MICHAEL Parker will travel to Malawi, Africa, in October to continue the work and legacy of his father Alan Parker.
Alan, the late Mt Clear College assistant principal and Ballarat Cricket Association president, had been volunteering for a foundation that helps to build schools and facilities for developing communities, but died suddenly in October last year.
“Volunteering is a thing where you always think you’d love to do that,” Michael said.
“It is more important to me now after dad is gone, to continue his legacy.”
He said the idea of going over had been playing on his mind when his mother said she was going to go.
So they planned to travel together along with a cousin and one of Alan’s good friends.
“It’s a great way to honour my dad, doing something he was very passionate about.”
Michael will go for two weeks, leaving his partner and two-year-old at home.
“Every time he told a story about Malawi, he was full of life and spoke about it with a real fondness.
“He loved the people; if they ever saw dad struggling or getting a bit tired, they’d try and take the tools he was working with off him.”
Michael said his father went to Malawi for the first time in 2011 to help build a school and a home, taking his wife back in July 2013.
“He was planning to go back in 2015, working to make a new school to teach teachers.”
He said the foundation planned to name the school after Alan Parker.
The Mphatso Foundation is based in Malawi, founded by former Bunin-
yong woman and family friend of the Parkers, Robyn Casey.
“I’m really excited but at the same time I know the trip will be quite emotional,” Michael said.
“A few days after Dad passed, we received some videos from the locals in the villages saying how hurt they were by his death.”
Michael has been raising funds for the Foundation, to continue the work of his father.
He has rattled tins at a few events and is planning a trivia night in August amongst other things.
“I don’t see an end to this work for a long time,” he said.
“The work they do will continue, and the end will be when people aren’t living in poverty or dying of AIDS.”
Michael’s brother and his family went to Malawi in March.
“My father had a lot of things he was passionate about, and it’s hard to separate his interests,” he said.
“Everything he was involved in he gave his full commitment and was passionate about. But the way he talked about his work over there, you could sense his deep passion for the place and people.”
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Trivia night fundraiser for Mphatso Foundation. WHERE: Mr Rede, 203 Dana Street
WHEN: August 1
COST: $20 towards Mphatso Foundation, with finger food and drinks at bar prices.
INFO: Mr Rede: 5338 7333