An Open Letter to the Almanac Community

I looked down at the mass book trembling in my hands. There was a face on it, a face that was partly mine and partly not. The eyes are fixed in an intense stare; a bit distracted perhaps. He is young. So very young. His look is hard, like a man who knows difficulty, but it is not cruel. There is a difference. He sits up straight and strong. The future is ahead of him. He has no idea what it holds.


I flip over the book and I see another face. It is weathered and rounder and happy. Content. It is older; much older than the first face, but it is the same. This face is also partly mine and partly not. It is flush with a life well lived. His love of wine and single malt whiskey sits gently on his cheeks. The past has generally treated him well. He was a father, grandfather, great grandfather. He had his victory sash, his family, and his home. What else could a man want? He was my father.


I was greatly touched by the outpouring of emotion, the kind thoughts, the genuine, heartfelt response from the wonderful Almanac community following the death of my father. Probably more than I can say. Many of the messages I received brought me to tears because they were so obviously uncontrived, honest and beautiful in their delivery. They were real. This is a rare thing.

Indeed, my whole family was astonished at the reaction from the Almanac community. It was a remarkable thing. The Almanac concept is extraordinary. Others may try to replicate it, dissect it, rebuild it, re-conceptualise it, re-badge it, or remake it. But they will fail because the Almanac is the people. You people. Kind people. Intelligent people. We may not always agree, but I think the community around this site has an extraordinary bond; humanity. Forever grateful.



Read John O’Donnell’s eulogy HERE

About Damian O'Donnell

OK - which is the odd one out: Love the Cats and flannelette shirts, especially in winter. I get on extremely well with red wine. We just seem to hit it off. Love horse racing in Spring. Used to love cricket. Go to Stawell every Easter and contemplate life around the fire. Love water skiing, especially in summer. Get meaning from catching a beautiful curling wave. Love a great oil painting. Will read most things put in front of me. Thought 'The Sopranos' was the best TV show ever made - by miles. Run an accounting practice in Melbourne's suburbs.


  1. Sal Ciardulli says:


    All the descriptions the BBBs provided are true. A fine eulogy and great tribute to your Dad.


  2. Rulebook says:

    Dips brilliantly put it is a fantastic and unique community to be part of Dips where you form a bond with people who you have never met it was fantastic how all the regulars added there as usual well thought phrase or tribute all the best,Dips

  3. Peter Flynn says:

    Old Mate

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