Lane’s Sydney ‘family’ talks to J-Wire

October 23, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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Don Lane was buried in Sydney this morning.Two members of Sydney’s Jewish community have fond and long memories of the lanky Yank.

Robert Fiszman knew him from childhood. He told J-Wire: “I believe my late father Sam had met Don in Honolulu before he came to live in Australia. He was a regular visitor to out home and was like one of the family. Although he spent most of his life protected from the public by his personal staff, I could reach him at any time. I am deeply distressed to even contemplate he will no longer be around.”

Joe Koch was formerly married to Lane’s first cousin Dianne Markowitz. Koch told J-Wire that Lane had stood under the Chuppah at the marriage and had formerly ‘goven away’ his cousin. “He was a huge star even then”, said Koch. There were over 3000 fans jamming the streets around Central Synagogue trying to get a glimpse of Don. He made a speech at the wedding and we sang a song together.”

Joe Koch

Joe Koch Pic: Henry Benjamin

It was not the first Koch Simcha that Lane was involved in. In 1990, Lane was MC at Koch’s daughter Tali’s Bat Mitzvah. “He kept the guests more than entertained but was art eh same time very conscious of the fact that it was Tali’s day.”

“I visited him at the Monte and he remembered me…but it was the last time I was to see him. He deteriorated to the point that I was advised not to go.”

Koch added: “Although Don was far from being frum, he loved Yiddishkeit and his conversation was always peppered with colourful words in Yiddish. It’s no surprise he has had such a huge farewell. He was a very special guy.”

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