Celebrating Father Gerard Dowling

By: James MacLeod - Managing Director - Tobin Brothers Funerals
Thursday, September 15, 2022


Today we would like to pay tribute to Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE.

In recent weeks he celebrated his 90th birthday and also the 49th anniversary of him being on air with the Family Counsellor on Sunday evenings.

Fr Gerard was born on 30 August 1932. His twin sister Mary was born the day prior on 29 August 1932.  Mary died on 23rd January 2019 aged 86. Fr Gerard misses his twin sister very much.

Seated L – R: Phil Touzal, Craig Willis, Fr Gerard, Cathy Tobin.
Standing L – R: Michael Tobin, Michael Lynch, Donna Jenkins, James MacLeod, Kate Lynch, Shawn Cosgrove, Ron Joseph and Donald McDonald.

To celebrate Fr Gerard’s 90th birthday, I invited him to a meal, which he thought it was just the two of us catching up.

However, I had invited a few others to assist him in celebrating this significant occasion. His fellow Priest, Fr Kevin Dillon and those that have worked alongside him on the Family Counsellor over the years; Craig Willis, Shawn Cosgrove, and his current producer Phil Touzel.

As Fr Gerad is the official historian for the North Melbourne Football Club, it made sense that Ron Joseph and Donald McDonald would join us along with those from Tobin Brothers, Michael Tobin, Cathy Tobin, Donna Jenkins, Michael and Kate Lynch and myself.

It was a wonderful celebration and everyone gathered in the room was so grateful that they had the opportunity to journey with this great man be it through the Church, radio, North Melbourne Football Club, or the team from Tobin Brothers that have worked with him for such a long period of time and sponsor the Family Counsellor show.

As Fr Gerard enters the 50th year of the Family Counsellor, we should all be grateful, in a sense the wider community owe Fr Gerard a great deal.

He is certainly one of the pioneers in Australia in counselling with the Family Counsellor appearing well before 24 chat lines or phone counselling services became prominent.

His program gave people permission to call up and talk about their problems, gain assistance and as Fr Gerard said himself being there, not having all the answers, just the presence of a person is very important.

Fr Gerard thank you for your constant presence in all of our lives, not only for your service as a Catholic Priest, but to the wider community in which you serve as the Family Counsellor every Sunday night from 10pm to 12am on RSN927.

Congratulations from all of us at Tobin Brothers Funerals.

James MacLeod
Managing Director
Tobin Brothers Funerals

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