Thursday, November 17, 2016

John Cher's Tribute To Musician Donald Thaver

Stories of Singapore's Musicians Yesterday and Today:

Memories Of The Last Visit And Last Farewell.

Friday, 30th September 2016:

Ivor Lesslar and I paid a visit to Donald Thaver's home. It was a rainy day when we arrived, Donald was seated on his sofa fronting the main door.  He was expecting us. He had not been well at all. He greeted me with a smile and I moved forward to shake his hand. 

We chatted a while after which Anita Thaver, Donald's daughter,  showed me around her beautiful home.  When I returned to take my seat again, our conversation got a bit more serious as we discussed his health issues and what was happening to him.
           Donald, Ivor and John (pix with Thaver family permission)

Since he was unwell we decided not to overstay the welcome.  We bade him goodbye and said that we will see each other again.  He looked at me straight in the eyes as we shook hands, smiled and said he did not think so.

Wednesday, 5th October 2016:

Following the visit I decided, very urgently, to do a short story about Donald as it was obvious time was against us! To do it, I needed both Ivor's and blogger Andy's help.  After meeting them for coffee we agreed as to the content of the article.

Friday, 7th October 2016:

The article was published and within 6 hours, from publication time at 3.15 pm to 9.00 pm, the story shot from zero position on, Favourites Top 10 Posts of the Week to first position on the blog.  Undoubtedly a testimony to Donald Thaver's popularity!  I was so glad that he got to read the published article.

Monday, 17th October, 2016:

Exactly ten days later Donald Thaver left for his Peace in the Valley.  The news of Donald Thaver's passing spread like wildfire within the small Singapore music circle. Family and friends visited. Many friends, relatives, media and music personalities paid their last respect. Donald knew full well who was present.

Donald had expressly told his family that it was to be a party, a celebration complete with music and food. And his wish was carried out.  There were lots and lots of music and merry making!  

Near the closing of the final night, Anita Thaver thanked everyone for their prayers and support throughout the difficult period for her family.  She then told everyone that it was Donald's wish to have his buddy Ivor Lesslar play one of his favourite Shadows numbers, Theme From Deer Hunter, Cavatina, during the party.  Ivor played the piece beautifully.  

Thursday, 20th October, 2016

The Requiem Mass was conducted at the Catholic Church of The Divine Mercy, Pasir Ris, on  Thursday at 12 pm.  During Mass, the priest among other things, said that Donald was prepared all along and was more than ready.  He told the congregation that it took courage for a man to say that he was ready to die.  Clearly whatever his other shortcomings may be, "Donald Thaver held on to his faith in God. He strongly believed that Life is changed, not ended."

Donald's Fender Stratocaster:

This is Don's prized possession, his Fender Stratocaster.  This guitar is the tool of his trade. He expressed himself with it.  He could show his talent and his craft to everyone with it.  He shared his happiest days and his deepest joys with it.  He shared his regrets and his pain with it.  

Indeed the guitar was a part of his very existence!  The two put together was magic.  They have brought comfort,  happiness and tears to countless people who enjoyed their brand of music, people whom they will never get to know personally but nonetheless have met in spirit  through their music.

And now the leader of the band has left.  While his guitar gently weeps!

And Don, I beg to differ from what you said at our last goodbye,  we will meet again!

Farewell brother Donald Thaver!

Images: A Personal Collection.
Article by John Cher. Copyrights Reserved.



Family and friends visited. I do not know everyone but some of those who came to pay their final respects were: Jerry Fernandez, Ernesto Valerio, Greg Anderson, Henry Chua, Percy De Silva, Jeffrey Pinto, Jerry Murad, Michael Bangar, Adrian Stewart, Raymond Francis, Marcus Chung, Glen and Cynthia Theisera, Sylvia Drysdale, Ivan Chiew, Maria Chiew, Patrick Fernando, Anchant Man, Vernon Cornelius, Arthur Nonis, Steven Rufus and many others, including opposition MP,Sylvia Lim.

Sincere and humble apologies if names have been inadvertently left out.

Ivor Lesslar said...

While Your Guitar Gently Weeps, RIP My Friend.

Anita Thaver said...

Dear John, thank you for a beautifully written testimony about my late father. Indeed, he touched many with his music, his wit and his generosity both in spirit and in kind. I miss him dearly but am comforted by many fond memories of him with his favourite Strat, and of course time spent with the family. I am deeply grateful to all his friends and musicians who came to the wake, particularly for the musical tribute. May we all remember fondly through music, his first love.
RIP daddy

Anita Thaver


Morning John, this will be certainly a good memory for our family and would not be possible without you, Andy and Ivor. Again, thank you for the hard work that all of you had contributed. Means a lot to our family. Cheers & God bless!


RIP Donald. You are gone but never forgotten.


Admire your tribute to Donald. You're a great guy, Bro! Cheers.

Victor Yeo of The Idols said...

You definitely have talent for writing. I'm impress

Peter Lim said...

Although I know of Sonny Baja and the Moonglows during the heyday of the 60s..I was not too familiar with their music and band members at the I was a student studying in Melbourne, only spending the December-January Australian summer holiday breaks in Singapore and Malaysia on several occasions at the time!! Those were the good old days of Singapore's pop culture... and thanks John here, for the touching story on ex-Moonglow vocalist-guitarist, the talented late Donald Thaver...excellently written and nostalgically brings back fond memories of those fabulous days..!!'s a fabulous read!!!..2 thumps up!!