FORMER Port Lincoln Primary School teacher, Andy Thurlow has had quite a year, getting his first three books being published and launched.
He was a teacher for 38 years, five of those he said were spent happily at the Port Lincoln Primary School.
Mr Thurlow said after a career in schools, he felt he needed some kind of ‘brain-food’ in retirement so asked his nephew – medal-winning South Australian Paralympic and Port Lincoln-born athlete Kieran Modra – if he could write his life story.
“Kieran’s never been to a Paralympics without some form of drama, ranging from court battles to broken bones,” Mr Thurlow said.
South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le launched the book in Adelaide in May this year.
Mr Thurlow said ‘The Way I See It: The Story of Kieran Modra’ was not about glorifying success, it was a “warts and all” account, which was how he liked to portray people.
“Humans make mistakes and for most of us, life involves coming to terms with disappointment and tragedy,” he said.
“It was such a break when Wakefield Press saw the potential of Kieran’s story and I signed my first book contract.”
Mr Thurlow’s second book – ‘A Singular And Outrageous Blessing: The Story of Rolph and Margaret Mayer – is about two people who had an enormous influence on his life when he was studying to be a teacher.
“Rolph Mayer was a wonderful mentor to hundreds of students,” he said.
“Coming from a background of Nazi- sympathisers he became a minister with a clear understanding of the Gospel message and servant-leadership.”
“He built relationships with all he came into contact with and is a supreme storyteller,” Mr Thurlow said.
“Margaret Mayer appeared at the last Adelaide Fringe, making her debut as an 85-year-old comedian – need I say more!
“She’s a wonderful personality.”
In April this year, Immanuel College asked Mr Thurlow if he would help them out and write Immanuel Icon, teacher and acting head of the school, Margaret Ames’s book.
“Many people on the Eyre Peninsula have a connection with Immanuel College and have witnessed first-hand Margaret’s love and care,” he said.
Mr Thurlow said he was surprised and delighted that all three books were getting such positive reviews.
“As a ‘rookie’ writer I wasn’t sure what reaction readers might have to my style,” he said.
“My wife, Marlene has been a wonderful support, coming with me to most interviews and putting up with my long hours tapping the keys at any hour of the day or night.”
The Way I See It (Wakefield Press) and A Singular And Outrageous Blessing (Morning Star) are available at most bookshops.
Vision Australia also plans to convert The Way I See It to audio format for the vision-impaired.