City farewells ‘Bunny’

HIGHLY RESPECTED: The procession walks down a guard of honour at the service for Bunny Daley at McKittrick Park. Photos: Adam Hourigan
HIGHLY RESPECTED: The procession walks down a guard of honour at the service for Bunny Daley at McKittrick Park. Photos: Adam Hourigan

HE MAY not have been elected through official channels, but David "Bunny" Daley was given the position of Grafton's unofficial mayor by a city of people who loved and respected him.

Up to 1000 people were at McKittrick Park on Thursday to farewell the football and golf enthusiast after he died on August 31, aged 61.

Bunny was born on December 9, 1951, in Grafton to Valma and Amos Daley. He was a brother to Kelly, Christine, Clifford and Janice and uncle to many nieces and nephews and many more.

Bunny attended infants at St Joseph's Catholic School in South Grafton and primary school at Carrs Creek. He then went on to Grafton High School, where he excelled at many sports, representing the school in swimming, football and athletics. His love of football would last a lifetime.

Upon leaving high school at the age of 14 for family reasons, he worked at Gilberts Market Garden to help his mum with living costs. By the time Bunny was 16, his dad had died and times were tough.

He moved to Sydney to seek employment, and while there he went on to play for and coach the Redfern All Blacks. He then returned to Grafton, working at the South Grafton abattoir.

Bunny mentored many younger football players, which led him into coaching junior rugby league teams. He played and coached in the local pub football competition and played for both the South Grafton Rebels (who his father played for) and the Grafton Ghosts.

Even after he stopped playing, on many Sunday afternoons Bunny could be heard giving the players, the referee and touch judges his opinions on the game.

Bunny also loved golf and played for many social clubs, being quick to let you know how good he was.

Away from the sporting field, he became involved with the Grafton Ngerrie Local Aboriginal Lands Council when it was first established in Grafton.

He was a dedicated member, representing it as chairman and regional representative. He was also supervisor of Grafton CDEP.

Bunny, the unofficial mayor of Grafton, was a proud man, a father figure and a big uncle to many. He was proud of his Aboriginal heritage and culture.

The fix it man, Bunny was well known and a highly respected member of the community.

The name Bunny was given to him from older cousins Jerry Daley and Tony Barrett because he used to run so fast. Not surprisingly, Bunny was always a South Sydney Rabbitohs supporter.

Bunny had a cheeky sense of humour and was a very sociable person. No matter where you went, if you mentioned you came from Grafton, you were always asked: Do you know Bunny Daley?

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