Five minutes with… Chris Baron
This month, the Catholic Voice spent five minutes with the Principal of St Mary’s Primary School in Batlow, CHRIS BARON.
How long have you worked for the Archdiocese?
I have worked for the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese for 32 years.
What are the best parts about your job?
Working with the lovely St Mary’s school community. St Mary’s is a small school and we often refer to it as our school family. We have a great team here at St Mary’s, amazing students and wonderful families. The Parish are also very supportive of the school as well as the Batlow community.
What’s great about Batlow?
Batlow is a beautiful place to live. It is set in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains and we are surrounded by beautiful scenery. We grow the best apples in the world!
Who inspires you in your faith?
I am inspired by Our Lady. She was a woman of great faith and trust in the mission that was asked of her as a young girl. I am also truly inspired by Pope Francis and his servant style of leadership.
Do you have a favourite Saint?
My favourite Saint is St Bernadette. I grew up with the story of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette. Last year I was very fortunate to visit Lourdes and found it to be a tranquil place of great beauty, reflection and faith. Participating in the night-time Marion procession was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.
What was the last concert you went to and the next one you’d like to go to?
It’s a long time since I have been to a concert. The last one was probably John Denver so that is testament to how long ago that was!
What is your favourite sporting team and/or sport (and why)?
The Sydney Roosters! This tradition has been handed down through our family for three generations and all of my children are Roosters supporters as well. We were fortunate to attend the Grand-final in Sydney this year and watch them win against Melbourne Storm. It was incredible to be a part of that amazing crowd!
What is your favourite food or beverage?
I love Italian food. I also enjoy any vegetarian foods.
Do you have a favourite place to eat?
Bella Vista in Belconnen Canberra.
What is your favourite movie?
My favourite movie is ‘The Age of Adaline’. My daughter took me to see the movie as a Mother’s Day present and we have bought the DVD and watched it several times since.
Who is your favourite actor/actress?
Blake Lively who starred as Adaline. I also love Harrison Ford
What is your favourite book and last book read?
‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr.’
What is your favourite place for a holiday?
Every January holidays my sister and I take our children and go down to the coast at Surf’s Beach for a holiday. It is so peaceful and relaxing. Our children get on really well and we have had some memorable holidays together.
What is your favourite quote, phrase or motto?
I love quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson. My favourite quote is ‘to laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave this world a better place; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have loved. This is to have succeeded’.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
My grandmother used to always say these words to me: To thine own self be true. And it must follow as night follows day, thou cannot be false to any man or woman. I think it is great advice to follow, particularly in my job.
Chris, it’s many years since our paths crossed when we were both teaching at St Monica’s, Evatt.
I was always impressed by the genuine and gentle way you interacted with staff and students. So it was lovely to see you featured in the Catholic Voice and to know that you’re still so dedicated to family, parish and school.
Well done and keep up the great work you do.
Many blessings on your endeavours
Delighted to read this interview, Chris.
God bless you and your work.