A Century of the Red & Black



Last of the '48 premiership team goes home


Last of the '48 premiership team goes home

October 5, 2023

We are saddened to learn of the passing on 25 September of Don Collins (OX '40), who had been the oldest living Old Xaverian and the last surviving member of the OXFC team that won the B Section premiership in 1948.

Don, who had been a Toorak Park regular until last season, brought up his hundred in March, but struggled beyond that with several falls and hospital stays this year. He died peacefully at home.

Collins had two brothers, John (OX '36) and James (OX '45), the latter becoming a Jesuit priest who worked and died in India. Their sister Josephine was heavily involved through the Maytime Fair and travelled to India where she asssited in setting up health facilities.

Don, came through Burke Hall and left Barkers Road after securing his Leaving Certificate. He was a sound opening batsman in the First XI and a a capable footballer too. Along with brother John and so many of his generation, he served in WWII. He spent time in Papua New Guinea before returning to Melbourne to join the family furniture business.

Collins was active in the reformation of both the OXFC and the OXCC after the war ended.

We spoke to Don in 2021 about some of his memories of his time playing with the Old Xavs and his long involvement at the club as a financial member and spectator. Despite his nearly 75 year involvement, his view about one aspect was unshakeable: Peter Peppard, his old First XI teammate, front left, was the best player he ever saw at the Old Xavs.

From Xavier News: The XC First XI of 1940. Collins at right front.

Don and his first wife Kathleen were married in 1947 and had four children - Sue, Stephen (OX '67, dec), Michael (OX '74) and Jenny. After Kathleen passed away, Don later married Anne Wright-Smith.

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Don Collins.

Requiescat in Pace.