Remembering David

I have mentioned earlier that my friendship with David began when I was in my late teens, later on we also developed a healthy working relationship.

My job involves organising both the admin and maintenance for blocks of flats.  David, being a ‘jack of all trades’ fit in perfectly for my line of work, and as a result we worked together virtually on a daily basis.

There are blocks of flats all over the eastern suburbs that have little touches of David in them, but my favorite is on the corner of Darling Road and Waverley Road in East Malvern. Not too far from David’s family home in Murrumbeena.

The property is by no means a ‘palace’, just a simple block of 7 flats, in much the same form as it was when it was built in the early 1970’s.

What I am guessing is around 5 years ago, I arranged for David to plant some trees in the common areas on both sides of an entry pathway facing Waverley Road. The ornamental pears were planted at the tail end of the drought in Melbourne, and to be honest I was surprised that they made it (young plants + drought normally isn’t the best mix for a plant to flourish) with still around another 2 years before the drought broke. I like to think the trees survived the drought as they are carrying a small part of David within them.

Years later, the once young saplings are now flourishing with a thick healthy spread of leaves. The trees are still young (in ‘tree years’), but have passed their infancy and now have strong established roots which will allow the tree to grow skywards for many years to come. I am glad to think that the trees will likely still be there even when I am gone, and maybe my children, when they are adults with their own children, can tell the story about grandpa who “knew the man that planted those old trees”.

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Each time I pass the corner of Darling and Waverley Roads it reminds me of David. I have become very fond of the trees, due to what they represent for me. And in hindsight it is funny that such a simple menial thing “David can you please plant a couple of trees” can turn in to something so much more important that than a simple handyman’s job.

The trees remind me of what a fantastic guy David was, and I hope that if you have read this, when you now pass by the property, something that previously you wouldn’t even turn a blind eye to, may now also mean something important to you.

Thank you to Bev and the girls for the photo of David (cover photo, also below). What a magnificent head of hair! Post Update – Quite a funny note, I have just learnt that in the below photo, David’s father-in-law had actually been the one working hard in the garden all day, and David was being lazy and hadn’t done a thing, but thought it would be funny to pose for the photo in front of the garden to make it look as if it was his own handy work. Cheeky bugger!

David Gardening


1 thought on “Remembering David

  1. Belinda

    Hi Deryck, great post and I love the photo, saw it a little while ago at my mum and dad’s but didn’t know the story behind it! Just wanted to say thanks for your email, it is my pleasure to donate. What you are doing is very special, in memory of a very special person. My family and I will be following your blog and progress each day. Thank you for what you are doing.


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