Frank said one of the highlights of his time there was being able to introduce the bi-monthly newsletters he compiled and sent out to members and institutions like The Daily Examiner.

"I started doing that in 1991 in the hope to get more people interested in what we actually have in here."

He said the museum was home to some amazing pieces and a "wealth of research material" gathered over the 80 years of the society.

"We have academics come from all over Australia, Perth and Canberra to use the research room. …

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