Mossman loses an unsung hero
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.
Unsung hero: Davo McVey