Fitting farewell for ‘Tango’ McMillan

Photo by Zoe McMaugh


Paul ‘Tango’ McMillan

Born: March 5, 1939

Died: December 30, 2021

Paul ‘Tango’ McMillan was born in Deniliquin on March 5, 1939, the oldest of two sons to Frank and Elizabeth McMillan. He also had a sister, Lyn.

He started his education at George St School, before leaving in his teens to work on the family farm on Middleton Rd.

However, he did not see farming as his future career.

‘Tango’ went to Adelaide and worked as a painter for his uncle for six months, before returning home and working for 12 months with Des Connop Electrical.

But he returned to painting, working with Ron Goulding, Gus Seymour and his best mates Les Sitters and Peter Munnerley.

Painting became his lifelong career and he eventually established his own painting business, which he operated until his retirement.

He met his future wife Dawn at a 21st birthday party and they were married in 1962.

This year they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The couple had three sons – Craig (deceased), Dean and Scott.

‘Tango’ loved his football and played for Easts Football Club where he met and established long friendships with his teammates.

He also loved his Essendon Football Club, which is probably why he lost most years in the footy tipping at his beloved Deniliquin Golf Club.

‘Tango’ had started playing golf in his pre-teens, encouraged by his father, and became a full-time member at the age of 17.

He continued as a regular golfer until only about four months ago, when he could no longer play due to his declining health.

Over the years ‘Tango’ was a regular at the club’s ‘round table’, he also attended most club working bees whenever available and painted the clubhouse on several occasions.

He tried to get grandchildren Millie and Max into golf at an early age, but they were more interested in driving his golf cart around Memorial Park.

‘Tango’ also enjoyed fishing, and every year at Easter he would take a break from golfing and go fishing with friends from the Golf Club, usually on the Billabong Creek.

It was on one of these trips that he caught a prized Murray cod, only to have it slip out of the hessian bag when he stopped further along the creek. Although he insisted this story should “stay in the boat”, it became the subject of considerable mirth.

A graveside service to celebrate the life of Paul ‘Tango’ McMillan was scheduled to be held at the Deniliquin Lawn Cemetery on Tuesday, January 11 at 10.30am.

Not long before it was due to start the ‘heavens opened’ with a massive downpour, which led to the service being transferred to the Deniliquin Golf Club.

Those present suggested this was Tango’s parting way of getting everyone back to the club he loved, where his life could be remembered and celebrated.