Anthony & Les Portrait

Leslie J Mapstone Jnr is not only a husband, brother, father of 5, grandfather of 8, but he's my mate.

Growing up around the suburbs of Sydney my dad, Les, managed to find time to learn how to excel in surfing, long distance running, skeet shooting, fencing, horse riding, rugby, archery and more.
Dad was a very active bloke with a passion to succeed in his studies also along with being a great brother to Judy and son to Marge and Leslie senior.

After marrying the love of his life, Gail, he became father to 4 children all born in Sydney, NSW in 4 consecutive years, whilst completing night school and working full time.
During this time he was also an Australian Olympian in the 1972 Munich Games.

Not long after this Les landed a new job in a new city to which he packed the family up soon called Melbourne, Victoria home.

After a few years in Melbourne, Les' work took the family to live in Pennsylvania, USA for 3 years in which time Les became a father for the 5th time.

Years later he brought the family back to Melbourne and then to Auckland, New Zealand for 4 years, then back to Melbourne once again.

Since then my dad hasn't stopped being the amazing man that he still is today.

Les is always the rock between us all. He is the one who initiates family get togethers such as birthdays, mothers' day, Christmas, Easter, Australia day, etc. He always makes sure the grandkids are kept amused whilst the adults have food and drink, as well as going along with all the chores to do… ha ha.

He is the one who will drive here, there and everywhere to pick up and drop off his grandkids from school, work, sporting events, etc no matter how many kilometers and how bad the weather is.

Les is also the one we all approach during difficult times and he seems to always have answers for our questions and problems. He likes things done a certain, logical way that other's may think is a little old fashion but his way always prevails.

My dad always asks how things are in work and personal life as he has a very strong work ethic and likes to know that his gift is being past on to future generations of Mapstones. He has always been able to help my siblings and I with educational tasks as well as seeking job roles in our chosen work industries.

He was very supportive of my brother and me with our dreams of skateboarding in the USA, by taking us on a trip to California in 1990 to skate some of the amazing spots that we had seen only in magazines and videos. It was that trip that ensured my brother and I would never ever put down our skateboards for the rest of our lives and for that I sincerely thank you and love you dad. Although my dad is not involved in skateboarding he always looks out for anything skateboarding related he comes across in day-to-day life and lets me know about it.

He wasn't one of those crazy soccer parents but still very supportive of his kids passions and encouraged all of us to do well and follow our dreams but with integrity and determination. He has also pointed out to me many times that it is important to listen to your brain as well as your heart but make sure you know think carefully about what each is saying.

Les is approaching the lively age of 70 and upon writing this I have just come home from visiting him and mum. Once again dad was doing what he could around the house to help mum as well as taking work calls and completing emails to his clients.

He may not know and might even be very surprised upon reading this but Les is role model to my 3 brothers and my 1 sister…and that's a fact.

Some things in life never change and for me it's the fact that he is the one person I can always talk movies with, especially comedies and especially remembering funny moments, actors names, character's names, scenes, locations, etc in certain films that other's would over look.

My 2 daughters love their granddad Les, or Puppa as they call him, and the sheer excitement on their face when I tell them we are visiting him and my mum is priceless.

Thank you dad for not only being a great father and grandfather but for also being my mate.

—Anthony 
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