Frank Ford, teacher, lover of God and history, heritage activist, and Sunshine resident for over half a century, died recently, aged 89 years.
Frank grew up in Ballarat on a farm at Mt Blowhard.
The second of five children, he attended Mt Blowhard State School and then Ballarat High School.
At 17 he became a trainee teacher with his first class at Macarthur St, Ballarat after only 3 days of induction.
After graduation he had postings at Mt Beauty, Tallangatta, and Bright.
Frank went to study at the London School of Economics, University of London, and it was worth the trip as there he met Olwen.
They married in London in 1960 and he convinced her to move to Australia.
Olwen and Frank first settled in Sunshine in 1960, with Frank commencing as senior teacher at the new Sunshine West High School.
He helped to found that school, using rented church buildings before moving to teach at Sunshine High School, where he remained until 1972.
The following year Frank took a post as lecturer at Burwood Teachers College working there for the next two decades.
In all those years he continued to live in Sunshine, travelling to Burwood, over the Westgate each day.
During those years, he and Olwen raised five children. Their family now includes four grandchildren.
Retirement was no rest for Frank and he was involved in many activities, especially in heritage issues and in the work of Sunshine & District Historical Society.
He spoke out strongly against the proposed introduction of poker machines and against the proposed demolition of the Bulk Store, on the Harvester Works site, even appearing (briefly) on television and the metropolitan press regarding the importance of saving the Bulk Store (now part of the Visy Cares Hub).
His faith was very important to him. He was an active member of St Mark’s Anglican, now Holy Apostles Church, Sunshine and Braybrook, and of the Victorian Branch of the Prayer Book Society of Australia.
He was committed to family, near and far. He was an active and well-loved member of his local community and will be missed deeply.