Community servant ‘sorely missed’

Alf Goldburg OAM was renowned for his service to neighbours, veterans and politics. 194334_02 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Tributes have flowed for tireless Dandenong North community servant and veteran Alfred ‘Alf’ Goldburg OAM.

Mr Goldburg died peacefully in his sleep at the “spritely age” of 95 on 10 March, his family announced.

“His colourful charisma will surely be missed.”

In his later years, Alf devoted himself to serving the Dandenong Historical Society, Springvale Benevolent Society and the Noble Park RSL, son Dallas Goldburg said.

He was also well known for his tireless work with both the State and Federal sections of the Labor Party.

“Alf was active in promoting the Star News and (former) Journal Newspapers wherever he could,” Dallas said.

“He was known as the retired local paper boy, aged over 70.”

Noble Park RSL president John Meehan said his sub-branch would sorely miss the “dapper” Mr Goldburg – its last remaining World War II veteran.

Renowned for his dress sense and immaculate shoes, the former footwear sales manager was always ready to get involved.

He was well-known for helping the disadvantaged, often collecting food stuffs at the RSL for charities, Mr Meehan said.

“It goes back to his youth. In the Great Depression he experienced some pretty hard times and he grew stronger for it in a way.

“He wasn’t a big bloke in stature but he had a big heart.”

The Naval and Air Force veteran was a former member of the RSL’s committee.

But he’d also often take a ladies group to Dandenong for Morning Melodies concerts, get involved in the RSL’s day group, be up for a dance or give members a lift to hospital, Mr Meehan said.

On Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, he’d hand out tokens as well as organizing VIPs.

“He was always there to help me as president” Mr Meehan said.

“I had a lot of time for him – he was a wonderful bloke. A jack of all trades.

“As an older person, he brought a lot of good ideas.

“He stood up for his rights. He didn’t muck around, and made sure his point got across.”

At 92, Mr Goldburg was awarded the Order of Australia Medal.

At the time – just three years ago – he was still continuing to serve.

He was bringing in newspapers for the Dandenong and District Historical archives or visiting needy families as a Springvale Benevolent Society charity volunteer.

He was taking copies of the Dandenong Star Journal to an elderly neighbour after deliveries to her home had ceased. They enjoyed a weekly cup of tea together with each other.

It’s important to keep a look-out for elderly neighbours, many living on their own, he told Star Journal.

He also put some food aside for nearby families that he knew were struggling.

Mr Goldburg served several bedrock groups that have since closed, such as the former charity Dandenong Benevolent Society.

He volunteered in the long-standing Noble Park Drug Action Community Forum, as well as its successor the recently-closed Noble Park Community Action Forum.

Greater Dandenong mayor Jim Memeti said Mr Goldburg avidly followed each council meeting’s minutes and brought up issues as a concerned resident.

He was well known to senior Labor party figures like Premier Daniel Andrews and Bruce MP Julian Hill.

Mr Hill paid tribute to Mr Goldburg’s service for many years as president of the Bruce Federal Electorate Assembly.

“Alf was a colourful local identity known and respected by so many people.”

Mr Goldburg is survived by family members Audrey, Joseph, Dallas, Oscar, Hayley and Jessica.

His funeral will be held on Monday 4 April at Springvale Botanical Cemetery with refreshments at Noble Park RSL.

Numbers are limited due to Covid health restrictions. To attend, call Dallas Goldburg, 0412 312 915.