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David Billinghurst aka Billo

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TAB
David Billinghurst aka Billo

David Billinghurst has stood down as SSAA NSW and SSAA National Benchrest Chairman

Some have been aware that David has been dealing with health issues these past three months. Then the day before Easter was given a definitive diagnosis.
David has cancer and has been assessed at Stage 4 with a disturbing prognosis.

What now - with the love and support of his wonderful family, specialists and the latest medical advances David will start treatment shortly. This will consist of one treatment of chemotherapy followed by immuno therapy, a treatment that has had wonderful results in some patients and David reckons it is worth a try.

Know everyone will wish David and the Billinghurst Clan all the best and positive thoughts in this trying and emotional time.

Ann Brummell

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Thanks Ann and Good Luck Billo

Dear Billo, one of shootings hardest workers and gentlemen, i am praying and sending my best wishes that you fight this like the champion you are mate.

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Good luck Dave

You are a fighter, things will get better.

Rob.

BB Administrator

ozeboy
ozeboy's picture
Get better David

Dave get better as the sport needs you. Remember we met in 1965 at Baulkham Hills when you were hack sawing 4" off your barrel to make weight. Since then we have had some great times with our old mate Ron Marsden . That bad can of beer you drank in Canberra just after consuming the best part of a bottle of OP Rum was a highlight of the Canberra shoot.
We had some great times and I'm looking forward to more after your treatment. Stick in there Dave we are all barricking for you.
Bruce

mushroom

BigStick
BigStick's picture
Benchrest

He has done so much for benchrest in the short time I have known him. The very best wishes Billo, you can beat this ..
Kimbo

Snail19
Snail19's picture
Bwenchrest

I don't know David but my prayers are with him. Get better mate.

George

PWS2800
Get Well mate

Hi Billo
Our thoughts are with you mate , if it wasn’t for you Billo
And your help with Mike when he attended his first junior SSAA camp the three of us wouldn’t be Rimfire Benchrest shooters . See you on the range soon mate
The Selmes’s

wally289
wally289's picture
David Billinghurst

David from the Bench Rest Shooters up here in Townsville our pears with you and your family

Wally

Wombat

Brendan
Brendan's picture
Hang in there old mate. I

Hang in there old mate. I have done the chemo and radiation thing and now the Immunotherapy.
I too am considered Stage 4.
If you are lucky (as I was) the side effects are not too bad - better than the alternative.
You might lose a bit of hair but I don't think that will bother you!

BA #13

TAB
David Billinghurst aka Billo

With the consent of David and on his behalf I report on his current health status.
Over the past six months David has undergone both chemo and immunotherapy treatments but the latest tests and scans indicate that neither treatments have had any real impact on the tumours. Discussions following such prognosis is that David has now ceased all treatment. Arrangements have been made to ensure he is as comfortable as possible with the support of the palliative care team and his loving and supportive family.
All good wishes are with David and the Billinghurst family at this trying time.

Ann Brummell

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Thanks Ann for the update

Billo and family prayers and best wishes to you all through this sad and trying time mate.

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Very Sad News

But Dave is a fighter and we all wish him the best.

Rob.

BB Administrator

ozeboy
ozeboy's picture
Billo Dave BIllinghurst

Ditto Robs remarks. We have been friends for 50 plus years. Hang in there, let's make it 60 plus.

mushroom

Knighty
Knighty's picture
Tough as old boot leather

You are a champion bloke Billo and it is indeed a terrible time for you. I am hoping like hell that you will continue to get the best possible treatment and care and stay as happy and cheerful as you always have been. You are a legend in Benchrest, both Centrefire and Rimfire and so many of us owe so much to you for all your support and help make our shooting not only happen but enjoyable as well. I am terribly saddened by this mate and all I can do is wish you peace and contentment. Cheers mate

Team KAOS
Expect precision but aim for perfection!

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Spoke to Billo today..

Same old Billo on the phone, it was so nice to chat for about 20 mins, Billo being Billo talked mostly about shooting, rules and how covid has affected things here and o/s. There was also some banter about USA Politics and not one complaint or whinge about the cards he has been dealt, still the champion bloke he has always been.

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

TAB
David Billinghurst

On behalf of David and his family a report on his current health status.
He is currently in Camden Hospital but due to his non ambulant condition will transfer to a nursing home as early as next week. David has been fortunate to secure a placement at a Rosemeadow establishment, close to his home that will be very convenient for family.
Whilst still terminally ill but with the assistance of pain medication, medical staff and his supportive family David is putting up a gutsy fight and as always interested in everything, especially shooting related. Should you wish to engage with him David will welcome phone calls on his well know number (0418478160). A call would help break up and brighten his day.
Ann Brummell

muz
Billo

Thanks for the update Ann, he's a fighter that's for sure.

Cheers

Muz

TAB
Update - David Billinghurst

David's condition has deteriorated and can no longer speak. As a consequence he will no longer be answering his phone and it is in the possession of the family who ask that their privacy be respected at this distressing time. The family wish to thank those people who have spoken with David during his confinement in care as the actions were much appreciated.
Ann Brummell

Brendan
Brendan's picture
I spoke to Dave a couple of

I spoke to Dave a couple of times last week and he was very weak, but the mind was still quite active. We talked of times gone by and future directions for our sport. He still had ideas that he wanted implemented, and who knows ...thanks to his legacy they might just happen. It's sad to see such an icon of Australian benchrest slipping away, but I guess many of us have fond memories of good times on many ranges.

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Extremely saddening news

I pray for him and his family, may he not suffer as he deserves to rest and be comfortable after doing so much for so many. Also glad i had the chance to talk to him recently juat like old times... We will certainly miss him big time in 3 weeks up in Coffs

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

TAB
David Billinghurst HOF #9

David has left the range and he will be missed by friends and colleagues
Ann Brummell

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Terrible news

Dave was one of the great characters in Australian Benchrest and he will be greatly missed by everyone.

RIP Dave.

Rob.

BB Administrator

Max
Max's picture
billo

bye mate , thinking of you.
M

John B
John B's picture
Rest in Peace Dave

Heart felt condolences to his family and many friends.

Keith Smith
Keith Smith's picture
Lost a good one

We lost one of the best today and a friend we are diminished by his passing.

wazza
wazza's picture
Billo

In real short time we have lost another real good person belonging to our shooting paternity of benchrest, all I hope that Billo passed without pain
and suffering and has gone to a better place, I wish all the family the very best at this time and hope time will take away the grief and sadness
of this horrible day.
Kindest Regards,

Barry

bill collaros
bill collaros's picture
Rest in Peace Billo

Thank u for what u did for sport, i will never forget u mate.

Bill Collaros Australia
"Shoot to Thrill"

TAB
Valediction to David Billinghurst aka Billo

The majority of persons who encountered David in the past couple of decades knew him in the guise of SSAA Sydney and NSW Committee member or as NSW Discipline Chair, NSW and National Benchrest Chairman, helpful, knowledgeable but overall a genuine good bloke all of which is true. But to family and close friends he was passionate, a worthy ally and fiercely loyal but he had varied layers to his life and actions. Just to name a few - he was a sparkie running his own business before being lured into employment in the firearms trade. He was Silverdale's first Range Captain and participated in many areas of shooting - Benchrest, Hunting, loved eliminating bunnies and foxes and was a dab hand at Shot Gun in regular competition. David won more than his share of State and National Benchrest titles and at national level secured sufficient points to be inducted into the Centrefire Hall of Fame as member #9. In 1995 was Coach of the Australian team at the World Benchrest Championships #3 in Brisbane and in 1999 was a member of the Australian World team to the World titles #5 in Dobbiaco, Italy. He was also respected and active in the Surf Life Saving movement where he served as an awards officer and was Treasurer of a local swimming club supporting his two boys in their chosen sport. The positions he accepted within SSAA he embraced at full tilt travelling all over NSW and Australia always available to advise, support and assist clubs and individuals. His emphasis and greatest satisfaction was always mentoring the junior shooters who he rightly saw as the next generation in the sport. His popularity and actions saw him elevated by unanimous acclaim to the status of SSAA NSW Life Member.

I first met David in late 1968 on Silverdale Range and from the outset this platonic relationship prevailed even during his decade long hiatus from the sport supporting his boys. We soon learnt we had much in common - grew up in the same era, birth dates only 4 months apart, married our respective partners Jan and Tom a few months apart, lived within a few kilometers of each other, both introduced to shooting by the better halves and spent many hours listening and learning from Ron Marsden on an almost weekly basis. The best spin off for the Brummells was and is the affinity the families established not just with shooting related activities but socially as well.
The past few months David and I have spoken at least 2 or 3 times a week more than usual - the conversations dominated by recollections and reminiscence - good times and not so good that produced laughs, achievements again both successful and those a bit iffy, tears and voice trembles but no regrets we would do it all again in a heart beat. David was passionate about and still discussing to the end how to improve the Association with more promotion and listened to input at grass roots membership and competitor level.
Over the years we travelled in vehicle convoy but in the last decade, since Tom's strokes we have journeyed together to and from towns as far apart and as diverse as Springsure in NW Qld and Kwinana in WA and visiting a multitude of towns and cities in between some quite a few times.
We also recalled joint ventures we organised, had a hand in running or just advising as varied as - gala shoots, international postal events, Super Shoots, State and National titles, Australia Day matches, Pacific regionals, State and National Junior Development events. Without a doubt the most arduous and prestigious was as Co Directors for the 2013 World Benchrest Championships. The event received acclaim from around the world in no part due to the magnificent volunteer work force we assembled who worked tirelessly to ensure the success. All took place whilst the range was under police and RFS evacuation orders as the Blue Mountains bush fires crept closer.
David's contributions to SSAA and the lives he touched will long be remembered and his legacies revered into the future.
However his greatest love revolved around his family - a loving husband, doting father and proud grand father and in the last few months great grandfather and he always spoke of them with great pride and affection.
To Tom and I he was top draw and precious friend and after our 52 and a bit year association David's demise will leave a huge hole in our lives.
May he rest in peace and his family find comfort in a life well lived and admired.
Ann Brummell HOF #8

ozeboy
ozeboy's picture
Dave Billinghurst

I met Dave in 1966 at the Baulkham Hills Range. He was hack sawing a few inches off his barrel to make weight. We had some wonderful times at matches and in Ron Marsden's garage One of the highlights was the convoy trip to SA comprising Dave, Ron Marsden Ann and Tom Brummel. These are some of the wonderful memories I have of Dave whom I will never forget. Rest in peace old friend.

mushroom

robbycar
robbycar's picture
The World is now a poorer place.

I first met Dave Billinghurst in 1974, I think. I was just old enough to drive to Silverdale. Ann Brummell introduced me to Dave (who was known as Boozer back then for obvious reasons!)

I was in total awe one day when I watched Ron Marsden and Dave shoot their Open Class (now known as Experimental) rail guns.

The next year there was to be a postal shoot with Australia shooting against USA and Canada, and unfortunately Dave had to work on the weekend, he was an electrician back then. He got my phone number from Ann, and he called me out of the blue and told me to come over to his place the next night and that he had a surprise for me. When I got there, he explained that he had to work the next weekend and that it was important that Australia put up a good team for Heavy Bench as it was called for the International Postal match. So, I was going to shoot his rail gun!

He got it out and proceeded to show me how to set up this thing. It was made of steel and weighed a ton. Then he grabbed a tin of 4740 which was the mystical powder used by champions back then, and reloaded all the ammo I would need for the match.

It was obvious that I really had no idea how to handle this thing and was very nervous. So, he gave me some valuable advice. Dave knew I was drawn to shoot beside Bill Marden Jr. So, his advice was as follows “If you are not sure when to shoot, wait until you hear Bill rattle a few down fast, then get into it!” Amazingly, I shot quite well and made the Aussie team in 4th spot!

For the next few years, Dave Billinghurst, Dave Alland and myself went to Ron Marsden’s house every Wednesday night to talk benchrest and drink Tooheys New! I learned a lot from them all.

Dave did a lot of work behind the scenes for benchrest. He served on SSAA Sydney Branch and NSW Committees for many years before taking over as National Benchrest Chairman, a job he loved.

The World Championships held at Dobbiaco, Italy in 1999 were quite memorable for me. Dave, Barry Warwick and myself, travelled together and it was quite a journey by the time we finally got to the hotel. I had heard that the wine from this region was quite famous, so since the shoot was still quite a few days away, I suggested that we should have a bite of dinner and a taste of the wine. We found a lovely little place in the main street, and the owner spoke little English. With the aid of a phrase book we managed to order fantastic food and a bottle of wine. After 3 more bottles, the owner decided not to waste any more bottles on us and bought out jugs after that!

We walked past (with heads down on the other side of the street) a couple of days later, probably still hungover and the restaurant owner spotted us and ran out into the street yelling Australians, come back, more wine!

Rather than compete, Dave took it on himself to also do the computer work for NSW and National matches. He also did a ton of work for the World Championships at Silverdale in 2013.

It was always fun to visit the scoring shed where Max Coady scored the targets, and Dave check scored and did the computer work. Max and Dave were continually arguing, but they were still the best of friends.

Dave staged most of the matches held at Silverdale for the last 10 years or more and often ran the competitors ragged trying to keep up with his hurried pace.

Dave had health issues for quite a while but did his best to live with it.

I last spoke to him on his birthday just a week before his passing. It was obvious that he was heavily sedated and in great pain.

Goodbye old friend, I enjoyed knowing you for 47 years. We will all miss you.

Rob.

BB Administrator

ss23
Rest in Peace Billo

Billo was a great mate, always helpful, friendly and we shared many good memories. He will be very much be missed.

Steve and family

chrisjon65
chrisjon65's picture
Sad loss

Another sad loss to benchrest RIP BILLO

robbycar
robbycar's picture
Here are some pics of Dave

Some date back to 1973.

Rob.

BB Administrator

Brendan
Brendan's picture
I first met Billo at the 1976

I first met Billo at the 1976 Nationals in Canberra. It was my first Nationals so I was keen to learn from the big boys. I have fond memories of the experimental match. Someone had rudely suggested that benchrest shooters had lovely equipment but did not present themselves very well. So...Billo turned up in a pale blue Safari Suit (remember them?) and proceeded to shoot his rail gun! Over the years I had many a chat with him about the sport and he was indeed a wealth of information - freely given.
Billo's passing leaves a huge hole in the sport. His work behind the scenes to get justice and a fair hearing at National level was legendary. I spoke to him last week and he was still going on about the selection of National teams (a matter which to most benchresters is still not satisfactorily resolved), and the promotion of the sport in this country.
As mentioned by others, Billo was also Max's check scorer at large events, and their good natured arguing over just about everything will be sorely missed.
Every sport needs a 'spark plug' to push things along - Billo was just that...ask the Coffs Harbor people! Now we need someone else to take up the cudgels, but it will be very big shoes to fill.

Rest easy old mate - you are worthy of the highest praise an Australian can get, and that is to be remembered as "a bloody good bloke".

Brendan Atkinson #13

Zorba
Zorba's picture
A bloody good bloke

I for one do not know where to start with my memories of Billo. We all knew Billo was really sick with the cancer but I held out a hope against the odds.

Those of us who have known him for nearly 50 years will have a lifetime of memories about Billo - all positive. Billo also had another affectionate nick name pinned to him by none other than Ron Marsden. He earned it around a couple of wood fires over the years tangling with guys who surprisingly liked to start a night time discussion, guys like Max Coady and Tom Stone were always ready to join in with Billo in finding something to warm you internally when the camping at the range got at bit cool.

Billo always had time for the sport and always looked for ways to make it better, he wore his love of the sport on his sleeve. His other great sporting love was swimming.

I was one of the fortunate ones to share his infamous curries on more than one occasion. Billo certainly enjoyed the camaraderie after the shoot when camping and when recently that tapered off it was an early sign of change because of the great battle he faced.
He gave it one hell of a fight.

Brendan hit the nail on the head in describing Billo - he was a bloody good bloke - and he has gone to a better place.

Alex

ZORBA

phil
phil's picture
a great loss to our sport

Billo was the benchrest fella in NSW. First really noticed him at a Silverdale nationals some time ago. Couldn't really miss his character. He and the family/friends/clubmates were working tirelessly to organise the competition. Never really saw him shoot much, just running and organising benchrest comps for all of us to enjoy. And it was a joy to be with him and his crew and his friends . As a State delegate I spent many hours talking benchrest with him and how to solve the problems of the world with him. We did solve a few problems and we made a few improvements together. Billo's passing will leave a large void in the benchrest community. I will miss him. We all will miss him and should remember him. Thank you Billo for being a part of my life. You will go to a happy place.

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