David Deavin farewelled at touching funeral service

FAREWELL: David Deavin's children, Phil, Terry, Robert, James and Leonie share memories of their father's life. Picture: Paul Scambler

FAREWELL: David Deavin's children, Phil, Terry, Robert, James and Leonie share memories of their father's life. Picture: Paul Scambler

He built stadiums, houses and numerous communities – but more importantly to his family and friends, David Deavin was a genuine man. 

Born in 1939, Mr Deavin knew he had one life – so he made it extraordinary.

He was a Launceston business identity, scouts leader, hockey president, masonic lodge master and a drum teacher. 

Mr Deavin was farewelled on Monday at the Tailrace Centre at Riverside.  

With his wife Barbara by his side, Mr Deavin died on August 1 after a short illness.

He was the type of man who got on with it, and hated the limelight. 

Son Phil anticipated an obituary in the newspaper would not bode well with his father – but he acknowledged the need to celebrate a life well lived.

A pioneer of the Northern Hockey Association – Mr Deavin almost single-handedly identified the need to grow the sport and build a new facility for hockey.  

He identified a site near his old home at St Leonards and proceeded to plan, design and then build the new hockey centre.

Complete with a synthetic pitch, Mr Deavin travelled across the country to determine what was the best product to use.

His work paid off.

Upon its completion, many people in the hockey community recognised the new St Leonards facility as one of the best in the world.

At the centre a grandstand bears his name.

The design of the guttering, path and boundary wall system Mr Deavin built was so impressive, staff at the Homebush Hockey Centre copied it ahead of the 2000 Olympic Games. 

Equal to his love of hockey was a love of golf.

There was plenty of time for golf in retirement, but prior to it Mr Deavin worked hard and became successful.

At the age of 12, Mr Deavin started working after school with his father at Deavin’s Menswear.

In the mid-1960s he bought the store and and transformed it into a large business.

When his son Terry bought the store in 2000 it allowed Mr Deavin and Barbara to begin their retirement.

The couple – with a love burning as bright as it did when they first met at school – travelled across Australia for 22 years.

While they made many friends along the way, one of Mr Deavin’s closest friends was Ray Watson.

For about 50 years the two men and their families holidayed together, ate together and laughed together.

“I managed to back his boat into a tree once,” Mr Watson told the laughing crowd. 

“Farewell my dear friend.”

The sadness was overcome by a message from Phil. 

“He wouldn’t want us crying over the one day that he departed, let’s celebrate the 28,384 days that he made extraordinary,” he said. 

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