Mourners remember a person so true
By RACHEL AFFLICK firstname.lastname@example.org NO one could have prepared for a moment like this. Light rain fell as hundreds of people gathered at St Finbarr's Catholic Church in Byron Bay yesterday for Mark Wallace's funeral.
The popular Byron Bay man had a successful business, a loving family and many good friends, who appreciated his genuine and honest personality.
Mark died at Tweed Heads on January 5, at a time when he was living life to the fullest.
His family said the best word to sum up Mark was 'true'. He was a true father, a true son, a true brother, a true partner, a true friend, and a true Aussie.
Mark celebrated every day he lived and achieved many successes.
He was passionate about travel. He would quite seriously tell people he drank the tap water in every country he went to, to toughen up his stomach, and would get sick anyway.
Mark was also passionate about his business, Wallace's Carpet Choice, which he built from the ground up into one of the most successful carpet distributors on the North Coast.
When he took on the Carpet Choice franchise Mark said it would change him.
It certainly did, because he not only bought a computer, he learnt to send emails too.
But the most important chapter in Mark's life was his daughter Tara, who had recently turned 18 and left school.
Mark loved to talk about Tara and how she was blossoming you could see the joy in his eyes when he did.
Tara said in the seven years of living with Mark, he had done 'so much for her'.
He taught her that life is what you do with the time you have.
"Dad was an exciting person to live with," Tara said. "His parenting skills were as unique as his personality.
"If I forgot my house keys I wasn't punished in any other way than being locked outside for half-an-hour."
For many people who knew him, Mark was always a shoulder to lean on. If you had a problem he would listen, and he would often solve it with a simple solution.
Mark also loved to talk. He loved to talk about his business, he loved to talk about travelling, and he loved to talk about his family.
Mark had a love and respect for his family and was also like a brother to many of his mates. He will be sorely missed.