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Don Burrows (circa 1991), The Don Burrows Quartet probably at the Victorian Arts Centre

Don Burrows (circa 1991), The Don Burrows Quartet probably at the Victorian Arts Centre

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of meeting and photographing Don many times in many venues. Always he was the gentleman, always graceful, always the consummate musician. But my lasting memory of Don is from his retirement when performing with a local school band on a flat bed truck at the Paynesville Jazz Festival. He filled in for the lead sax player who was ill on the night, helping not as the great jazz legend he is but as one of the team, supporting and encouraging the young musicians around him. After a great concert all the students had packed up and been bussed off. Don had finished talking to fans then he just picked up his music, stand and sax in an old case and walked off into the night to go home. No fanfare, no car or limo. It was a beautiful sight, which lives on in my memory. He has been awarded both the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). Don is now in his 80’s and lives in Paynesville.