Garry John Beckett    17 May 1941 – 6 May 2022



At least 150 mourners attended Garry’s funeral service and those who gave eulogies all spoke of his life of giving ; giving his time, his knowledge, and his strong community work ethic wherever he lived. Whether it was the church, his many sporting activities, the Lodge, the Lions Club, Rotary or schools, he was always making a personal positive contribution.

Banking was his chosen career. He worked in 26 branches, starting as a 16 year old junior clerk in the State Savings West Coburg  branch and culminating as the Executive Manager of the Yarra Group Commonwealth Bank which  was based in Collingwood. (This was after weathering the storm of the demise of the State Savings Bank in 1991.)

Garry was born in 1941 and grew up in West Brunswick. His extended family came from Port Melbourne and South Melbourne, so it is no wonder that everyone barracked for South Melbourne.(Now the Sydney Swans.)

He attended the local Brunswick  Primary and Secondary schools where maths was one of his best subjects. He also attended  St John’s Church of England in West Brunswick as part of the congregation. Here  he played cricket, did gym, was the Church Treasurer and importantly also attended the youth activities, because  this is where he met his future wife Marion.

After eleven years working at  the Coburg West and other suburban branches and now a married man he was promoted to Pyramid Hill a country bank in the middle of Victoria.  Here as Bank Manager he became totally part of the community. He played for the cricket club, was on the church Council, in the Lions Club , was vice-president of the golf club and Secretary and President of the Sports Association, plus attending the Lodge.

The next move was to Apollo Bay, again joining in the township’s activities, his children’s and his own ongoing sport. This time it was mainly as  Treasurer for the Pony Club, the Cricket and Golf Club, Lions  and the Higher Elementary School  as well as  attending the Lodge in Melbourne. This Lodge commitment was an eight + hour drive to Melbourne and back then fronting up to work in the morning.

When the family returned to their Doncaster home in 1980 so that the children could finish their education, Garry became a member of the Doncaster Secondary School Council which led to being the Treasurer and the President. At the same time he was the CEO of the Doncaster Youth Club Co-operative which was formed to build the Leeds St. basketball stadium. Garry was on the School Council for 12 years and immersed in the Youth Co-operative for seven years and because of this he was made a Life Member.

Oh yes, Garry still found time to play golf and also Cricket with Doncaster at Leeds St……..although he needed a runner! Well he was 48 years old. His Mother had played bowls with Brunswick and Donvale, so bowls became his sporting  choice in 1993.

Remember Garry had not retired from the Bank at this time. He was working in Collingwood and had also become a member of Collingwood Rotary filling several important roles which eventually had him being made a Paul Harris Fellow .

But back to Doncaster Bowls. He retired from the bank in 1998 so now he could concentrate on this sport of lawn bowls. He played in the Saturday Pennant teams and organised and played in the Night Pennant.  He rose through the ranks  to play in the second side preferring  to be a skip. He encouraged Marion his wife, Dianne his sister and her husband Len to join the Club. In the running of D.B.C. he  held many positions. Treasurer of the Bowls Committee  for 12 years, President for two, the  Deputy Chairman  and then Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2016- 2017.  This was the exciting  year in which the Division 6 side where Garry played as skip won the Divisional Grand Final and the converted flag.

Garry was one of the four skips in this winning team

He was in teams which twice won the Men’s Triples and was runner up both in the Novice Singles and with his wife Marion in the Mixed Pairs. He and Marion joined the yearly Easter bowling trips up along the Murray with many of their Doncaster friends.

Mixed Pairs runners up 2019

For 10 years he was an excellent chip cooker for Thursday night meals. For all these positions and efforts he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2015.

In his spare? time he and Marion travelled overseas and around Australia in their caravan.

Over the years he has played cricket, competition tablet tennis, golf, and bowls. Of course his bowls showed which AFL team he had always followed .

Garry had a thirst for knowledge, he had a wonderful memory and was a trivia king. He loved facts, figures, numbers, calculations, and recording data as was shown in the years he was the Treasurer for all the different organisations.

Many family members and bowling friends returned to the Club rooms for his wake.

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We will miss his jovial face around the club. He has lived a productive and worthy life.


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Thanks to Marion Beckett and Dianne Dubbeldam for much of this information, and to Brian Garrett for some of the photos……Lyn Goodman.