Kapunda visionary honoured

THE man who helped deliver Kapunda’s iconic ‘Map the Miner’ has been remembered for his invaluable contribution and unwavering attitude towards improving his community.
Former Kapunda resident and district clerk John Davidson recently passed away at age 86, and has been formally acknowledged by Light Regional Council for his many achievements.
As a mark of respect, elected members tabled notes at their latest meeting, relating to his time with the Kapunda Council from 1960 to 1970, as well as with the Kapunda Rotary Club, many sporting clubs, and later as owner of the Kapunda Newsagency.
Mr Davidson, who in later years lived at Encounter Bay with his late wife of 55 years, Bette, was instrumental in the establishment of Kapunda’s iconic Map the Miner monument, devising the initial
concept, finding an artist to design it, and then, along with the Kapunda Rotary Club, securing its funding.
He was awarded the highest accolade a Rotarian can receive – the Paul Harris award – partly due to his work on the seven- metre-tall monument, which was completed in 1986.
Mr Davidson’s two youngest sons, Peter and Steven, said their dad was a strong community man who, as district clerk, felt a responsibility to work hard and improve his town.
“As kids, growing up in Kapunda was wonderful and we felt we were so much part of the community with many friends and great times, and this was because of our father doing so many projects in the
town with his many friends,” they said.
“He was entrepreneurial, had imagination and foresight for this historical town, with a great wife at his side.
“Dad surrounded himself with many hard-working, willing locals who would trust dad’s visions and would ensure that jobs got done to benefit sporting clubs, community organisations and visitors to
the town.”
Among the projects Mr Davidson had a strong hand in were the establishment of the present Kapunda golf course, caravan park and ambulance station, and the construction and sealing of Truro and Belvedere roads.
He was also instrumental in the transformation of the formerly disused and untidy railway dam area, off of Willow Drive, as a community reserve.
Many years later, in 1985, the area was renamed Davidson Reserve, in his honour.
Upon his retirement from Kapunda District Council in May, 1970, Mr Davidson purchased the Kapunda Newsagency, which he owned for six years, before becoming the assistant district clerk and
overseer of works at Freeling for the next 12 years.
In retirement, Mr and Mrs Davidson sold their historic Osborne House, at Kapunda, and moved to Gawler, then Semaphore South, where they would go on many holidays around Australia in a converted
school bus, as well as on trips to Singapore and Hawaii.
Later they would downsize and move closer to family in Encounter Bay.
Mr Davidson passed away on December 13, 2017, after, in the words of his sons, having had a great, full-filled, accomplished and distinguished life.

Ellouise Crawford

@ElleCrawford90

Ellouise Crawford joined The Bunyip in April, 2010, while completing a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia. Ellouise wrote The Bunyip’s Playford Times before joining the editorial team full-time in late-2011. She now covers the Light Regional Council region and enjoys writing about Gawler’s strong heritage, as well as its many passionate and inspirational residents. Ellouise grew up in Gawler and now lives in Wasleys with her family.

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