12 April, 2024

Community mourns stalwart

THE Warrnambool community is this week mourning the loss of one of its own with the sad passing of stalwart Andrew Suggett.

Andrew Suggett will long be remembered, and sadly missed, by the Warrnambool and district community.
Andrew Suggett will long be remembered, and sadly missed, by the Warrnambool and district community.

The proud, hard-working great grandfather was well known across the district for his work with Warrnambool’s Parkinson’s Support Group and his drive to ensure people were connected with services they needed – and that they were never alone.

It was that passion and willingness to help others that he will long be remembered for; that and his uncanny way of making strangers instantly feel like friends.

In an interview with the Weekly last September (just a month before being named Victorian Senior of the Year), Mr Suggett said he believed that living with Parkinson’s meant you had “good days and better days.”

Always ready to look on the bright side of life, and not one to sit back and let others do all the work, he constantly gave back to the town he called home for just over eight decades.

“My diagnosis (of Parkinson’s Disease) and my retirement from the workforce actually opened so many doors for me,” he had told the Weekly.

And one of those biggest doors led him to an active role within Warrnambool’s Parkinson’s Support Group.

It didn’t take long for Mr Suggett to become the group’s leader and he made it his mission to encourage others to make the most of every opportunity to expand their support network and to share their experiences.

“One of the biggest epidemics in towns like ours is loneliness and that is a terrible reality. Our support group helps to alleviate that,” he told the Weekly.

Mr Suggett also held the position of chairman of the Warrnambool Health Support Network, providing an important link between people and available services.

In his own words, he believed it was important that people knew they were not alone in their fight and that there were people who cared.

Following a tragic accident while playing golf, Mr Suggett succumbed to his injuries at The Royal Melbourne Hospital last Friday where he was surrounded by his loving family.

He is survived by wife Betty, children Jenny, David and Kathryn, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

* Tributes have continued to flow since Mr Suggett’s sudden passing, reflecting the high esteem in which he was held by many.

Words such as ‘he was the best in what humanity has to offer; a person driven by identifying a community need and finding a way to bring people together; a true gentleman; a delight to chat with’…are all synonymous with a man that has left a lasting impression on many far and wide.

Mr Suggett leaves behind a legacy that will long be respected, remembered and admired.



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