Moss­man loses an un­sung hero

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - ANGELIAUE PAT­TER­SON

THE Moss­man com­mu­nity has lost an un­sung hero of the home­less with the death last Wed­nes­day of David “Davo” McVey, who was bat­tling cancer.

Davo’s sis­ter Janet Davis is go­ing to miss the man who was known for giv­ing peo­ple who were home­less or needed to “sober up” a place to stay and car­ing for them.

“The whole town is in mourn­ing, he had a heart of an an­gel and a mouth of a sewer,” Davis said.

Born on June 23, 1950, in Scot­land, Davo mi­grated to Aus­tralia with his fam­ily when he was three, was put into a chil­dren’s home at four years of age, grew up in fos­ter homes and even­tu­ally ended up on the streets.

Af­ter deal­ing with his own demons and sober­ing up, Davo com­mit­ted his life to help­ing oth­ers sober up and sav­ing lives of street kids in St Kilda in the 1960s.

Af­ter go­ing AWOL for a few years, Davo emerged and ran un­of­fi­cial half­way houses on the Gold Coast and later Cairns and Hope­vale be­fore mov­ing to Moss­man and start­ing a place for al­co­holics to sober up.

De­spite gov­ern­ment agen­cies threat­en­ing to close down his half­way house, Davo kept run­ning ’Some­where to Run,’ which was the aban­doned Whitby house lo­cated in the Dain­tree and ac­ces­si­ble only by boat.

One of Davo’s close friends Mau­rice “Gypsy” Tol­ley is not sure about the fu­ture of ’Some­where to Run’ now Davo is gone.

“There was no sup­port for his camp up the river, he was the only one in­ter­ested and he used his own time, money and fuel to take them there to sober up - the Gov­ern­ment never ac­knowl­edged his work,” Gypsy said.

“He put ev­ery­one else be­fore him­self, he did a lot of work with in­dige­nous peo­ple and when they were in trou­ble he would feed them.”

Davo will be sorely missed in the Moss­man com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially by those he helped out by car­ing for them, feed­ing and cloth­ing them or sim­ply driv­ing them home.

“He used to wait at the pub on Fri­day to make sure they got home on time, he would sit down and would not drink,” Gypsy said.

“He was a good man, a gen­tle bloke, he put other peo­ple be­fore him­self, noth­ing was too much trou­ble, and if he could help he would.”

David “Davo” McVey’s fu­neral is likely to be held in Moss­man next week.

Photo by HOLLY ROBERT­SON

Un­sung hero: Davo McVey

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