I have very fond memories from when I was out on the tiles with Don during our single days! As the wonderful tributes outlined, Don was a man of many facets and I value the memories of his fascinating tales about his colourful life. Cherryl and I extend our deepest sympathies to you Ash & Talia and hope its not long before your tears convert to smiles as you treasure your Dad’s legacy.
As a member of the original 59th Battalion AIF Group (now disbanded), I would like to thank Don and his mates, friends and acquaintances at Lilydale RSL for the great honour they bestowed on me in 1995 to form an honour guard for the annual Anzac Day Dawn Service. I don’t recall Don being there as such but over the past few years Don has carried on the tradition of inviting the present incumbents to form a Firing Party. My most recent experience of the true Anzac tradition was when Don drove me to Seville for a service. Not having talked to Don in any great detail, it was a delight to have this chat with him. I looked forward to more chats. Sadly, they will never happen. Talia and Ash, I know you will continue to honour your Dad’s memory. Thanks for being the great family you are
Hi there – what an emotional experience doing dons funeral virtually…. was so glad to be part of it but sitting at the beach house and we dressed for the funeral was such a dichotomy…..
Talia and Ash you did your father proud. Well done. We are so sad and still processing all that was said and the wonderful tributes to don. We are struggling to never hear him call and abuse us all….!
A special man who has left big footprints for us all to stand in
Thank you for sharing this time with us in NZ we miss him
With love chris and vere sharma xx
Good Bye Old Mate, you will be sadly missed. Sincere condolences to Ash and Tania.
Beautiful send off. ( Medic from HMAS Platypus )
So sad, thoughts are with all the family.
Loved my days straight out of school working at Food Plus with Don and Kathryn, later also housesitting, Ash sitting and joining them on a skiing trip to sit with Ash while they skied. Being a father to Ash and then Talia wss the highlight of his life, you both completed him.
Rest in peace.
Farewell Don. you’ve been a good mate and I along with your other mates at Ringwood RSL will miss you.
Ash and Talia, your tributes were very moving; thank you.
Ash, We are thinking of you all at this sad time. What a wonderful service your Dad would have been so proud of you both ….. what an amazing life he had.
Always remember “Beautiful memories last forever”
Linda & John Paul x
Thanks Talia and Ash for inviting me to the service to represent the Submarine community. Although only a small gathering due to the current climate it was a great send off to a great mate. I am sure many many more watched the service online. I will look forward to the memorial get together when we can. RIP mate. That W/T office in the sky is getting crowded but I can hear all the stories and the dits and dars all trying to impress each other on the morse key.
Ash and Talia – what a wonderful tribute to your dear Dad, Don. No wonder he was so proud of you both. ‘Love conquers all!’ & that deep love for one another will give you strength in the days & years ahead. Most heartfelt & beautiful service. A life so well lived ❤️
A lovely sevice under challenging circumstances. Condolences to you both. Fair winds and following seas. Love from Jan Withers.
The service today was a beautiful tribute to a great man and a very dear friend who I will miss dearly. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Today’s service was a beautiful tribute to a great man and who was a very dear friend. I will miss our times together. Thinking of his family and friends.
Don was a great man and a great friend and proud dad sadly missed but not forgotten
Thank you for reading my modest words at your dads Funeral. I was very moved to hear it spoken with such feelings and emotion. If fact the way it was written. Bless you and all your family at this time. Fair winds Don
Paul Fuzz Fernyhough
Founder Shipmates for Cancer
Ash are thoughts are with you and your family today. Such a warm and loving ceremony. Sending you are very best Stephen, Kevin, Matt, Ved, Kelly, Kate, Chris, Georgia, Sej,
Thanks for your friendship over many years Don and in particular you time as President of the Lilydale RS &L sub-branch. I will miss you, your support and your forthright discussions. Rest in Peace mate.
A truly beautiful service even under the current circumstances. Don would be shedding tears of pride and joy for you both Ash and Tahlia. You both did an outstanding job reflecting your fathers life, loves and acheivements. Jenny and Georgia McAleer xx
Such a moving service & tribute to your an amazing person. Seeing the drive by & the people there to honour Don & so many wonderful memories & stories shared by everyone today.
You are both very brave Ash & Talia. Your Dad knows that & he would be smiling as you know. May your Dad Rest In Peace & always be with you all.
Steve Young & Family.
R.I.P. mate. Friends are hard to find, I was lucky to count you as one of mine. Condolences to Ash and Talia.
What a fitting tribute to Don. Ash & Talia how brave you were with your wonderful memories of you Dad, well done. He touched so many people throughout an amazing life and I was proud to have shared a special part of it.
Much love to you both.
Catherine Parsons Hawkins
My thoughts are with you Ash and Talia at this time. Your father was a truly caring and selfless individual who made our lives somehow seem a little more special. He will be missed by us all.
You did dad proud Ash and Talia. So sad that we could not all gather to farewell Don. Titch was a great shipmate and a good mate. He will be missed but he will not be forgotten. He joins a wonderful band of brothers on his final patrol. RIP old frend.
Dear Ash and Talia, what an amazing tribute to your Dad. How proud he would be. Thank you so much for inviting me to partake in this Celebration of Don’s life. I am looking forward to having a drink with you both, to continue sharing the memories of your Dad. See you at the RSL soon. Love to you both. Take care xx. Mark.
Dear Ash and Tals your dad was always so proud of you both, never more so than today.
A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart, that was your dad.
A friend for over 50yrs, such wonderful memories I’ll keep forever.
“Rest in peace ” sympathy to the family
A lovely service and you both spoke so well. Love is forever. Big hug for you dear ones.
Beautiful service . I have been blessed to not only be a neighbour but a good mate of Dons.
Thinking of you Ash and Talia. I’ll always have fond memories of Mr Smiff . Kim Havill
Thinking of you all. RIP Don.
With Much love
Served in HMAS/M Otama with Titch. What a character. He always insisted in sitting on a stool closest to the mess door, ” in case his captain needed him”. Well Titch it looks like the big captain needed you. You will be sorely missed, but you leave a lifetime of fond memories and always bring a smile to my face. Fair winds and following seas my friend.
My condolences to Ash and Talia, the Lilydale RSL and the wider Lilydale community. Don was a frequent guest at Lilydale High School and always invited our students to participate in commemorative events. I have lost a valued friend, mentor and partner for coffee and political arguments. I will raise a glass in honour of your Dad and wish him well on his travels. What an amazing legacy he has left.
A beautiful tribute to an exceptional man. Thinking of you Ash and Talia. xx
RIP Don pleasure to have served with you on Oxley and Otama a sad loss to everyone that knew you and enjoyed your company and sense of humour .
Rest in Peace Don, it was a pleasure to have met you and serve with you on Otama.
With you and your family in spirit, Tali.
you Had a Very good heart will be sadly missed
your 2 Beautiful childrens will keep you in their hearts forever
thoughts are with your from Tony in New Zealand
Sincere condolences Ash and Talia. We will certainly miss Don, such a vibrant man- very hard to believe he is no longer with us !
Our thoughts are with you during this very sad time
Maureen and Russ
My thoughts are with you Ash & Talia, and all the family.
Donald was a real gent and a wonderful man, Hw was so kind and welcoming to me. Thank you and may you rest in peace, Don.
I will have a drink on the Don tonight, Love Kris xxxx
Farewell Mate. It has been pleasure knowing you and having you as part of the family since since 1979, and your children too. You will leave a big hole in their lives especially, and you are much loved. RIP.
Michael, Annie, Ben and Sam xoxox
Our sincere condolences & thoughts to you Ash & Talia at this sad & difficult time. Don was a larger the life character, a very proud father & great friend & neighbor to us. He leaves behind a wonderful & proud legacy for his country & family. Don will never be forgotten. RIP DON
Titch, it was a honour and a privilege to have been a Shipmate of yours. Fair winds a nbd following seas mate.
A grand person and a true gentleman who worked tirelessly for our community. Don, May you Rest in Peace.
Be strong guys at this extremely difficult time. I will be there with you in presence to farewell Donny.
Heartfelt condolences to all today. Submariners flag flies at halfmast here in Cygnet Tasmania in honour and memory of a wonderful man. RIP Titch. Gone but never forgotten. Lest we Forget.
Thinking of you today Talia and Ash and of the happy times we got to spend with your Dad and our friend. May he rest in peace and smile down at your gathering today . Sending condolences to his nearest and dearest JJ and the late Gary (Norm) Duscher xx
Condolences too Talia and ash on the passing of a wonderful man don . Don gave me my first job when I was 18 at dons corner coffee shop .also my mum Maryanne and sister Marnie worked there as well for a few years . RIP don May you be at peace Lisa Marnie and Maryanne Corrigan .
Heart felt loving thoughts of strength and healing thoughts for you all.
Don was and still is an amazing man. Had many laughs with him. He had a big heart. Always thinking of others and made every one he met feel important to him.
Darling Kathryn, you both made two amazing gorgeous funny as heck adults; Ash and Talz.
Enjoy the bar in spirit world mate. We will all gather together soon and I know you will be there having a laugh with us.
What an amazing father, submariner and human being. A gentleman at heart, a loving and proud father. I am sure you will remember your father for years to come, embrace his wonderful memories and amazy legacy.
Condolences Talia and Ash. Sad times for all of us, none more so than for you guys. I know Dad was so proud of his children and you of him. Chin up and make sure you have more than one convivial, I know he would expect that.
RIP Don I’m going to miss your smiling face and our talks while walking on the treadmill condolences to the family
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