As our club senior goal umpire, Don Hawking has seen the club go through difficulties and success over the last 19 years since he first became involved at the urging of Son in Law Nick Seal in 1998. Never once though has his commitment to our club waned.
A familiar face around the club on a Saturday, we know Don mainly for his talents between the sticks and his patronage of the yearly ANZAC Medal to the most courageous player of the ANZAC Day round. But there’s much more to the man than waving the flags.
Don served in the Australian Defence Force for over 30 years. A former National Serviceman, Don re-joined the Citizen Military Forces (CMF) in 1963 and graduated as an Officer in 1966. During his time he served in units in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia. In 1969 he volunteered for service in South Vietnam as a CMF Observer and was attached to the 7th Battalion Royal Australia Regiment during June/July 1970 as a Lieutenant.
In later years Don also served in Malaysia where he concluded an affiliation with a Malaysian Territorial Regiment. He continued to serve as a member of the Army Reserve until 1985 and returned to uniform in 1992 to command all Army Cadet Units in South Australia and Broken Hill. In 1999 he was appointed as Regimental Colonel of The Royal South Australia Regiment and served in that role until 2003.
Don came to The Jets via his son in law and current thirds coach Nick Seal, looking for something to do to help out in the community. For a club always looking for volunteers, this is just an outstanding Jets story.
Before retiring, Don was a very successful and senior business leader with Westfield, and he has been able to use that business acumen to also help out in a variety of Jets off field roles. Don was a committee member for many years; Treasurer in 1999 and 2000; Secretary in 2009, 2010 and 2011. This alone is a huge contribution and will always be appreciated.
One of his biggest club achievements was being awarded club Life Membership a few years ago, something he is extremely proud of. Don has attended virtually every major event for 20 years. He is a great voice of reason at AGM’s and loves the annual Life Member dinners where the respect and admiration for his work at the Jets is always recognised.
Don you are a gentleman, and we salute you on your 400th game as a goal umpire for the Mighty Jets. Thank you.
ALL CLEAR….. GOAL!!