Members Statement: Vale Don Cornish

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — I rise to celebrate the life of Donald Edwin Cornish, who passed away last week after a long battle with cancer. A former mayor of both the City of Essendon and the City of Moonee Valley, Don has left a tremendous legacy to our community in every sense of the word.

Don loved politics and was one of the best practitioners of it at the local level. He served as mayor of the City of Essendon from 1993 to 1994. In 1999 he was elected mayor of the City of Moonee Valley, and he reprised this role in 2001. Another great passion of Don’s was baseball. Don was an integral part of the Essendon Baseball Club, where he served as president for a total of 12 years. In his time as president he oversaw the move from the Glen Street Reserve in Essendon, which represented a tough decision at the time but one which Don saw not as a setback but as an opportunity for future growth. In 2005 he was made a life member of the club, and the main ring at Boeing Reserve in Strathmore is named after him. In 2008 he handed over the reins to his son Tony, who remains president of the Essendon Baseball Club to this day.

Don was well respected and well liked in the City of Moonee Valley, and it was fitting that his wake was held yesterday at the Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds, which he fought so hard to save during his time at the council. The funeral was standing room only; it was full of residents and friends gathered to celebrate the life of a great community member.

I was fortunate to know Don and catch up with him briefly last year. It was great to see he still had that trademark tough, strong handshake he was so well known for. Condolences go to Don’s wife, Pamela, and to their extended family. Don was a proud father, stepfather and grandfather. Don is gone but not forgotten.