Vale Noel "Macca" McDonald

We are saddened to learn of the passing on 28 September of our Lacrosse Victoria Life Member and one of the truly great gentlemen of the game, Noel McDonald, aged 97. Noel started playing lacrosse at Melbourne High School circa 1934 (back left). He went on to play for MHSOB, retiring as a player in his mid-30's, circa 1960.

Noel McDonald - Melb High

Roll forward more than 40 years and he is refereeing a game at Central Park with Bill Taylor. Noel refereed from the 1960's to the early 2000's, after which he became a referees assessor, stepping down from assessing at the grand old age of 88.

Noel McDonald - Referee

Noel retired as a referee in his 70's, played in a match with a hickory stick against the coaches circa 1984 and was remarkably fit and alert for his age to the very end. Like all good referees he started to lose his hearing but knowing him, he probably heard everything said but chose to ignore it!

Noel McDonald - 80th Bday

Above is Gordon Elder, John Nolan, Noel McDonald and Mike Slattery, celebrating Noel's 80th birthday in 2004.

Noel McDonald never refereed an interstate carnival or a state league final, but he was very popular among players, officials and supporters from all clubs and from all generations. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always very encouraging and optimistic. He became a life member of the Australian Lacrosse Referees Association in 2001 and was awarded life membership of the LV in 2003.

Lacrosse in Victoria is a little sadder and diminished with the passing of Noel McDonald, one of the nicest person you would ever meet, who loved his lacrosse and keenly supported it to the very end.

Vale Noel, thanks for the happy memories and your commitment to lacrosse in Victoria.

 

Thanks to John Nolan and Lambton Mount for their assistance with this article.

 

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