A true servant of the Club. Vale Keith McDonald
Being a club of now 112 years standing, we have been served by many volunteers who have devoted their energies to playing for our club as well as providing the administrative backbone that has enabled the Gordon District Cricket Club to prosper during good and bad times.
One such person is GDCC Life member Keith McDonald who passed away on May 7 at the age of 94 and was remembered at a funeral attended by many of his Gordon friends on May 11.
While it is the normal practice to remember our members based on their cricket skill, which Keith also excelled at, it is his record as the longest serving official in one position in our history that makes Keith stand out as a great stalwart of our club. Keith was the Honorary Treasurer continuously for 26 years from 1970 to 1996.
To add to this achievement Keith joined the club as an associate member in 1946 and continued playing grade for the club until 1967. He then played 5 more seasons in Colts until retiring in 1972. Considering Keith continued in his administrative role until 1996, he was therefore directly involved with the club either as a member, player or administrator for 50 years.
Before joining the club, like many of his fellow Gordon members, both his cricket and career was curtailed when he enlisted in 1942 as a fresh-faced 19 year-old as part of the 32nd Australian Anti-Aircraft Regiment, initially serving in Port Moresby. He went on to serve in Morotai in the Pacific and Balikpatan, Borneo, as part of the 2/1 Australian Composite Anti-Aircraft Regiment. Having excelled in mathematics at school, Keith’s main role was as a predictor, which meant that he had to do all the calculations behind the aiming of the guns. Like many of his generation, Keith didn’t have a lot to say about what he did in the war, but he certainly enjoyed getting together with his fellow soldiers on Anzac Day.
According to Keith’s meticulous notes, kindly provided by his daughter Linda Gaffney, he joined the Gordon District Cricket Club on 26th November 1946 as an Associate Member in order to practice mid-week for the AMP City and Suburban Team. He played his first match on 30th September, 1950 in the Colts Firsts team which was playing in the Gordon District Junior Cricket Association.
Keith was promoted to 4th Grade in March 1951 and played continuously in 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grade and Colts Second XI until March 1972. The GDCC records confirm that Keith scored exactly 5000 runs for the club in grade cricket and 7,095 in all teams. He also took 46 grade wickets @ 16.04 and 104 wickets overall @14.80. Keith was an elegant right handed opening batsman and a “part time” leg spin bowler. Keith was admitted as a Life Member of the Club on the 14th July 1976.
Keith and his wife Nona were also keen golfers and played together as members at Roseville Golf Club until 10 years ago, having been a member there since 1955, only stopping playing at the age of 84.
Keith and Nona in the 1970's
Keith’s role as Honorary Treasurer for 26 seasons is unprecedented in our club and no doubt his expertise as an actuary helped him to keep our books in such good order for so long. Keith also served on the General Committee for 8 years before becoming Treasurer.
Keith had started at AMP just before the war and continued there after the war from 1946 up to his retirement in 1985. As there was no Actuarial degree at the time in Australia, Keith was forced to do his study long distance through mail to and from London and was eventually admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in Australia in 1962.
It is always sad to talk about the loss of a club legend like Keith, however we can only continue to be thankful for the extraordinary work undertaken by volunteers such as Keith and the obvious enjoyment our club members have being involved with this great club.
Keith’s legacy will always be remembered within the Gordon District Cricket Club whenever true gentlemen of our club are discussed. He will always be revered for his contribution and unfailing desire to not just help the development of grade cricket but to also maintain the unwavering spirit of inclusion in our great club.