It is with immense sadness that we record the passing on October 30 of Club Patron, Club Legend, Hall of Fame inductee, and Life Member, David Jukes.
David, or 'Mr Jukes' as he was fondly and respectfully known, celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this month.
He was synonymous with the Prahran Cricket Club and was widely known and loved right across Melbourne's cricketing communities. When one visits or is visited by other clubs, or strikes up a conversation with a former player or supporter, the first thing usually asked was 'How is Mr Jukes?'.
David’s love of Prahran started when he first visited Toorak Park back in 1952. His father took him along to see his favourite cricketer, the great Australian player Neil Harvey, playing for Fitzroy against Prahran. That was where it all began and, as the family lived close by in Prahran, he became a regular at Toorak Park.
In 1958/59 David was invited to become the First Eleven scorer, a position which he duly accepted. Thus began a formal association with the club that was to continue for some 57 years in one capacity or another.
In 1970 David became the Club's Honorary Secretary, a position he held for a remarkable 34 years. The dedication, discipline, attention to detail was unequalled and the time he gave with devoted energy, plus the effort displayed, was quite remarkable.
He continued to serve on the Club Committee in various capacities, including Vice-President, until 2015.
David was a quiet and unassuming person, always respectful and someone who would just quietly go about doing what needed to be done.
Cricket, and the Prahran club in particular, was his passion in life and he loved to share that with you. He would quietly hand you a copy of the Prahran Cricket Club Centenary booklet and tell you stories about Sam Loxton, Bob Parish, David Mandie, Bruce Murray and other legends of bygone times.
The many, many players who have played with Prahran over David’s duration fondly remember his advice and care, which was also always extended to their family and friends. That is special.
Among the acknowledgements honouring David's contribution and respect at Prahran: life membership; Hall of Fame inductee; Club Legend; and Club Patron, the one that David prized the most was inception of the DWN Jukes Medal for the Men's Club Champion. This has been awarded since 1982/83 and David took great joy in personally presenting the medal on club awards nights.
Everyone at Prahran Cricket Club, plus visiting teams, officials and supporters, will miss David looking after those in attendance on match day and making sure that ‘everything is all right'!
We will never, ever forget this true gentleman whose love and passion for his “True Blues” will live on for all time.
And we take some comfort knowing that David held some wonderful memories after witnessing our First Eleven premiership in April this year at the Junction Oval. He later proudly held the winning cup in his room at his aged care accommodation with a big smile on his face.
May he rest in peace, our memories of him will always be there.
RIP Mr Jukes
PLEASE NOTE: In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Diabetes Victoria.
Authors: Ian Crawford and Nigel Hutton