Donald Munro Macleod
Don was one of Canberra's early sons, born in the Canberra Hospital which is still standing and is part of the Australian National University. His parents were true Scots, and settled in Canberra in 1926 when Canberra was not much more than sheep country and where the Nation's Capital was born.
School was a ten minute walk from Torrens Street Braddon to Ainslie Public School, and then on to Canberra High which was certainly a bit further, more of a bike ride. Canberra High is now the School of Arts in the Centre of the Canberra business district. Don spoke often of growing up in Canberra, where the openness and freedom to walk and ride bikes simply could not happen in today's Canberra (no bike helmets, and time was not measured).
Don left school to join the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, and travelled for 9 years to branches from Castlereagh Street Sydney, Mittagong, Yass, to mention just 3 of the branches he was sent to. His favourite music was the classics and of course, the bagpipes. He played Australian Rules with the Ainslie football club, and tennis with the Presbyterian Church in Braddon. Don began working for South British Insurance Company on his return to Canberra in 1958, and married Marilyn Holl in 1962. He inherited his love of horticulture from his father and loved establishing his home in Torrens where he lived all his life. Gardening was more than a hobby, it was a passion. The vegetable patch provided abundant varieties of all the family ever needed. The flower garden was always a mass of colour.
Don had two children, David and Jennifer, and as they grew, so his life changed with their involvement in music, choirs and the church. He became a willing helper with the Woden Valley Youth Choir, and travelled with them when they were invited to sing in different parts of the country. As a family, great friendships were formed with David and Jennifer's musical experiences and the church family.
In 1976, Don and Marilyn opened their first business venture in a haberdashery business, which flourished for 18 years. The closure of the business happened when both Don and Marilyn decided it was time to take a holiday. Don and Marilyn travelled to Europe in 1992 where Jennifer was living and again in 1998 and 1999 to England, Scotland and Wales.
Don was an extremely proud father, loyal and supportive of his wife and two children. He was so happy when both children married and added to the family Sharynne and Stuart. He was thrilled to welcome four grandchildren, Brendon, Jessica, Sophie and William and was a 'hands on grandpa' to them all whenever they were in Canberra.
Don was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2007, and then life changed. He was a member of Parkinson's Association in Canberra, and became involved in the organisation, volunteering with the monthly mail outs of the bulletin, and supporting Marilyn as she took on the secretary's role for 4 years. He made very close friends and travelled the Parkinson's road with many friends while always listening to their experiences and also researching what research is being attempted all over the world. He became a volunteer for students studying medicine at the Canberra University, where they questioned him on all topics of his experience with the disease. It is only in the past 3 years that attendance at these monthly meetings became a struggle. However, it was not only the Parkinson's that became the problem, it was other medical issues that attacked the body.
He will be remembered for his loyalty, love of his family, and we know with certainty we will meet again in God's appointed time.