By CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
It’s been four years since Chippendale character Trevor Davies died but time hasn’t silenced the friendly and passionate voice friends and locals remember.
Friends and locals gathered on Saturday July 25 at Charles Kernan Reserve on Abercrombie St in Darlington. Present was City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore who officially opened a seat inscribed with a poem by Dorothy McRae-McMahon in honour of Davies.
The Lord Mayor described Davies as a “local character” of Redfern and Darlinghurst.
“[He] was active in the Uniting Church, and in Labor politics, and in community groups like RedWatch, and he was involved in the South Sydney Herald” Clr Moore said.
“Trevor, as a great community activist, and a committed democrat, would be appalled by the state government’s latest efforts to take control of the City of Sydney through amalgamation with Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and Botany – none of whom want the amalgamation either.”
Davies was known among Darlington locals for his loquacious tendencies, engaging those around him in political discussions that were always rooted in a sense of social justice and his own Labor values.
It was on this basis it was decided that a seat on the footpath frequented by locals would be an apt memorial for a man who loved to talk with passers by.
Reverend Andrew Collis of the South Sydney Uniting Church knew him for many years and said it was a love of his community and a good headline that he remembers most fondly of Davies.
“He loved his community, and he would have loved to have seen us all together here on a sunny afternoon,” he said.
“He would be naming all the other people he thought more deserving of it, and he would be quick to point out the good work others are doing.”
Rev Collis, who now edits the South Sydney Herald, said it was a daunting prospect putting the paper together after his death.
“We weren’t a hundred per cent sure we could do it without him, he was irreplaceable, but then we were really proud that when we put our heads together we had the power and the passion, and we knew how to do it, just by the way that he modelled the job.”
President of RedWatch Geoff Turnbull met Davies in the 1970s through the Uniting Church.
“Trevor would sit down in the coffee shops and he would talk to anybody that walked past, and it didn’t matter what their political position was. Interestingly one of the apologies was from Duncan Gay who is the Minister for Roads on the coalition side.”
“Trevor and him would have robust discussions about a range of things.”
Norrie May-Wellby worked with Davies as a cartoonist for the paper and said everything Davies did had a political element.
“He would have really liked it when Clover did the political thing at the end her speech and spoke about the issue of amalgamating councils,” May-Wellby said.
“Some people would disagree, oh no it’s not about that, he always liked to make things political and meaningful, and if you could give an important message as part of something, that’s something Trevor would approve of.”
Trevor Davies’ brother Ivor said that his brother would have been laughing if he was there.
“The best thing would be that Clover acknowledged Trevor because they were, at times, head to head.”
“He was a great fan of hers sometimes, and then other times she’d do something he didn’t agree with. But he’d just like the fact all the people were here.”
City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis sent her apologies for being unable to attend.