Updated: March 16, 2012
MAJOR DON WEST BLAST-OFF TOUR PROGRAM MAGAZINE
October 11th, 1997
MARK GODDARD BLAST-OFF CONVENTION
By Steven Carteris:
On Saturday 11th October 1997, I attended the Major Don West - 1997 Blast-Off Tour Convention, which was held in the Garrison Room of the Bankstown District Sports Club, Sydney. This was L.I.S.A.'s climax of Mark Goddard's Australian tour.
I arrived at 12.35 pm and was amazed at the huge crowd of people! At 1.00pm, Glenn introduced our host, Pete Graham Sydney's No. 1 announcer from radio station 2WS-FM. Pete told us we have visitors from Queensland, South and West Australia, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
He then presented an episode of Mark's first television series, Johnny Ringo titled Love Affair. It guest starred Gerald Mohr, (who played Morbus in the Lost In Space ep. Visit to Hades) as Barney Chisom. This came from Mark's personal collection. The episode was received with great applause.
At 1.55pm, after a break, Pete announced there were fans here from Italy and Brazil. This was truly an international convention! He next presented an episode of Mark's second series, Robert Taylor's Detectives, titled The Big Poison. (The production supervisor was Jack Sonntag, who worked in the same capacity on Lost In Space) This screening also was well received.
During a short interval at 2.30pm Mark's wife Evelyn and his son John were quickly escorted into the auditorium and sat next to me in the front row. At 2.45 the lights dimmed and Pete began his introductory speech telling us Mark is "One step above the Hollywood party scene. " He has starred in more than 500 television shows and now is a teacher/counsellor, helping students from under privileged backgrounds.
Pete then introduced a mini-documentary on Mark's film life narrated by Dick Tufeld. As the screen displayed different images of Mark we heard: "Described by critics as the complete actor, Mark has distinguished himself in primetime television, the Broadway stage and in feature films for 40 years.
We then saw short grabs of his TV career beginning with Aaron Spelling's Johnny Ringo, Robert Taylor's Detectives (working with Adam West, a future ratings nemesis) Following, Mark's highlights were The Rebel, Channing, The Bill Dana Show (with Jonathan Harris), Peny Mason, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke (with Burt Reynolds), The Fugitive, Adam 12, Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, Quincy MD, and The Fall Guy.
His movie roles included The Monkey's Uncle, the cult film Blue Sunshine, and Roller Boogie all from the 70's.
Then the familiar music of Lost In Space was heard as the animated credits screened. It was greeted with thunderous applause. Lost In Space was described as "the most lavish and expensive science fiction serial "
We saw countless well-edited flashes from the best of Lost In Space. (There was also never seen before special effect out-takes) There was much cheering during these scenes, his son John was excited to see the fight between Don and his Shadow World counterpart from The Anti-Matter Man.
At 3.20 the documentary finished. Then the Robinson Robot appeared in a mist of fog.
Robot: Warning Warning! Danger Danger! Warning Warning! Danger Danger!
After careful analysis of my immediate surroundings, my sensors indicate this is the moment, this is the day, October 1997!
You are watching the unfolding of one of history's great adventures. We are present in Sydney, Australia, for a world premiere extravaganza - The Major Don West 1997 Blast-Off Event! (huge applause)
Robot: Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting for the first time in Australia, would you please welcome the one and certainly the only, Mr Mark Goddard! (The entire audience gives Mark a standing ovation!)
Mark: Thank you. Wow! I've got to tell you I'm overwhelmed. First of all, to be here in Australia, after all these years and just to have met all the people I have met during the week, all the Lost In Space fans in the Australian media like Bert Newton from Good Morning Australia and Kerri-Anne Kennerley from Midday - it's been great. I'm really overwhelmed, and I love that documentary that Glenn put together.
I didn't realise - pretty good work for an actor ... I mean for a teacher! For a teacher I wasn't a bad actor. Actually, I'm really taken with all these shows that you put together and y'know what I'm really moved about mostly is that I forgot till this moment how much fun Lost In Space really was to me.. (At this moment Mark is genuinely moved and takes a moment to focus)
The reason is because... I had forgotten all those moments with Jonathan and the Robot and all these wonderful characters we had on the show. It really is great to be here with all these wonderful memories and to see a full house like this to come out to honour me. I'm humble about this, it's really terrific! (The Robot is standing silently)
Actually, it's just great being here, it really is, and I want to quickly introduce my wife Evelyn and my son John please (applause). John's having a great time and we all are.
Mark: So we're going to have a lot of fun, we're going to go-go-go and just boogie and have a good time for the rest of the day. How about that?
(Suddenly the Robot speaks) Robot: Hmm, hmm. Major Don West?
Robot: Hmm, hmm. Major Donald West, please make your report.
Mark: Oh Robot, I forgot. ..This is Major Don West of the Jupiter II reporting for duty in Australia and the great city of Sydney. How's that?
Robot: Major Don West, on behalf of the people of Australia (The Robot shifts the tone of his voice to an Australian accent) ... G'day, mate!
Mark: G'day, ...hey you see, I got pretty good at that. It's taken me a week to learn how to say G'day mate. I can't wait to tell my students back in the States ...'G'day mate'. I've got my (Akubra) hat, John's got his hat, and we're going to be real Australians for quite a while now. But actually Robot, it's wonderful here. (applause)
The people have been great, the women are terrific, they really are. They're warm, the beer's cold, the weather's been fantastic and the animals unbelievable. I went to the zoo the other day and saw the wombats, koalas and all those kangaroos. It's great being here. But let me ask you a question Robot, What are you doing here in Australia?
Robot: Environmental Control Robot Model B9 Class M3, a highly complex, computer-orientated mobile mechanism of intricate design & construction with 110 computer units that all function perfectly.
Computerised as a mechanised electronic aid for Jupiter voyagers engaged in astro expeditions. Sensors now indicate a highly intelligent audience before us. Computers conclude I am here to ask three important and long awaited questions!
Robot: Major West, question number one: On our show, you distrusted Dr Smith. You had disdain for Dr Smith. You had distaste for Dr Smith and on top of that, each week he stole the best scenes in every show. Why is that you never hit him? One good sock to the jaw!
Mark: Well Robot, I get that question everywhere I go but I'm going to reveal something to this wonderful audience and to yourself - I did hit Dr Smith! - during every commercial break. Problem was, he loved it. The more I hit him the more he loved it. It didn't do any good! (laughter)
Robot: I would like to express an opinion of the character and talent of one Dr Zachary Smith.
Mark: Sure, go ahead Robot.
Robot: Eeurgh! (laughter) ... Major West, question number two: On our show if my memory banks recall, we were the handsome debonair courageous intelligent clean and reverent sweetheart guys. In reference to relationships, I was stuck with Dr Zachary Smith, lucky you had the prettiest blonde on the Jupiter II expedition! Please tell us Major West. did you ever. ...Did you ever - kiss Judy Robinson? (applause)
Mark: Well Robot, how do I get around this one? Robot I'll answer your question with a question - Did you ever kiss Dr Smith? (laughter)
Robot: Negative, Major West, I am not programmed for emotional entanglements, however he told me that my claws did wonders for his aching back. Again Major West, let us return to the aforementioned question: Did you ever kiss Judy Robinson?
Mark: Well Robot, to tell you the truth and I hate to disappoint you and the audience, but with Judy and I, our relationship was strictly platonic.
Robot: Plutonic? You mean plutonium! Radio-active, high concentration, high melting point. In other words Major, ...you two were hot stuff!.... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (laughter)
Mark: What a wise guy! You know Robot you have to understand I had a job to do. I couldn't run around looking at all the pretty girls, y'know. I was the pilot of the Jupiter II. I had responsibility. It was my job to take care of the family and make sure the Jupiter landed safely each week.
Robot: You mean crash-land the Jupiter 11 each week! Sheesh, what a pilot! (Huge laughter)
Mark: Well listen Robot, I have to tell you, they say any landing you can walk away from is a good one. You have to understand that most of my landings ..they were crashes, but they were smooth crashes, and most of the time couldn't be avoided.
Robot: I hate to tell you this Major West after all this time, but now I will report to you. ...Third console, four rows down, two buttons from the left, is a unit marked "Landing Gear." (laughter)
Mark: Yeah, you got me Robot, but I'm going to tell you something. On your right side of your bolted body is a little power pack. If you don't behave yourself, if you keep this up I'm going to disengage you. Now does that compute? (laughter)
Robot: Oh the pain, the pain. It does compute! (laughter) Revision of my last revelation is duly noted. I apologise for my erroneous comments, Major West. My memory banks indicate you have saved our lives many times. I am of course eternally grateful. You and I are friends, Major West.
Mark: That's right. Robot: In point of actual fact, we have had many great and wonderful adventures. My final question involves your adventure with Miss Judy. Will you ever marry Judy Robinson? After all, a man needs love and a modem wife to cook and wash and clean.
Mark: Well Robot, I loved Miss Judy, she was a beautiful woman and everything, but I've lived in Hollywood for quite a while and some women love to cook, wash and clean but in a different way. They'll cook your goose, wash their hands clean of the kids and clean out your bank account, actually.
(laughter) Robot: Affirmative! Once I fell in love with the female of my species. I knew she was evil but I could not stay away from her. I used to sing to her. However, in the end she turned out to be just another pretty face.
Mark: You tell me that you used to sing to this lady? ... What did you sing?
Robot: (The Robot starts to sing) ... Tiptoe through the tulips, by the window, that's where I'll be, come tiptoe through the tulips with me ... (applause.)
Mark: Robot, I hate to tell you this, but if that's what you sang to her and you sang it that way, no wonder she tiptoed through the tulips the other way! I don't mean to be mean to you Robot but no wonder she left. (laughter)
Robot: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Mark Goddard!
To the sound of tumultuous applause the Robot rolled off stage. We had just witnessed a classic humorous sketch never seen before with Mark and it went over very well, judging from the great applause. It could have been a scene night out of the TV series. The voice of Dick Tufeld as the Robot was obvious, as was the great effort that was put into the presentation. Mark then picked up a hand microphone and began to discourse about occasions of being a celebrity.
... Once Mark was reading the newspaper on a flight back from Los Angeles to New York. A woman walking up and down the aisle looked at him and said: "Oh my God, oh you're my favourite actor, David."
"David? I'm not David."
"Yeah, you're David Hedison. I know you from television. You're my favourite actor, David "
"I'm sorry Maam, but I'm not David. David works down there. I work up there."
"No, you're David Hedison, you can deny it all you want. Listen, my name's Dolly. This is my 40th birthday, I want you to sign something nice to me, would you please do that, please David, please David, please, please, please!"
So Mark wrote down, "Dear Dolly, you were great last night, - David Hedison."
..Then Mark described that famous incident in 1966 at Nantucket Beach, Massachusetts USA with Joey the business-fan. Mark reported the incident with great flare and comic timing. (This story was covered in #19 p15 - Ed).
..Mark recalled another incident of 1966, during the making of Lost In Space. He was at a party in Los Angeles when he noticed a little girl between the ages of five and six, peeking at him behind her mother's skirt. She said- "I bet you don't know who you are. I do, but I'm not going to tell you!"
..Mark revealed encounters on aeroplanes are a common occurrence and talk of Judy Robinson is ripe. Once he was flying to Atlantic City sitting next to a man looking like a "high roller," his hands resting on his stomach, his eyes looking straight ahead.
Soon he turned and asked Mark - "You're the guy on Lost In Space, aren't you?"
"Yes I am.
"Tell me something - did you ever do Judy?"
... Two weeks ago Mark was waiting to fly to Toronto. He was carrying a portfolio of his photographs. A woman sat next to him and began eating pizza. She offered some to Mark and he politely refused. Then she realised who he looked like.
"Oh my God, you look just like that dead actor. " "Dead actor? "
"Yeah, yeah, the one that used to be on Lost In Space". "Oh, you mean Guy Williams?
"No, not Guy Williams. I know he died, but he was Professor Robinson."
"You look like the Major Don West. He's dead! He was shot."
"Oh yeah, he's dead. Talking about it makes me kind of sad, cos I really liked him, I really liked Don West. He was a good character, he was a nice young guy. It's too bad.
Mark was now fantasising about being a host on a talk show. Being the host he'd say to the woman, "Well, I have a surprise for you, because behind the curtains, backstage right now, you're about to meet the one and only Major Don West.
Then he would emerge from behind the curtain, and the woman's pizza would fly in all directions. Mark would call out, "Pizza lady."' And she would say; "Don! Don West! " Mark and the woman would hug each other, all is crying - Mark, the woman, the host, cameramen and the audience.
Mark soon removed three of his pictures from his portfolio and showed them to her, proving he was Mark Goddard, and was still alive. "Well?"
She looked at his pictures and said; "Oh that's you! That's you! ...Tell me something, did you ever do Judy?!"
... After finishing his run on General Hospital he returned to college study. Two female classmates kept on staring at him. One day he was talking to them as they left class. One of them said to him; "We have to ask you a question, we know you from somewhere. Do you live in Rockland?
"No, " answered Mark.
"Do you live in Whitman?" 'No.
"Do you live in Middlesborough?
"No I don't".
Mark said; "Listen, the reason you think you know me from somewhere is because I was on General Hospital for two years.
The girls replied; "Hmph! Don't you wish!" The women then promptly walked off.
Mark came from a good family, youngest of five children. After graduating from high school, he went to College, but left in his junior year, going to New York to study acting. In New York, he worked as a floor- walker at a Woolworth's five & dime store. One of his duties was to stop shoplifters.
One day he was asked to help move some cases. He put his best jacket down, moved cases, came back and found his jacket was gone! Mark felt very bad for a long time about it. He was full of energy, ready to break into acting. When James Dean died, he thought he could be the next Dean.
He had a red jacket & a little motor scooter. "It didn't go too fast, but it got me around "
Unfortunately Mark found there were two hundred and fifty 'James Deans' auditioning for acting parts in New York City.
It was 1956, around the time Around the World in Eighty Days was released and Mark believed the producer of that film.. Mike Todd, might be able to help him. He tracked down Todd's office, which was on 10th Floor, 1710 Broadway and knocked the on the door. Inside there were three men who looked like gangsters, playing cards and smoking cigars.
"I want to see Mike Todd.
One of them said, "You can't just walk in here like this and say you want to meet Mike Todd. You can't do that son, beat it. "
Mark had it all worked out. "Listen, I can walk into St Patrick's Cathedral any day I want and see God."
"Maybe you can son, but can you walk in and see Cardinal Stoneman anytime? "
Mark said "You got me there, see you later.
There was a Around the World in 80 Days party being held in Madison Square Garden, to be attended by ten thousand people. Mark didn't have a ticket, but he thought of a way to get in.
He saw some people unloading plastic champagne glasses for a pre-party bash. So he picked up a load and walked in. Inside he saw Elizabeth Taylor, who was about 23, looking beautiful in a cashmere sweater, short black skirt and black high heels talking to Mike Todd Jr. Mark walked over to them and introduced himself
Later he confided to Mike; "I don't belong in here, I just came in. I want to go to the party tonight, I'm an actor at the Academy and I want to go to the party. "
Todd must have been impressed by his chutzpah. He said, "Sure, son, and gave him a ticket!
He rushed back to the Academy, borrowed a black tie and went to the Madison Square Garden party. There he met two women and two men. Afterwards they left the party for the Copacabana nightclub.
While one boyfriend bought drinks, his girl flirted with Mark. Soon Mark felt something cold in his ribs - a .45 gun. "I think it's time to leave, " said the boyfriend. "Oh yeah, I know it's time to leave, " said Mark.
A month later, making his way to Paramount Studios, he gave a note to the guard at the gate. The letter said he wanted to see the producer Joe Anthony. The guard gave the letter to Anthony's secretary. The secretary called the number Mark left.
Anthony contacted Mark. Anthony sent him to the William Morris Agency. who sent him to Aaron Spelling. He did a test for a new series, Johnny Ringo which was also the first time Mark worked on film. In the test he did gun tricks - dropped on tables and spilled coffee. It was awful'.
There were five actors up for the part of Cully, the role Mark was eventually to play. Aaron's then wife, Carolyn Jones (who had just won an Academy award and would later appear in The Addams Family) recommended Mark, saying he brought something new to the role.
Mark won the role through her influence even though Dick Powell (a producer at Four Star Productions which produced Johnny Ringo) told him, "Mark, never see that test you did for 'Ringo' because it's the worst test in the history of television and you'll quit acting if you do."
Before 'Ringo,' William Morris sent him to The Rifleman for a guest spot in an episode called The Raid, - they could film of this for his audition. The Rifleman was a Western, so he needed to ride a horse for the part, which Mark had never done before! This was to be quite a sanctifying experience for Mark.
His agent asked him "Can you ride? " Mark said, "Yeah sure, I've got a ranch back in Boston. " (Note: There are no ranches in Boston.) Mark would play a member of a posse led by a character played by Michael Ansara. The horse wrangler brought the animal around and told Mark to ride over to the posse. Mark climbed into the saddle, and found the horse wouldn't move!
The director hit the horse's posterior and the horse ran. Mark lost his cowboy hat and control of the reins. He grabbed hold of the pommel (the ridged projection front of the saddle) and thought he was going to die. The horse stopped running when it reached the other horses.
The stuntman gave Mark back his hat and a bad look. The director called "Action" and Mark's horse reared on it's hind legs, neighed, and raced off again at high speed. Mark once again lost his reins and his hat!
In a key scene, Michael put his hand up to stop the horses, but Mark's horse didn't stop, galloping right out of the episode. Mark vowed never to lie about his horse-racing skills again. The film they shot was never used. However Mark did become friends with Chuck Connors star of The Rifleman.
Mark enjoyed working on Johnny Ringo, which lasted a year. When it finished, Powell called him into his office and offered him a choice between working on The Detectives with Robert Taylor, or Michael Shayne with Richard Denning. Mark chose The Detectives as he felt he could learn something from Robert Taylor. It lasted three seasons. Adam West joined the cast in the final year.
Mark described the '60's as a crazy part of his life, with a lot of partying. He became friends with Peter Fonda during this time. One day, when Mark was having a shower, Pete went into his bathroom to tell Mark he had an idea for a film called Captain America, about two men travelling across the United States on motorcycles.
He asked Mark to get involved with the project. Mark turned him down. Captain America became Easy Rider - one of the key films of the'60's and a highly profitable one for producers. (You should have heard the shocked response from the audience when Mark told us he turned it down!)
Once Peter bet Mark he could get into his house without him knowing. Mark accepted a bet of $100 that he could. One day mark had a TV set delivered, the delivery person wore spectacles and a moustache. Mark knew he had to be Peter. Mark hid behind a bush and sprayed him with a hose. The man fell to the ground, but the water didn't dislodge the moustache. It wasn't Peter.
However when he opened the box containing the television set, they found Peter!
... 20 years after Lost In Space, Mark, Bill Mumy, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright, June Lockhart and Bob May checked into a hotel before appearing on the Kelly and Company TV program. Bob arrived at the hotel in a limousine with two bodyguards and checked in under an assumed name so he wouldn't be bothered by untoward fans.
Mark told him he used an assumed name too so he wouldn't be bothered; - ...'Bob May'.
... Mark said he saw a red lizard creature, dripping wet, emerge from the set of the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea set. He was dried off by two prop people and then sent straight over to the Lost In Space set!
... Mark then told us his son's favourite LIS story. Mark and Bill liked having lunch at a restaurant where the guests were given large bags of peanuts to take home. They took their bags of peanuts back to the LIS set and waited until Jonathan Harris and the Robot filmed a scene they were not involved in. Mark and Bill climbed onto a series of catwalks until they were six storeys above the set. Mark and Bill then began raining peanuts onto the heads of Jonathan and the Robot!
... Looking into the people, Mark wanted to involve audience participation and called on two lucky fans to perform scenes from Lost In Space. Ralph Foster donned a shawl to play the very aged Dr Smith in A Change of Space and Liesel Barbeler wore a blonde curly wig to play Judy in a scene of The Keeper. Her line "I'm wearing my hair differently" had everyone laughing!
...Mark read out an announcement a out an October 16th 1997 party at Planet Hollywood for winners of a competition run by Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph. (Foxtel would organise these parties over Australia.) Mark informed us he would be getting together with the rest of the LIS cast at the Museum of Radio and Television in L.A. on this night and there he would talk to fans over the world via the Internet.
At precisely 4.30, Mark announced it was question time and that he would answer any and all questions. First question: "Was it the most wonderful feeling in the world to be the pilot of the Jupiter II? "
"It was good. I got to push all those little buttons. I had a green button that said 'go', a red button that said 'stop,' and a yellow button that said 'crash land.' Quite an experience, considering I used ride horse in Ringo, drive cars in The Detectives, and now spaceships. That's the ultimate, isn't it?"
... One attendee asked if he felt sorry that a feature film with the original cast was never made. Mark said not filming Bill Mumy's Lost In Space reunion script set ten years on was a missed opportunity. He understands that the new big budget theatrical feature needed a new cast, but felt lucky to have a great role in it as the General.
...Asked if he was close to Guy Williams, Mark said he was friends with Guy, his family and with June as well. The program's change in direction meant they had a lot of time to spend together, which they spent in their dressing rooms playing games like chequers, chess and scrabble, drinking wine, and talking about the stock market.
... One attendee asked about his 'stream of consciousness' letter he wrote to Guy after his death (published in Alpha Control # 18) suggesting he was close to him. Mark said he wrote it when his life was in transition, before he met his current wife and when he was in the process of changing his career.
Mark believes he was actually communicating with Guy when he wrote it and that Guy's predictions about meeting a beautiful woman, travelling and doing what he wants to do have now been fulfilled.
... Who were the actors he most admired? James Dean, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift.
Today he admires Robert deNiro, Al Pacino and William Hurt. He feels William's casting is a coup for the Lost In Space feature.
... How long did it take to film each LIS episode? Seven days, sometimes six. The Detectives was filmed at a faster rate - each episode took just two and a half days.
He called Robert Taylor the complete professional, who not only knew his lines, but everybody else's. Robert was a good friend and a very kind man. Mark invited him to his engagement party and wedding.
... Did he get to meet Richard Basehart of Voyage to the Bottom of the sea? Yes. He knew David Hedison better. He denies the common belief that Richard had a drinking problem - unlike some actors he knew.
... Asked about his relationship with Irwin Allen, he quickly replied succinctly, "What relationship?
Lost In Space began as an ensemble piece, then focused on the Smith-Will-Robot triumvirate, then on different leads and formats. Was this as a result of negotiations between the cast and producer? Mark answered he never questioned the direction of the show. In fact he didn't even want Irwin Allen to know he was on the show! (Mark had big smile on his face)
... Asked about his favourite episode, he said The Anti Matter Man. He also talked about The Great Vegetable Rebellion, recently nominated as one of the fifty most memorable television episodes of all time by TV Guide in the United States.
He found it a difficult episode to make. He laughed so much he had pain in his sides, not knowing how to relate to a carrot. He asked the director Sobey Martin "Listen, you gotta help me, how do you talk to a carrot?" Sobey said "Same way you would a stalk of celery". One of his best lines was cut- "It's like nothing I've ever seen before, but twice as big" He pointed out to the director that the line didn't make sense.
When he went home his wife served carrots for dinner, he couldn't eat them!
... At 4.45pm, a young Australian (12 years old) appeared on stage heralded by John Williams' Star Wars music. His name was Andrew Newport, he stood centre stage and with his own microphone he addressed the huge audience.
"On behalf of the people of Australia, I would like to present this special award to Mark Goddard for his contribution of more than 40 years of quality television. Your character of Major Don West will. stay in our minds and our hearts for many generations to come and we thank you for coming to Australia. Sydney, October 1997".
The audience stood to give Mark another standing ovation, with some yelling "Good on yer Mark!" Mark profusely thanked Andrew and bowed to the audience in gratefulness. Mark then winked to his son, waved to the audience and left the stage.
By 5.00pm, Mark was back on stage with the Robot. An autograph queue -snaked from the stage to outside the Garrison Room's entrance. Mark stayed until 6.15pm so that everyone could get an autograph. When the last picture was signed, Mark grabbed the microphone and was about to speak when the Robot stated:
"Sincerely on behalf of Mark Goddard and from the bottom of my diode timer, you all have left a warm place in our hearts. We thank you very much for attending our show. We wish you safe travel and hope it is not too long before our paths cross again. To each and everyone, from all of us to all of you, good night and God bless."'
The audience responded by singing "For he's a Jolly Good Fellow." Mark replied by saying "I love you, thank you very much!"
"Hip hip hooray!" said the audience.
And thank you very much, Evelyn, John, and Mark, for coming to Australia.