Vale - Denis Almond


Vale – Mark Donald Bower

1958 – 2023

Mark was born and grew up in the regional city of Bathurst. Upon completion of his Higher School Certificate at Bathurst High School, Mark applied for and was successful in gaining a cadetship as a radiographer at Bathurst Base Hospital. Mark completed his undergraduate studies in 1980 through Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in the last intake of external studies. During these years he attended many thrice yearly clinical meetings held by the Western District Sub-Branch of the NSW AIR. After graduating Mark moved to Lewisham Hospital, Petersham then returned to country NSW at Goulburn Base Hospital

In 1990, Mark was successful in being appointed Chief Radiographer at Bathurst Base Hospital. In addition to his new role Mark supported and developed a Student Paper presentation weekend inviting the students from the three NSW Universities with MRS courses. Mark convened this weekend for 6 years. For many participants, this was the first time they had ventured west of the Blue Mountains and helped them realise the value and joy in practicing in rural NSW.

Mark was the Convenor of the successful and first Rural Annual National AIR Conference in Bathurst in 1996 which was supported by Rural, and City based members honouring the arrival of Radiology in Australia through the pioneering work of Father Joseph Slattery at St Stanislaus’ College in Bathurst .

During his return to Bathurst, Mark was also on the NSW AIR State Branch Committee bringing a rural voice to the profession making the branch committee truly representative of all NSW members. During his time in Bathurst Mark also completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst in 1989.

In 1996 Mark moved to beautiful Kempsey/South West Rocks where he joined the local private practice where he gave some 23yrs of amazingly loyal and devoted service. Mark selflessly assisted Kempsey District Hospital Radiology in an after-hours, weekend and on-call capacity fulfilling shortfalls in staffing capacities. Mark’s gentle and endearing nature made him a favourite amongst staff as they warmly welcomed him when ever he attended the Hospital. When flooding sometimes occurred on the picturesque Macleay Mark readily made himself available to Kempsey District Hospital to maintain Imaging services for the community and was sometimes ferried by boat and helicopter from South West Rocks to Kempsey by the SES and the Australian Defence Force where he remained until the event had past.  Mark’s decent and caring traits inspired others and when asked why he would do certain things , his reply was that “it was just the right thing to do”.  Mark’s dearest friends recognized this formidable quality in Mark and it endeared him evermore to them. Apart from his love and passion for his family and his profession Mark’s other great passion was Rugby. He played on the wing and eventually the second row. He won man of the match when he represented the lowly North Coast who defeated the much fancied Central Western Districts in a match that decided one of the teams that would play in the curtain raiser at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1986 for the Wallabies  v France Test Match. Mark was ecstatic with this opportunity which was galvanised as one his greatest sporting moments even though it meant that one of his best mates Dave who played for Central Western Districts  missed this opportunity. In reflection Dave was so pleased for his best mate Mark to have such an amazing experience as such was there brotherly like mateship. Mark also adopted a community spirit in his retirement with countless volunteer hours spent at the South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club, renovating, assisting in operational processes and on a Friday night engaging in the selling of meat tray tickets to garnish capital support for the Club. Mark was a favourite at the club with his jocular and easy going personality engaging clientele to creating a friendly and warm atmosphere.

Mark’s vast professional  experience also assisted Christopher Dransfield, the Convenor of the North Coast Imaging Conference’s, at Coffs Harbour for some 12 years including the AIR’s Annual National Conference in 2002, also in Coffs Harbour. The weekend NCIC’s drew members and guests from all over the state of NSW and as far away as Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide as such was their popularity and interest because of the enthusiasm and attention to detail for the Professional  program content and wonderful social events organised by Mark and Chris.

Port Macquarie hosted two clinical meetings in 2015 and 2017 which were convened by Mark. The intention of these meetings was to focus on the integration of all modalities to achieve the best client outcomes available in our major regional centres.

Mark continued to promote our profession in NSW for some 40 years and has been a real champion for the Rural and Regional Members since the 1980’s..

 The Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy deservingly awarded Mark the Nicholas Outterside Medallion in 2018 for his outstanding contribution to the Profession and Life Membership in 2021 upon his retirement.

Sadly and unexpectedly, Mark passed away on 22nd March 2023. He will be so dearly missed by his mother Margaret, sister Suellen, former wife Peta and their children Tom, Sarah and Myles, Sarah’s  two adoring children Madeline and Georgia, carer and former wife Natasha and stepchildren Zac and Olivia. He will also be absolutely missed and cherished by his many lifelong friends both internal and external to the profession. At the tender age of 64, Mark has left us far too soon, however many wonderful memories and joy will remain in the hearts of all he touched along his colourful journey.

Tony Burns, Chief Radiographer, Manning Base Hospital (Retired).

Christopher Dransfield, Former Chief Radiographer, MNCLHD