David Newby

Life Eulogy & Tribute

Memories and Tribute read by his three sisters: Chris Samuels, Stephanie Newby, and Louise Kershaw.

Chris: for all that amazing life he lived, David was just our brother. So, now we would like to share some happy memories that the three of us have of David as we were growing up. David – here’s to you, from your big sister Chrissy …

Stephi: and your two little sisters, Stephi

Lou: and LouLou.

Chris: We moved a lot when we were children. In fact, we moved every five or six years. David and I were born in Castlecrag, when our parents – Joyce and George – were living initially in Chatswood, and later, in Moruya on the south coast where we lived on a dairy farm. The next port of call was Bathurst where Stephi and Lou were born.

Stephi: We were known as – “the little girls”, because there was almost a four year gap between David and I. After a stint in Bathurst where David went to primary school we moved to Berridale for his high school years – Monaro High in Cooma, followed by boarding school in Sydney at the Shore School. We moved to Dubbo while David was at Shore.

Lou: David grew up in a household of girls. Besides father of course – but when we were children, he was an absent sort of father…

Chris: …so you would think that David might have turned out to be a bit… well, girlish? But no way! On the contrary – he was the ultimate alpha male.

Stephi: And rather than us influencing him to be a bit… girlish, the opposite happened. His influence was so profound, that we turned out to be… well, tomboys.

Lou: speak for yourself Stephi! But, he did treat us as if we were his brothers didn’t he…

Chris: David was strong. He was always beating us up. Wrestling matches, arm wrestling, crow poking, chinese burns, cat fights…

Stephi: you were the only one who could get the better of him Chrissy. Your battles were nothing short of epic. You eventually worked out that if you sat in a chair and started kicking, those long legs of yours became deadly weapons.

Lou: David did have an advantage – George passed on his boxing skills to David, buying him a pair of boxing gloves at a very young age, and engaging him in regular sparing matches in the back yard.

Chris: David was strong, and fearless. In our youth, David and I loved to roam the hills, gullies and creeks. David especially loved climbing trees to collect eggs to add to his impressive egg collection. Little wonder that his head was pecked by plovers in Bathurst and magpies in Berridale. I was always planning how I was going to catch him if he fell. He never did.

Stephi: David was strong, fearless, and an athlete. He enjoyed track and field, and was a keen marksman – a member of the Shore shooting team that won the GPS championship. I believe he would typically get 99 out of 100 shots on target, if not the odd perfect score to seal a victory.

Lou: At track and field he jumped 6ft 1 (and maybe even more?) doing the western roll, and landing on half an inch of sawdust – without the comforts and techniques enjoyed by today’s jumpers… Trust me – I know a thing or two about track and field – that is impressive! He achieved the goal of every self respecting high jumper – to be able to jump your own height.
David was strong, fearless, athletic, and also a risk-taker: he loved absailing, and loved introducing others to the sport. We had a memorable weekend in the Blue Mountains when David and his family dangled the Kershaw family on the end of a rope over a 100ft cliff!

Chris: David was strong, fearless, athletic, a risk-taker, and he also had many talents – music not the least of them. I would like to take some credit for bringing guitar into his life, as I was the first one in the family to bring one home, along with a bunch of folk songs and even some illegal rock and roll! David took the guitar and his natural voice, and turned them into instruments of joy for people all over the world.

Stephi: He gave me my guitar when I was 15, and he gave Lou a guitar as well. The legacy of his music lives on with his wonderful family.
David was strong, fearless, athletic, a risk-taker, talented, and also courageous. He was my first super hero. I still love all the caped crusaders, but that’s because they reminded me of my big brother. When I was 8 years old, I was walking home from school one day in Berridale, when four boys from Mackey Street up the hill ran passed at full speed. Each one slapped me on the face as they went passed. With the stoicism of a Newby, I did not stop or cry, but kept on walking…. until I got home and saw David. That is when the tears flowed. David was furious because he knew that this had nothing to do with me. The ring leader of that cowardly clan was David’s nemesis Ingo Hartig, and he and David had been raging an epic battle – the battle between Good and Evil. Well, David got on his bike and took off up the hill after them. Legend has it that when those four boys saw David coming they ran for their lives in every direction. Like the hero that he was, David went only for the leader – Ingo Hartig, and gave him a bashing that he never forgot. A few days later when David went to get on his bike, the tires had been pierced. We all burst into laughter. We knew who it was. Is that all you got Ingo Hartig? Is that it? Not only had the battle been won, but it was over.

Lou: David was strong, fearless, athletic, a risk-taker, talented, courageous, and resourceful – he was the ultimate Do-It-Yourselfer. An engineer from a young age. He would buy old cars: some for parts, and others for the body – taking things apart and putting them back together. When I was 17 he helped me buy my first motor bike – a Suzuki stinger – making me the only Sydney private school girl who turned up for Saturday Sport on a motorbike. When it broke down he helped me recondition the engine and it kept going until I could afford to buy a car a few years later.

Chris: One of David’s endearing life-long qualities is his sense of humour. He had an endless repertoire of jokes. He particularly loved knock knock jokes, like this one: Knock knock

Stephi: Who’s there?

Lou: Lydia

Stephi: Lydia who?

Lou and Chris talking over each other: Lou says “Lydia toilet seat” while Chris says: “Now children no toilet jokes please.”

Stephi: yes he made us laugh a lot, and never had to resort to off-color jokes to do it. My favourite was the one about the preacher who came to town to heal Mrs Robinson and the boy with a hair lip.

Lou interrupts: Stephi you better save that one for later.

Stephi: OK LouLou, perhaps you are right.
As you can see, we have lots of happy memories of David. And he has also brought some wonderful people into our family and into our lives. From Shore school, he connected us to Chris O’Neill, Will Holmes a Court and to Graeme Yeo – all of whom have been life long friends of David’s, and ours as well.

Chris: From Faith Centre he met and fell in love with a gorgeous blonde from Sydney’s North Shore: Rosemary Buchman. She was studying social work at the University of Sydney, and he was vacillating between become a flour miller or a preacher. They married when David was 28 years old.

Lou: And so began a story of true love and shared passions, that today continues in the form of five rather fabulous children and three grandchildren. Our sorrow is great today, and our hearts and love go out to you, Rosemary, and your wonderful children. We love you all dearly.

Chris: We also bring with us the sorrow and love of our parents, Joyce and George – both of whom are too ill to join us here this weekend.

Stephi: Rather than David’s battle with cancer being a battle between Good and Evil, we think of it as the story of a wonderful man whose premature death may well have been prevented in the future with advancements in medical technology.
And we certainly believe that Love Conquers All. The love in this auditorium today is palpable – epic really. And if love really does conquer all, then the battle today has truly been won.

Lou: We now pass the baton, so the rest of David’s story can be told … the story of this quintessential Newby: strong, fearless, athletic, courageous, talented, resourceful, and funny – a real super hero.


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In Honour Of A Great Man