Ms THOMAS (Macedon) — This year, at the age of 83, Don Drummond will step down as president of the Woodend branch of the Labor Party in my electorate. Don and Sheila Drummond are Labor luminaries in Woodend and beyond, and have become very good friends of mine. Don was a teacher whose first posting was to Ballarat, where he joined the Labor Party. In 1958 he came very close to becoming the member for Ballarat at the young age of 23. After teaching, Don turned to educational publishing and later, as Drummond Publishing, into publishing the highly regarded Labor Essays from 1980 to 1984. From the late 1980s to the early 2000s Don and Sheila lived in Sydney, where they were kept informed of events in Canberra and Melbourne by regular visits from their good friend, the late John Button. They returned to Victoria in 2003 and settled in Woodend.
When electoral redistributions necessitated forming a Woodend branch of the party, Don did this and became its founding president. This year Don has decided to stand down. At 83 years of age that is hardly surprising. However, he will be sorely missed. His knowledge, wisdom and steady hand have proven to be invaluable, including his part in recent years in the elections of Rob Mitchell, Lisa Chesters, Jo Duncan and, I am pleased to say, me. But we can rest assured that Don will continue to keep the light on the hill burning as he has done for over 60 years. Congratulations, Don, and thank you.