24 June 1964 – 27 October 2022
By Belinda Ferguson
I don’t usually write articles, that’s what I have a team of professionals for. However, I felt it necessary to pen a special tribute to remember yet another wonderful staff writer for the LOCAL who passed away after a two-year battle with cancer at only 58 years young.
I first met Damian in 2009, when he became the General Manager of Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club (PHGCC). Some of you may remember him from his time there.
I started this local newspaper six years ago and Damian asked if he could write some articles for me. Naturally I said yes. I’m not a journo so any help with articles is always welcome. Damian proceeded to write for me for approximately three years, producing some exceptional stories for the paper. He covered a wide variety of topics from residents celebrating a milestone anniversary to that local strawberry farmer and the needles incident, as well as any new developments in our local region. He even interviewed Greg Hunt, the Federal Health Minister at the time.
Damian founded the ‘Close Encounters’ stories which featured in the paper some four years ago. His stories were always accompanied with a photo of the story subject and himself along with his famous peace sign. Close Encounters were usually the feature stories and were written about local heroes in our region.
Damian was a very clever writer, always ensuring readers were given a great insight to his subjects and their achievements in our region. His work was very easy to read and he certainly had a following, just like Cranky Lizard.
Damian was also a people person and was brilliant at marketing, teaching me some invaluable marketing skills which I still use in this newspaper today.
It was Damian who suggested I call the newspaper the LOCAL, believing that the name would catch on quickly and it certainly did.
Just like Harvey Fewings, Damian was very important to this newspaper and a very close friend to me. I will miss him immensely both as a close friend and as someone I could also talk to about the daily operations of owning and operating a local newspaper.
Family and friends came together to celebrate his life gathering at Kings Beach Caloundra for his final send off.
The staff from the LOCAL newspaper send their deepest condolences to Damian’s family. We can all take comfort knowing he passed away peacefully with his family beside him. He left behind his mum Carmel, dad Terence, brother Terry and sisters Janine and Katrina and his two children Maeve and Henry.
Damian loved the water and is now in his happy place swimming with the dolphins just off Kings Beach at Caloundra. We will miss you mate. I count myself lucky to have both worked with you and known you as a friend.