Page 3865 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013

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Blogger, social gadfly and passionate advocate for disabled people, Don Allan OAM has died after a short illness. He was 79.

Scottish-born son of a Communist, he learnt political guile from his miner father in Motherwell and, after a long and well-travelled life, applied this prowess in Canberra, where he stood unsuccessfully for the early House of Assembly under the Residents’ Rally banner.

Fittingly, there was also a touching eulogy from Mark Sawa of the Chronicle, the paper for which Don wrote a weekly column over a 19-year period. I quote:

However in the later years, while not helping those with a disability, he fulminated about politics in the ACT and delivered many strident tirades against its elected representatives in these pages.

To quote his last column for the Chronicle: “In saying goodbye I make no apologies for occasionally being critical of some ACT politicians in my thousand columns. However, my criticism was not based on a personal dislike of the politicians but because they exhibited signs of believing they had a divine right to political office in the same way as James I of England believed he had a divine right to be king.”

Don Allan was five days short of his 80th birthday.

Finally, I would like to quote Jeff House’s comments from Ian Meikle’s tribute in the CityNews:

On behalf of not just the board, but the very many people with disabilities that have been assisted by the ACT Association for Advancing Disabled Sport, I offer my deepest condolences to Valerie and the Allan family on the passing of Don …

Don was the driving force behind ACTAADS for nearly 20 years and was responsible for its very existence. His contribution to Canberra was vast and diverse. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

National skateboarding championships

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.55): I rise tonight to congratulate everyone involved in the totally “gnar” event that was the Belcopalooza. The Belcopalooza, for people who do not know, was the name of this year’s national skateboarding championships. Held on 6 October, Belconnen was an obvious place to host the national comp as it boasts the best skate park in Oz and the largest skate park in the southern hemisphere. I was told by interstate skaters on the day that not only is the Belco skate park large but it is also “off the hook” in terms of skating infrastructure. At most other locations it is necessary to construct temporary skating facilities to get all of the necessary elements in place for the comp. At Belconnen everything they needed was already available on site.

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