A wide variety of memories and recollections are strong amongst David’s family, friends and work associates.
David had numerous passions and interests, many originating quite early in his life. David’s development of www.infobluemountains.net.au from 1996 until his sudden death in August 2003 brought together many of his interests and abilities.
Trains and railways
Trains and railways, along with a fascination about how things work, came from his childhood. Like many children, this included taking things apart - and not always being able to get them back together again! David enjoyed visiting old railway sites and remains and these visits were sometimes incorporated into family holidays in NSW and Victoria.
Maps were another – and also acting very capably as navigator on family trips though sometimes diverting the family to places of his choosing!
Drawing and Design
David’s drawing and designs were notable from a very young age and he would spend hours on these, filling books and papers. In the early 60’s he designed a plane with a second storey - his older sister said it could not fly, then along came jumbo’s!
The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains held strong appeal and fascination from childhood years – the bush, rough roads and tracks, railways such as the Zig Zag.
David’s strong faith and his very active involvement in the church developed particularly from his late teens. A trip to Uganda to meet with the pastors and congregations of churches with which he had established links and supported with donations (including books and reference materials), was a highlight of his 30’s. His sister, Barbara, was living in Indonesia and he was able to visit her en route.
David’s love of motor-cycling developed in his young adulthood. Exploring the Mountains and other areas on rough bush tracks was a delight of his – and his collection of maps was impressive! His love of motor-cycling in combination with his Christian faith led to his active roles within a Christian motor-cycling group and the production of the magazine “Breaking Free” for several years. Close, lifelong friendships developed through his faith and his motor-cycling.
Photography was an interest from early on and David displayed talent and attention to detail in this work. Many of his friends talk of the unusually beautiful photos that he would take of their newborn children. He also took wonderful photos of friends, including being photographer at their weddings and was frequently the main photographer at church events. David was a very proud uncle of his niece and his photos of her are also beautiful. David took impressive photos of bushland, railways and historical sites, many of these are incorporated in www.infobluemountains.net.au.
Once computers began to be common in the home, another great interest and fascination opened up for David, leading to study and work in computing as well as hours of recreational use and application to his various interests.
With arrival of the internet and its websites, a major new passion developed. David established his website, Blue Mountains Plaza (www.mountains.net.au/plaza), in 1996 – promoting the Blue Mountains and giving information, especially on railways and history, as well as advertising for local organizations (often for no charge) and businesses. It was advertised as
Mountains of information
Recognition and praise of his work came from many sources with the Brittanica Internet Guide Award being the most prestigious. The site is also now archived on PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive set up by the National Library. The State Library, a partner in the PANDORA Archive, has identified the Info Blue Mountains website as having state significance.
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David’s collection of books showed his varied interests with significant numbers of books relating to Christianity and the church, railways, local history, self-sufficiency and sustainable forms of living, electronics, computers and photography; he also had a large collection of maps. His great sense of humour (often quite quirky!) was also reflected in some of his books.
David’s sudden death at 46 shook his family, friends and colleagues. Gatherings of his friends and family have brought warm, humorous and sometimes hilarious tales and reminiscences – David would have enjoyed these as he would take delight in recounting such tales of friends and family!
David is loved and missed by many – family and friends. This website, now archived by the National Library’s PANDORA project while also continuing as a service to those interested in the Blue Mountains, is a significant and lasting tribute to many areas of David’s life, interests and work.