Remembering My Dad and the Doughnut Truck

Remembering my dad with hot sugared doughnuts.

Let’s go back to 1973. Yes, I was very young. Growing up in Melbourne, one of my favourite things to do on Sunday mornings was to visit Port Melbourne with my dad. How I loved our mornings together. We would stand on the footpath overlooking Port Phillip Bay, watch the ships come in and then head down to the ponies at St Kilda. To be honest, I don’t actually remember seeing the ships come in (were there any? maybe I saw one once…) but guess what I DO remember?  The doughnut truck that was always parked right there!

The old caravan with the huge sign overhead, the high window where we placed our order, the white paper bag full of hot, sugary jam-filled doughnuts and the inevitable burnt lips and full belly. They are the wonderful and mouthwatering memories that comprise those special times with my dad. So there began my love of sugary jam donuts. (It has been a long love affair, and still continues to this day.)

My dad Jack Hansky passed away last week at the almost-but-not-quite-ripe-old-age of 84. We had hoped to see him well into his 90s but it was not to be. The scourge of pancreatic cancer.

We asked Dad a few weeks ago whether there were any things he still wished he had done during his life. He told us that he felt he had a privileged life, that he experienced all the important things he had hoped to experience and that he leaves us a fulfilled man. He has shown us the importance of a well rounded life. He managed to balance family and friends, a successful career in medicine both as both a physician and teacher, a love of the Carlton Football Club, golf and racehorses, and giving back to the community in time and resources. We can all learn so much from him.

I am grateful that we (my entire family) were lucky enough to have such a wonderful husband, brother, father, father-in-law and (truly incredible) zeidi (grandfather) for so many good years. I am grateful that we all had the opportunity over the last weeks and months to say all we had to say and do all we had to do. I am grateful that he passed away with all of us by his side, listening to his favourite tunes from the Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra.

The doughnut truck from Port Melbourne is long gone and I am so grateful that many things, including sugary jam donuts, will continue to remind me of my dad and will always, always make me smile.

My dad Jack, his moustache and his polo neck jumper. And the doughnut truck. Love you Dad!!


This is me, in 1973 double denim and clogs, buying up big at the doughnut truck.


An ACTUAL picture of me eating those memorable donuts. I’m amazed that this picture exists, and even more amazed that Dad took it!


Mum and Dad, 31 October 2015


If you want to take a trip with me down memory lane, you can make sugared jam doughnuts from this great recipe from Giora Shimoni.


Dr. Jack Hansky AM
2 September 1931 – 25 November 2015




  1. Brett

    Beautiful. Thinking of you and wishing you a long life to keep remembering those donuts!

  2. charmaine Roth

    Beautiful story Lisa , thinking of you during this difficult time.

  3. Jacqui

    Love this post Lis. Thanks for sharing a little bit of you life and your dad’s life with us. x x x x
    memories are sooo important

  4. Melanie Bome

    Thoughts are with you, Lisa. Wishing you long life. May these wonderful memories bring you strength at this sad time and forever after! X

  5. Nancie McDermott

    Thank you for this beautiful reminiscence. What a wonderful man, and what a great life he lived. It’s a privilege to read his story. Thinking of you and your family as you move through this time of sadness and loss. What beautiful memories and lessons you must have to see you through!

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks very much Nancie, your comments are so lovely 🙂

  6. Lisa Binetter

    Beautiful post of beautiful memories.
    Wishing you long life..

  7. Joanne (Grace) Goldstein

    What wonderful memories. The places and the times so familiar to me. Thinking of you. Wishing you long life

  8. Corinne markov

    A beautiful memory indeed. And I can vouch for the fact that that’s really you in all that lovely denim! And I sure do remember your dads moustache! It’s funny how these are the things we remember with our parents. Those weekly traditions. Much love and good health to you all n these difficult days.

  9. Jackie Stark Mendels

    Wishing you and your family long life. So glad you have beautiful and tasty memories.

  10. Alina Goldman ( your Dad's cousin)

    Dear Lisa,

    your Grandma and my mother were sisters, and very close.
    I met your father first time when I was four years old , when all the Hansky’s came to Warsaw to get their visas for Australia. he was a tall child , blond and with sparkling blue eyes. We also corresponded after the war, when he was at medical school.
    lWe met later on, in Israel and in the US , when your parents came over.
    It is a great pity that most of our family was decimated in Poland, and what was left was is scattered all over…
    I received your blog from a dear friend of mine, Bernice Bachmayer.
    Your dad was a wonderful human being who touched many with his generosity . He was very proud of his children and grandchildren.
    I wish you all the very best and that you might not know sorrow again-

    with love


    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Hi Alina
      How lovely to hear from you, and thanks for your good wishes. I will email you privately x

  11. Stephanie Mlinaric

    Hi Lisa . I looked after you Mark and Ester in Brighton in the 60s. I had so much fun looking after you 3 kids and staying at your beach house with Miss Perry. I have many good memories of your Mum and Dad.
    I am now 73 and living in QLD and loving it. I Have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.
    Sorry for the loss of your dad.
    Stephanie Mlinaric

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Repost @eylonalevy: Up close we can’t see it, but the Great Diaspora Awakening is a miracle. We 💙 you, Canadian Jews!🇮🇱🇨🇦

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