Passing of Don Paul Gaboury

  • I have learned that Don Paul Gaboury has passed on unexpectedly. Don Paul will be well known to long time members on this board and was a great spearfisherman who took on worthy prey. He fabricated his own guns and also had an extensive collection of old spearfishing equipment.

    I remember many discussions with him on past spearfishing equipment and Don Paul knew all there was to know about spearguns and their rigging. His “Double Trouble” gun will be known to many, a specialist double shot speargun based on an extensive reworking of the Ultimate Double speargun grip with not much else retained from those guns, especially as Don Paul's gun floated after the shot.

    Don Paul participated on a number of spearfishing forums, his passing will come as a shock.

    My deep condolences to his family and friends, Don Paul was a one-off!

    The International Underwater Spearfishing Association

  • Don Paul was a one-off!


    I spoke with Dillon Don's son, he told me Don passed in the early hours of Sunday Jan 22 at his home from health reasons.

    I will forever keep Don in my thoughts. To me he was the embodiment of a real man. Adventurous, knowledgeable, calm, generous, willing to lend a hand, keenly aware of human nature on both the physical and psychological levels, overcoming life's challenges/obstacles not allowing it to defeat his own true character. In my life experience Don was a unique combination of rash yet intelligent, with supreme self confidence in his abilities to solve whatever problem he was faced with, be it making some machine work or putting himself on the track to wellness. Don always gave me the sense that he's capable of making everything right, and that the future will bring better things. All the more shocking to know that he succumbed. I can't help but feel that even so he went to the last moment undefeated on his own terms.

    Don was a builder of things and an innovator. He applied this talent to speargun design. I believe some of his design contributions were used by Jay Riffe and are still part of every Riffe speargun. When I'd have a doubt about some mechanical feature or material characteristics Don was my go to friend to ask. He was always generous with his knowledge and time. At times when I'm stuck with building something that I can't work out, and remember to take a step back and think outside the box, then finally figure it out, I remember Don saying "That's when you know you're a creator of things".

    I know that Don wanted to make a return to spearfishing for a long time. But life's trials got in the way and now the moment is gone. A lesson to all of us. Dillon, if you're reading this, know that whenever your dad talked about you I could sense how important you were to him, and that he was proud of you. Don not being quite old enough at about 15 years my senior, I still thought of him as a father figure. I think he was sensitive to that and so called me brother. But I knew that he was on a whole other level for me to be considered his equal. Maybe one day when I grow up.. I will miss you Don, you left too early.

    Don Paul appearing in the Bluewater Hunters documentary circa 1990.

    Don Paul 10 years ago.

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