An old teammate pays tribute to Don
This photograph was kindly forwarded to OPA Central by Ray Hangan, a member of the Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club’s history-making Grand Final-winning team of 1951.
The photo, captioned “VAFA Dinner October 1951”, shows the late Don McDonald clasping the ’51 Premiership trophy in his right hand, with the B-Grade Premiership pennant providing the perfect backdrop.
Those featured in the image are from left to right: Alf Williams, Don, the President Lou Arthur, the captain Pat Scanlan, committeeman and goal umpire Ossie Meehan and the late great Phil McLaughlin, who is cradling the B & F trophy.
“Alf Williams was a much loved member of the OPA Committee over many years and was on the Committee in 1936 when it decided to launch the monthly lunch,” Ray wrote in a letter accompanying this image.
“The coach of the 1951 team was Paddy J Scanlan, listed in Jim Main’s book as a South Melbourne player from 1920-’26 and captain from 1923-’25; and Footscray captain from 1927-’28. His role in 1951 is a very interesting story.”
For the record, Old Paradians 16.11 (105) trounced Alphington 3.4 (22) to earn the Premiership, in what was the team’s first season back in B-Section.
Don, who lined up at centre half-forward in that match, had captained the team the previous year. Maurie Considine, the full-back in that famous ’51 outfit, first played with Don in 1949.
Donald John McDonald died on July 8 at the age of 92. Requiem Mass for Don will be offered in the Xavier College Chapel, Barkers Road, Kew on Thursday, July 21, 2016, at 2.00pm. A private cremation will follow the service (please note that parking at Xavier College will be limited to family only on the day of the service).
Old Paradians’ Association Amateur Football Club Premiership Team, 1951
Backs Des Powell Maurie Considine Bruce McDonald
H/Backs Ray Hangan Pat Scanlan Denis Toner
Centres Geoff Kenney Frank Considine Kevin Brens
H/Fwds Brian Taylor Don McDonald Brian Turner
Forwards Geoff Hill Jack Harrison Bernie Considine
Rucks Jack Ryan Phil McLaughlin Des Byrne
19th/20th Brian Hill Peter Box
Coach Pat Scanlan Snr
Captain Pat Scanlan