Donald Robert Burns, known to us all as “Don”, was born at Moonee Ponds, Victoria in 1928.
He joined the Cubs during his youth and later took over as Cub Master as the war left the troop short of leaders. He played Australian Rules for a number of years, represented his school in athletics and was captain of his schools tennis team. He left school in 1944 to start his first job, assembling tachometers and bomb distributors.
After the war, he selected a career in retail. Starting as a cadet, he was soon managing various Woolworths stores, however his real opportunity in retail began soon after with Myers, where he worked for 32 years. He managed seven stores in Victoria before moving to the Canberra store, where he worked until retirement in 1984.
On retirement he and his beloved Shirley selected Tuross Head as their home town and built a house in Coral Crescent in 1985.
He joined the local golf club and tennis club where he followed his parents’ sporting interest and within 12 months was a Board Member of the then ‘Tuross Head Bowling Club’. When he retired from tennis, he was successful at bowls, particularly in the “fours” playing A Pennants.
In 1989 he was approached to take on the position of President of the Tuross Head Rescue Squad. Around the same time, he had also been approached to stand for Council. He chose the VRA, as he could see there was a real need for a volunteer rescue organisation in Tuross, due to the lack of emergency services.
Don was very involved with VRA, organising funds, equipment, training, buildings, exhibitions and the driver reviver initiative. During his seven years as President of VRA, he was deputy co-ordinator for Zone 10 (Illawarra) which covered the south coast of NSW. He was Marine Chairman of VRA in 1999 and Marine Inspector of the south coast in 1996.
In 2000, he took on the position of Treasurer at VRA Narooma. He was also an inaugural member of the District Emergency Management Committee and a member of the Volunteer Marine Rescue Council. Don spent some 18 years with VRA which is now known as Marine Rescue.
In addition to all of this, Don pursued his other passions, including genealogy which kept him busy and ‘on the go’, leaving little time to actually fish!
Don was the Patron of the Tuross Head Country Club Fishing Club for ten years, consistently attending committee meetings and enjoying the social interaction of the functions and monthly fishing competitions, where he was the BBQ “cook”. He also ran “Coral Base”, a marine radio service for all those going offshore, from his home.
As our Patron, he presented a “Patrons Award” each year to a selected Fishing Club member.
Don’s service and contribution to the Tuross Fishing Club as Patron is been greatly appreciated and his smiling face will be missed in Tuross. On behalf of the Committee and members of the fishing club, some of whom he has known for a long time, we wish him all the best and thank him for his interest and support.