When his family and friends gathered to say their final goodbyes to Stuart Collingburn at his wake earlier this year, his beloved Akubra was presented and passed around the room.
It returned with more than $2000 nestled in the crown. His parents Bill and Margaret Collingburn, stepmother Kathie Clarke and partner Peta Bowring, also made their own contributions to bring the total amount to $8000. On May 4, the family generously donated the money to the Grafton Base Hospital Oncology Unit, in honour of Stuart, who passed away in February after battling bowl cancer, aged 38.
As he spoke emotionally with pride and passion in his voice, Mr Collingburn described raising and donating the money to the local oncology unit, as a fitting tribute in honour of his beloved son. “Everyone banded together, and it was a fantastic effort to raise so much money,” he said appreciatively. “I’d like to thank the community, Stuart’s friends, his partner Peta, and everyone who made a contribution.
“We all felt very proud to make the donation for Stuart.” His heartfelt words were shared by Ms Clarke, who also expressed her sincere gratitude and thanked everyone who generously made a donation in honour of Stuart.
As staff at the Grafton Base Hospital Oncology Unit graciously accepted the cheque last week, Ms Clarke said it was an emotional occasion, but one which Stuart would have been proud of. “It was fantastic that so many people made a donation, and we can’t thank everyone enough for what we’ve been able to do in memory of Stuart,” she said.