By YVONNE McLEAN
THE Gold Coast City Council's away meeting held at Benowa on Monday adjourned after the conduct of one or two items out of respect for a special friend, Wal McDonald - who died last Sunday, aged 60 - and to his wife and their colleague, Cr Daphne McDonald.
It was a subdued, short meeting with mayor Ron Clarke calling for a minute's silence on the occasion of VJ Day and then for Wally, whose long, determined fight with cancer had touched all those in council who knew him well.
For two years with Daphne's support, Wal had taken on cancer with a real will to win. When chemotherapy and radium treatments failed, he and Daphne embarked on a medical mission to Ireland where he underwent innovative microwave treatment under Dr Hugh Tinsely. In relieving Wal's pain this was very, very successful, Cr McDonald said.
"Both of us were very glad we made that visit. We came home optimistic and happy and I cherish those months."
But in the past weeks Wal's condition deteriorated and he was admitted to the Wesley Hospital where he died peacefully on Sunday with his wife and family by his side.
The couple had enjoyed 39 years of married life. Wal was a keen observer of the city council's meetings and supported his wife's community commitments. He was often an advisor.
One of Wal's happiest, more recent times was the occasion when council named his beloved grand-daughter Isabella as the official symbol of the city's water conservation policy which named her as Kate, who held the future water supply in her safe little hands.
Son of strong Catholic parents, an altar boy, Wal's funeral service will take place at Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church, 11 Palm Beach Avenue at noon today.
Wal is survived by his wife Daphne, sons Darren (professor on leave from Tokyo University) and Rodney and his wife Heidi and daughter Isabella.