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Unassuming educator and community builder

Obituaries

Lynn Anthony Martin - Born: September 22 1956 | Died: May 14 2020

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The eldest of Margaret and Brian Martin’s five children, Lynn grew up in Grange and began his junior primary education at Star of the Sea Convent at Henley Beach, followed by St Michael’s College, Beverley.

During this time, Lynn was introduced to Henley & Grange Swimming Club with its historic saltwater Henley Pool. It would prove to be a pivotal moment in his life, starting a family tradition of participation in aquatic sports and the place where Lynn would meet his future wife Jo-Anne Courtney.

Moving on to secondary school at St Michael’s College, Henley campus, Lynn continued to enjoy school but was more interested in sport and friendships than academic pursuits.

He was a very good footballer, winning a First XVIII best and fairest and playing senior A grade football for what was then West Torrens at the age of 17. He later played A1 amateur league football at both Henley and Flinders Park (as part of an A1 premiership team).

Lynn excelled at swimming, water polo and surf lifesaving, becoming Grange SLSC senior club champion and representing SA in water polo on numerous occasions and in surf lifesaving. His achievements as a player and subsequently supporting his sons for many years in innumerable roles in water polo resulted in him being awarded life membership of Adelaide Vikings and Henley Sharks water polo clubs, as well as the SA Water Polo Association.

When Lynn’s competitive sporting days ended, he delighted in skiing (water and snow) and cycling.

After studying PE and economics at Adelaide Teachers College he commenced his first teaching job back at St Michael’s in 1977, the year he married Jo-Anne.

The 80s were a busy time for the couple who had four sons, Daniel, Matthew, Nicholas and Patrick. Lynn was heavily involved in the foundation of the new Aberfoyle Park Catholic Parish while still regularly training and travelling for football and water polo.

Lynn’s teaching appointments included Mercedes College and leadership positions at Blackfriars Priory School, Gleeson College and Nazareth College, before his appointment as principal of Xavier College at Gawler. At the end of 2019, Lynn retired as principal of Xavier due to ill health. This brought to an end 16 stellar years of leadership at Xavier, as well as 43 years working in Catholic Education SA.

During his time at Xavier Lynn was also a director of St Patrick’s Technical College, a role and school that he particularly valued.

In his own quiet, unassuming and unpretentious manner he led the transformation of Xavier into a true community, rooted in its Catholic and Salesian traditions. Under Lynn’s guidance, enrolments rose from 600 to just under 1000 students in 2020, accompanied by an increase in the number of students completing their SACE, with 100 per cent completion now the standard.

Lynn was uncomfortable when singled out for the achievements of the college, insisting they were a reflection of team work not one individual.

Lynn oversaw numerous major building projects which have transformed Xavier into an outstanding, modern educational facility. Despite his battle with cancer, he was part of the team working on the new Xavier College – Two Wells R-6 Campus due to be opened in 2021.

Lynn was an active member of the local community and was determined to see Xavier College develop into a school that truly cares for the people within it and the community in which it lies.

This was recognised by the Light Regional Council which presented him with its Inspiration Award on Australia Day this year.

Lynn is survived by his wife Jo-Anne, his four sons and eight grandchildren.

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