19/ 01/ 1961. —- 17/ 04/ 2023

David joined Doncaster Bowling Club in November 2013. He was very friendly and always pleasantly acknowledged all who passed by. He was never in the best of health whilst a member, but for a couple of years still found time to oversee several rosters for cleaning and bar duties. David was one of our younger members and was only 62 when he suddenly died. During these 10 years he made his mark. At the 2018 Christmas dinner dance he announced his engagement to Philippa and the next year they held their wedding ceremony and reception in the Clubrooms. That was a first for Doncaster.


During a private and quiet funeral service in May his best friend John Thorburn spoke.

“My Friend David Clifton”

I had the pleasure of meeting David in the 1990’s at the ATO in Box Hill. I later worked with him in the same audit area from 2003 to 2012. Back in those days the work was challenging and David successfully dealt with some difficult cases. David was always friendly and approachable and this made him a popular figure amongst his peers.

David always had a passion for music and spent his time collecting records, audio tapes, CD’s and books over the years. He had a wealth of knowledge on songs and artists and was a walking library. His favourite period was the 60’s and 70’s and I spent many hours with him discussing various songs and artists. When there was a quiz or games show David usually excelled and won prizes for the most correct answers in relation to songs and artists. I always made an effort to get on David’s team to be with the winners.

David had a range of friends who were collectors of records and music memorabilia. Some were connected to radio station FM 96.5 in Heidelberg and often had David on to play and discuss a range of songs back to the 60’s. He was always eager to learn more and hoped to have his own radio show one day.

David was also a talented ten-pin bowler and I invited him to join the Doncaster Bowling Club after he retired in 2012. He took to lawn bowls like a duck to water and quickly became a valuable member and skipper of a Saturday pennant team. He was well regarded as a quality player along with his wife Philippa who was also an excellent player, they made a great team.

I fondly remember many dinners and functions we attended at the Bowling Club and the many friends they attracted at these events. In addition to the Bowling Club, my wife Billie and I also had lunches and dinners with David and Philippa over the years and we will miss these happy outings.

One of the happiest occasions was David and Philippa’s wedding in 2019 which they held at the club. The service and reception was a joyous celebration that brought everyone together. It was the first for the club.

David successfully ran a stall every month on Sundays from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm selling records, CD’s and books at Tunstall Square in Donvale. This was a happy time for him making some money and meeting new people especially music collectors.

Like myself, David was a keen Essendon supporter and he had a great passion for his football team. We both enjoyed going to some of the games over the years.

Over the recent years David battled with health problems from a failed kidney transplant and as a consequence was having 3 lots of dialysis sessions a week at the Heidelberg Repat. Even during his toughest times David remained a fighter, pushing on and never losing his love for music which kept him going.

David’s greatest support came from Philippa who he loved and adored, thanking her every day for her love and assistance that she gave him. She was always by his side as he fought hard to survive. She brought joy to his life.

I will miss you my dear friend.


David was educated at Wesley College and graduated from Monash University. He worked for the ATO for approximately 30 years before he took early retirement due to ill health.

His father was a pilot in Bomber Command in WW2. He also had an Uncle who died at Gallipoli in WW1. This is where his interest in the history of war came about. He was a member of the Army Reserve.

He met Philippa in January 2011, Philippa says they had a wonderful 12 years together enjoying each others company whether at home or on their many holidays.

Due to diabetes David’s kidneys were failing, so after intensive training he began dialysis at home.

After a failed kidney transplant in October 2018:, his health really suffered. Dialysis took its toll. He became involved with Kidney Health Australia, participating in forums, raising awareness of kidney disease, and appearing on brochures and in social media.

He saw his AFL team Essendon unexpectedly win against Melbourne on the Saturday before he passed away. His friend a Melbourne supporter with whom he watched the game went home very unhappy.

David was in a op shop perusing the shelves for his music records when he suddenly collapsed and could not be revived.


Every year the Taxation Department Visit was Selected Mixed Fours day with ex workers playing with or against members of a club. David loved those days especially when his team won.

Several members from DBC attended his July wake and reminisced aloud to all gathered guests of their days and times with David. Of the wonderful wedding day, of playing weekend Pennant together and yet another time when David very unexpectedly arrived to watch a Pennant game. David was in hospital, he looked out the window and recognised some people in Doncaster uniforms playing nearby against the City of Heidelberg. So he took out some of his attachments from dialysis, came down and crossed the road to say “Hi.” Unfortunately he didn’t notify the nursing staff of his intentions and they didn’t know where he had disappeared to!

The general consensus from all was that you always knew where you stood with him , he had a dry sense of humour and was an all round good sort of guy.


Thank you to all the people who helped me put this Vale together, Lyn Goodman