When I was growing up, my mother and father were often out attending embassy balls and diplomatic events. Although they were out and about, they never let us children feel alone (I have four brothers and a sister).

All my brothers and sister to this day say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

There were rules and regulations, but each of us pushed it, tested it, and ignored it, tried it and then accordingly, denied it. In a family of six kids, we denied, cried and tried almost everything!

There was one thing we were not denied, no matter how disruptive, naughty, or mischievous — we were all were loved. That love and respect came in different ways, and still that love shows.

I am glad to show that love and respect to the people who supported me on my journey to IML, Chicago this year.

My thanks go to Peter Cavanaugh and Steven Jackson from Gold’s Gym Sydney, Francis Purdy from Invision Promotions, Stuart Fraser and Andrew Clarke from Sydney Leather Men and the wonderful Dykes on Bikes.

Also to Steven, my personal trainer who gave me the hunky spunky body you can see (look at pics online) and that I am proud to show. I cannot recommend a better trainer — and you will have to haggle with me to fit him in a for training session.

To the amazing Doug who met me at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport — there is so much more to explore in that department. Thank you very much for showing me the real heart of Chicago. You were the first part of IML 2010 to greet me and will be forever a magical part of it.

I am now at home and getting my medallion in the mail from Mr Demark 2009 (wonder how that got lost), and a wonderful postcard from Jeffrey (IML2009) — thank you from the bottom of my heart, you are a true gentleman — and also smiling with David and boy Adam.

Thank you to all three of you. Together you make the world a much better place.

As do my mother and father saying that MANNERS DO MATTER!

By ANTHONY LOWE

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