Date: January 30, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

NT mourns loss of Andrew Wilson

AUSTRALIA DAY TRAGEDY: A 20-year-old man drowns at a Pool Party in the Rural Area

Posted by Nine News Darwin on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Northern Territory golfing community is in shock after one of its brightest young stars died tragically on Australia Day.

Andrew Phillip Wilson hit his head while jumping into a pool at a party at Girraween, near Darwin, and never regained consciousness. He was 20 years old.

His family, requesting privacy to mourn the loss of a young man loved by all who knew him, released a heartfelt statement: “Andrew had the ability to light up a room and his smile was contagious. He will be sorely missed.”

Wilson, a talented all-round athlete who also played football, first represented the Northern Territory in golf at the 2008 Australian Boys Amateur Championship and Interstate Series when he was just 12 years old.

He went on to represent the Territory at the following five national junior series and enjoyed many other tournament victories including the Katherine and Darwin Golf Club Open titles.

Golf NT secretary and good friend Jason De Araujo said Wilson was loved by all those with whom he came in contact.

“He was always cheerful and positive – except for the occasional wayward drive or missed short putt – and he took time for everyone from all walks of life,” De Araujo said.

“He was a true mate in all aspects.”

De Araujo said the pain of dealing with Wilson’s loss was gut-wrenching for all in the golfing and wider communities. 

“But Andrew would have wanted us all to remember the laughs and good times – remember the birdies and eagles.

“For this was a young man who flew like an eagle with grace and poise and, of course, that cheeky grin and caring eyes.”

Wilson had tried on the morning of Australia Day to play a round of golf, but found a full field and decided to go to a friend’s pool party.

Witnesses said he jumped in, but that nobody noticed immediately that he hadn’t surfaced.

When they realised what had happened, Wilson’s mates hauled him from the pool and tried to revive him. But when ambulance officers arrived on the scene minutes later, there was nothing that could be done.

“He was just a loveable bloke who appealed to everyone,” De Araujo said.

“He was really charismatic, had a great personality (and was) someone who could start a conversation with anybody and talk for ages.

“It’s such a great loss. I’m still trying to come to terms with that loss – that I’m never going to see him again.”

The funeral mass for Andrew will be conducted at Darwin Christ Church Cathedral, 2 Smith Street Darwin, at 2pm, Monday 1 February 2016.