LOOK­ING BACK: BEV WARNER

Some peo­ple just live more in­ter­est­ing lives than most, and Bev Warner is one of them as Moya Stevens dis­cov­ered

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Bev has had some won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing her life, with travel be­ing top of the list and a smat­ter­ing of celeb en­coun­ters thrown in.

But with all her trav­els, she still found that the best place to live for her was Port Dou­glas.

The daugh­ter of an op­tometrist, Bev en­joyed a good life and fine ed­u­ca­tion in Mel­bourne. Lovely hap­pen­stances with fa­mous peo­ple are a com­mon theme in her life, with the first be­ing an op­por­tu­nity to sing with Louis Arm­strong when she was a very young woman.

“I was a singer and was in­vited to sing on Ra­dio 3DB.

“While I was wait­ing af­ter my per­for­mance, Louis Arm­strong came by and said ‘what a beau­ti­ful voice’ I had, which was rather ex­cit­ing,” Bev said, “and we ended up hav­ing a lit­tle sing-a-long to­gether.”

The same year, 1954, Bev es­corted a friend to an in­vesti­ture at Gov­ern­ment House where she met Queen El­iz­a­beth II who was of­fi­ci­at­ing on her first trip to Aus­tralia as the Head of State.

Two years later, Bev joined her fa­ther on a day at the Royal Mel­bourne Yacht Club where she met a charm­ing young Amer­i­can, Charles Mor­gan, who Bev later dis­cov­ered was the grand­son of JP Mor­gan Jnr, the fa­mous banker and fi­nancier.

“We went out a few times be­fore he went home and we cor­re­sponded for sev­eral years,” she said.

Bev trained as a Nurse at the Prince Henry’s Hos­pi­tal and soon be­came a much sought-af­ter the­atre sis­ter. She met her hus­band, Ian, an ear, nose and throat sur­geon, mar­ried in 1958 and set off on a UK ad­ven­ture.

“It was ex­cit­ing times in Lon­don in the early ’60s, be­ing the Carn­aby Street era.”

While she was liv­ing in Lon­don, Bev’s first child, Richard, was born but that didn’t stop the wan­der­lust of the Warn­ers.

“On one oc­ca­sion I went with a cou­ple of girl­friends to the south of France, just out of Monte Carlo,” Bev said, “and one of them was a florist and had to ar­range some flow­ers on a big yacht at the ma­rina.

“I went with her to keep her com­pany, and when we got to the ma­rina, we worked out we were de­liv­er­ing flow­ers to Christina O, which be­longed to Onas­sis.

“When one of the crew of­fered to show me around, I didn’t hes­i­tate – it was amaz­ing.”

Another in­ter­est­ing trip Bev had was on a train through cen­tral Europe. They found them­selves in East Ger­many, which was “ter­ri­fy­ing”.

“The train stopped and big Ger­man Shepherd dogs were let on board, then a very of­fi­cious woman in uni­form made us open all our bags and thor­oughly checked our pa­pers.

“When we got un­der­way again we no­ticed that at even dis­tances peo­ple where sta­tioned along the route to check that no­body got off.”

Af­ter four years in the UK, the cou­ple de­cided to re­turn to Mel­bourne. “I spent 14 years rar­ing the chil­dren,” Bev said, “and then I re­turned to Prince Henry’s un­til its clo­sure in 1991.”

The time in Europe cer­tainly piqued Bev’s love of trav­el­ling and, af­ter hav­ing two more chil­dren, Alex and Libby, more trav­els were ar­ranged, in­clud­ing South Amer­ica, Easter Is­land and Canada.

“When I went to Canada, I trav­elled up to Prud­hoe Bay which is small place in Alaska on the Arc­tic Ocean and as it was spring the wild­flow­ers where some­thing to be­hold.

“I took my 12 year old grand­daugh­ter, Sarah, to Canada and we had the best time,” Bev said, “and be­ing Christ­mas, the snow and the dec­o­ra­tions made the whole place quite mag­i­cal.”

Bev has also taken her nurs­ing ex­per­tise to some re­mote places in­clud­ing Alice Springs and Tor­res Strait.

Bev is not only an avid trav­eller but also en­joys ten­nis, golf, walk­ing and the arts.

“I just love my in­volve­ment with DAB in Moss­man – I am cur­rently learn­ing glass slump­ing which is so much fun.”

When she isn’t do­ing glass or ce­ramic craft work, Bev may be found on the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course, where last year she won the C Grade Cub Cham­pi­onship as well as the Women’s Nett and Gross Cham­pi­onships.

“I used to play a lot of ten­nis and was a mem­ber of the Dou­ble Fault Club, but it’s a bit hot up here for that so I’ve moved to golf.”

Bev vis­its Mel­bourne each year where she is a guest at the Aus­tralian Open, af­ter vol­un­teer­ing there for 40 years un­til 2014.

“I used to drive a lot of the play­ers around – St­effi Graf, Chris Evert, Pete Sam­pras, John McEn­roe and most them were lovely peo­ple.”

With two of her three chil­dren liv­ing in Port, it seemed log­i­cal for Bev to move up here too, so she did just that in 1995.

“Oh, and my grand­son, James and I met Pres­i­dent Clin­ton when he vis­ited Port Dou­glas in the mid 90s.”

Bev cer­tainly has packed a lot into her life, and she ap­pears to be con­tin­u­ing to make very day count.

“I have met some won­der­ful peo­ple up here and I just love be­ing here with my fam­ily and friends.”

I went with her to keep her com­pany, and when we got to the ma­rina, we worked out we were de­liv­er­ing flow­ers to Christina O, which be­longed to Onas­sis

Bev Warner

Pic­ture: MOYA STEVENS

Bev Warner with some of her glass work. In­set: In the 1980s

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