Written by John Langley
Don Dunbar: You fought hard my friend and battled to the end! You carried on long after the medical folks said you would and you did it in pure Funbar style! I was privileged to know your Dad Bill who was a BC Rugby Legend and is honoured at the Brockton Oval Clubhouse that he helped get built. He was my first Rep Coach for the Nor/West Reps. Your Uncle Jim, a Meraloma, was another great Rugby man who made his mark as a referee. Jim was a players referee who officiated the game with a smile on his face and made humorous comments that those who played the game loved, he made refereeing fun. When Jim Dunbar blew the whistle, he did so with a style that players could not forget. Funbar, you carried on the Dunbar tradition! You created the IRS Club. The International Rugby Sluts who would play anywhere, anytime there was a Rugby Match and extra players were needed. You toured Ireland with the Capilano’s in 1973 and 1976. I remember you as one of the real characters on the 73 tour that I was also a part of. You helped make the tour a rousing success with your wit and humour. You went on more rugby tours than anyone else that I know. You were on many Catalina Island tours with the Snowcaps. How the hell did you smuggle a water super soaker, onto the plane? We shared many rugby battles as team mates and opponents. One of my favourite stories was when playing at Ambleside park in the early days of the Capilano RFC we both tackled an opponent at the same time. Unfortunately your nose hit the curve of my skull. Your nose was broken. You must have liked the results though as you never had it fixed. There are many stories involving you at the old Capilano Clubhouse in the wild 70’s. We were quite the crew!
Ken Robinson informs me that in true Funbar style you attempted to escape from hospital. He says you almost got out but your escape was foiled by a very large Security Guard. On the second attempt you said to the Guard. “Not you again”!!!!
Sincere thanks to Ken Robinson and Marty LeBlond for their efforts keeping Don in touch throughout his journey. Ken arranged weekly tea and coffee parties and the odd beer on Tim Banisters deck at the Capilano Clubhouse. Ken would phone Don and he would speak to all his buddies. He would also phone Marty LeBlond who is a Cap Alumni living in Nanaimo who visited Don regularly and took him on walks. Ken also arranged a boat trip to Nanaimo on Bob Michael’s boat. Several Capilano rugby buddies visited Don, Marty and family, and had a beer be que at the Nanaimo RFC clubhouse. Ken kept close contact with Don and visited him on many occasions. Dave Dunn also made several visits. Doug Mulligan joined Don many times on the Sunshine Coast and visited Don as well. Thanks to all those involved.
I know Don’s family also were also very involved. In a sad twist of fate, Don’s sister Anne predeceased him this year. His Sister Jane and brother in law Cliff Jones, also a top notch rugby player for Vancouver Rowing Club, were much involved with Don. His niece, Claire, came to the Clubhouse to visit Don on his last visit a while ago. Don really enjoyed the visit and you could feel the love. Don leaves his daughter Kimberley, grandkids Wyatt, Laney and Dylan and nieces Hannah and Claire, all active members of the family support team, behind to continue the Dunbar traditions. A Sincere Capilano condolences to all of Don’s family and friends on their loss. His Capilano Family and I am sure much of the rugby community share your loss.