WIN SADLY MISSED: Win Davson on her 90th birthday with her two daughters Christine Davson-Galle and Sharon Davson.
WIN SADLY MISSED: Win Davson on her 90th birthday with her two daughters Christine Davson-Galle and Sharon Davson. Tom Threadingham

Friends and family farewell Win Davson

THE town of Gatton and the wider Lockyer Valley paused a while to remember the great contribution of Win Davson last week.

Ms Davson, a stalwart member of the local arts and theatre community, died on November 10, aged 92, and over 100 people attended her funeral at St Albans Anglican Church on Friday.

As a mark of respect, her coffin was draped in the Australian flag and mourners included the local federal and state MPs and the LVRC mayor Steve Jones.

Win's daughter Christine Davson-Galle gave a moving eulogy that recounted the main achievements of Win's life interspersed with family stories.

Win was the six of seven children of Henry O'Neil of Amby and wife Mary (nee Sandison) of Brisbane.

She grew up in the bush until the family moved to Wynnum.

During World War II, Win was a voluntary aid detachment nurse in the Q 121st Detachment, Wynnum.

She was involved in theatre from an early age and became a speech and drama teacher in 1947.

In 1949 she founded the Mercury Theatre Wynnum and was its first honorary director.

On May 18, 1950, she married ex-serviceman Maurice Davson, who was a Rat of Tobruk and they made Gatton their home.

In Gatton, Win voluntarily donated almost 60 years of speech and drama training to members of Gatton Mercury Theatre, Mercury Children's and Youth Theatre.

Win founded the Gatton Mercury Theatre in 1951 and remained an honorary director for the rest of her life.

She produced over 50 three act plays and among her many successes were her own plays the three-act Ring Round The Valley and one-act Celebration.

In 1957, Win founded the Gatton Mercury Children's Theatre and two years later founded Australian Theatre Week.

She founded galleries in Bribie Island and Gatton, the latter becoming the Win Davson Art Gallery and Museum.

Win was also the originator of the floral emblem for Gatton, the mauve-pink Bauhinia, adopted in April 1952 by the Gatton Shire Council.

She wrote the lyrics for the Song Gatton - Bauhinia Town which was set to music by Maureen Schultz Samois.

Her many honours included an MBE in 1972, finalist in Queenslander of the Year in 1987 and the face of Telstra's phone book cover in 2009.

In her eulogy Christine said her mother was one of a kind.

"She showed all of us that life should be lived to the full," she said.


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