CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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As large in death as in life

HONG KONG (SE): De La Salle Brother Mark Blake, a well-remembered member of the staff at La Salle College in Kowloon from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, died peacefully on August 5 at the congregation’s nursing home, Miguel House, in Castledown, Ireland.

Born in Ireland on 16 March 1931, he was one of a family of 12 and in 1945 he followed his older brother, Lawrence, into the De La Salle Brothers. He then went on to do studies in England before being sent to Malaysia in 1952.

When changes in Malaysian law forced him to step down from teaching, he came to La Salle College in Kowloon where he became known and liked as an imaginative English and religious knowledge teacher.

But it was his athletic prowess and dedication to extra-curricular activities that made the biggest impact on the students of La Salle. In Malaysia he had blossomed as an athletics coach, seeing his students triumph in several divisions.

At La Salle, he was on the track from 4.00pm to 6.00pm almost every day, patiently demonstrating techniques for several events. His specialty was arguably the discus throw, but his expertise extended even as far as rugby.

His other love was hiking and whenever time allowed he would take off up Lion Mountain, seemingly returning as fresh as when he had set out.

Brother Patrick said of him that he would then like to relax with a beer and a cigarette.

At the compulsory retirement age of 65 he stepped out of the classroom, but maintained his dedication to the sports field, where he maintained the real life of the school took place anyway.

He was a good community man, cheerful and supportive of his fellow brothers. Religiously, he was like he was in other ways, straight down the line with no frills.

In 1994 he returned to Ireland and took great enjoyment from wandering around the areas he had trod as a child.

A memorial Mass was offered for him by Father Edward Khong Kin-cheung on August 22 at La Salle College Chapel.

While his presence will be missed, his memory will live on.

 

May he rest in peace.

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