Lovely to read about Dave’s life prior to meeting Carol who was undoubtedly, the love of his life. You had so many happy adventures and I loved hearing about your travels around Australia. Will be thinking of you all today over in the UK and sending loads of hugs and love. Sarah, Dougie, Maisie & Lily xxx
Dave was born in Inverkeithing, Fife Shire, Scotland on 20th October, 1926. His parents, William and Agnes, and sisters Isabella and Mary and brother, George, were a very loving and caring family, leading very full lives in the local community’ s activities - sailing in their father’s dinghy on the Forth and Inverkeithing Harbour, the two boys, Dave and George joining the local Pipe Band with Dave looking so handsome in his kilt, summer holidays using the rail network courtesy of their father’s employer, Scottish Rail, with Dave in his part time jobs delivering milk, fruit and vegetables, and papers locally. A very industrious and studies lad who was a good and well behaved student at the Inverkeithing local school for girls and boys who actually had separate entrances! After completing his schooling at aged 14 Dave was apprenticed to the local Paper Mill as a bricklayer. The Paper Milll was the largest local employer. Dave continued his education at Night School at the Heriot Technical College in Edinburgh, gaining his Building Inspector’s Certificate.
Dave’s main recreational activity was totally devoted to Motor Bikes. His first bike, a Triumph, was ridden all over Scotland. He never took a short cut, usually the way home was the long way, and up north over the Highlands and back to the coast, hail rain or shine. On one occasion when George, an engineer in the Merchant Navy, was going back to sea, and Alice and Dave were farewelling him, Dave pillioned Alice home across Scotland from Edinburgh to Alice’s home in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, south west of Glasgow, and returned home several hours later via Aberdeen. A quick look at a map of Scotland would show what a rider he was.
Dave migrated to Australia aged 25 in 1951. Tired of the bleak weather conditions he was mostly working in, he opted for sunny Australia. He came out as a ten pound migrant and once again, in between his bricklaying, every weekend saw him exploring the Australian countryside on his trusty motor bike - possibly the BSA by this time - with his 2 mates who migrated with him. Dave settled in Melbourne at first, in Herbert Street, St.Kilda and befriended a neighbour who happened to be a likeminded motor bike enthusiast. Dave going a Motor Mud Scrambling Club located at Fishermen’s Bend, where he spent many hours tearing around the Circuit as well as in Country Scrambling Competitions Dave’s brother, George, said that Dave was first rate on the bikes and had he had a Sponsor, he could have been a Champion.
After a few years Dave returned to Scotland to spend time with his family once again. He worked as a Building Inspector in Glasgow, commuting from Edinburgh daily. However, once again, the weather and working conditions sent him back to Australia after 15 months.
Dave worked in Sydney, living in Randwick for a time but returned to Melbourne and Dave, being Dave, lived in a very respectable Boarding House, called Kooragama, on Beaconsfield Parade, St. Kilda, a stone’s throw from the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, where Dave eventually became a Member and shared with a very great work mate, Alf Egan, a lovely red yacht, called Mischief Maker. Alf had been Dave’s boss meeting up with him while working in Perth. They became inseparable. Mischief Maker was used as a weekend fishing boat, many hours being spent out on Port Phillip Bay. After Alf passed away, Dave bought a Lako, a very stylish motor boat, come fishing boat, which he just loved. Dave had a true affinity with the sea, possibly from the childhood sailing days with his father. The motor boat was called ‘Sheena’ and eventually, as well as being the Sunday fishing boat with his mates, became a Rescue/Crash boat for the Saturday afternoon Yacht Races skippered by Dave for the Cadet Dinghies, a Junior yacht Squadron, at RMYS. Many hours of comradeship were spent this way over a number of years. A special Sunday Fishing Day was celebrated for a mate’s birthday, with Black Velvets as the specialty - Champagne and Guinness.
Dave then took up Golf and like his Motor Cycling prowess, he excelled. Hours of practice after work was put in and he was a very fine, straight hitting golfer, always in demand to join a four. For years Dave played at Brighton Golf Club lowering his handicap steadily, and after retirement played mid week at other Golf Courses.
Dave in the meantime had met up with Carol and her family through the Yacht Club. After Carol was suddenly widowed at a young age with two very small children a very comfortable friendship developed. Dave, who had spent most of his life as an independent and fancy free young man, suddenly found himself immersed in a very large extended family as Carol had 3 brothers and 3 sisters with their own families. Dave became such a integral part of the entire family over the years, always happy to share in family occasions and was so liked, admired and respected for his wide knowledge and experience.
Dave was always keen to join in weekend card games with Carol and the kids and would join them on their camping holidays to Barwon Heads and to the Murphy Family’s holiday home at Cape Paterson. In later years Carol and Dave returned to Barwon Heads often for camping trips, sometimes with Dave’s ‘brickie' friends and their wives, to play the local golf courses and enjoy the beach walks.
Dave was there with us for every family occasion - weddings, Christenings, birthdays, sport events , Christmas, everything.!!! He even attended the relevant Church Services!! He helped out on many occasions when Merran was in the Girl Guides. Camping trips always saw Dave’s utility arrive to transport all the camp gear to and from the Guide Hall to the Camp site usually down the Mornington Peninsula. He was just part of the family and so much valued and respected. We always had a freezer full of flathead fillets which Dave always brought in for us on a Sunday evening after his day’s fishing. Most weekends saw Dave at Carol’s home in Montgomery Street. Sometimes going out for Pizza, take away Chinese or just a pot luck dinner. Always just so easy. We just loved Dave’s wicked sense of humour. So much fun.s
Bushwalking and cycling now became regular weekend activities. Cycling most Sundays, exploring the Bike paths around Melbourne with Carol’s sister,Kathleen and Brenda and husband, John were great days and so enjoyable. Dave and Carol joined Bushwalking Groups and had many adventurous experiences.
Dave retired at age 65 in 1991, after making many firm friends in his bricklaying gangs. Everyone respected Dave and his craftmanship and was unknowingly watched and respected from a distance.
Dave had always liked Bright and had spent time here in his earlier days. Most of his camping and touring holidays always seemed to end up in Bright so it was no surprise he found a perfect home that had just come on the market - 15 Alpine View Avenue. You could say Dave ‘lived happily ever after’ especially when Carol was able to join him a few years later.
Dave immediately joined the Bright golf Club where he joined the Veterans’ Group, also playing socially.
He enjoyed our many camping and bushwalking holidays whether around Australia or near to home. Cycling trips in Bright usually entailed tackling the many local hills withy the pair of us pushing our bikes up the tracks and then a hair raising ride down - Dave was in his element, a sight to see, gung ho, making his way down the steepest tracks.
Of later years, Golf became more seldom, walks a bit shorter, but Dave never lost the urge to be in the outdoors. Dave lived most of his years actively until the last few when age related issues began to appear.
He accepted his growing frailty with forbearance, always such a joy to care for.