Sage in the garden

Graeme Davis Tahara Farm house featured in In Pioneers Footsteps a history of Deloraine

Sage in the garden

OCTOBER 2015 | Marguerite McNeill

AS A young man Graeme Davis helped establish a weekly newsletter for his school and wound up as chief editor for the school magazine.

A few years later he was pipped at the post for the position of cub reporter at one of the local newspapers.

But he kept on tinkering with the written word.

Now, after several decades of dabbling and a few minor publications, the 90-year-old is about to launch his second book entitled In Pioneers’ Footsteps – Exploring Deloraine’s History and Built Heritage.

Inspired by a love of history, particularly that of his adoptive town of Deloraine, the book is a virtual progression from the walking and driving tours Mr Davis led a few years ago.

He said that the walks began as a result of a growing number of people wanting to know more about the town.

“I led the walks regularly for about 3 years,” Mr Davis said.

“At the beginning it was mainly for people who had lived in the area for about 20, years or so.”

“We did two long walks, one on the west side of the river and then on the following week on the town side.”

“The enquiries originated at Deloraine House but then it spread to the Visitor Centre with people visiting wanting to do the tours.”

As the interest grew, so did the routes and the tours evolved sometimes as car (and sometimes bus) drives to places of interest around the district and beyond.

The new book features a historical snapshot of 2 drives and 3 walks and includes about 200 photos of buildings and some streetscapes around Deloraine.

Saying that he was not an author or a historian Mr Davis added that he had done “a lot of swotting” to gather the facts and that a lot of different people had helped along the way.

He believes the warm reception and assistance offered by so many people is indicative of the nature of Deloraine that he embraced on arriving in the town more than 60 years ago.

He paid special tribute to his daughter Sandra, who transcribed 32,000 words of his hand written notes (including an overload of full stops) and helped with the research and photos.

A long-term Rotarian, Mr Davis is also grateful for the support of Deloraine Rotary and the opportunity to market his book at a stall during the Deloraine Craft Fair.

In Pioneers’ Footsteps will be launched the night before the fair on Thursday, 29th October by Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins in the Yarns auditorium at the Deloraine Visitor Centre.

 

 Mike Moores