David Endacott is remembered by the local community as a passionate advocate of Daylesford’s history and cultural heritage.

David died recently as a result of a heart attack just short of his 76th birthday.

He has been described as constant, humble and generous, occasionally prickly on the outside, but always soft on the inside. His many friends recall his long-time habit of often dropping in for a visit just on dinner time. He was opinionated and passionate and put many of his friends offside at one point or another. But if he later found he was wrong, he would readily admit his error and apologise. He was a tireless contributor to the local community.

David was born in Sandringham in 1946. His father, Norm, was appointed district forester for the western half of Wombat Forest in 1953 and the family moved to Daylesford.

David worked in manufacturing as a tool maker but his passion was local history. David’s dedication to the Daylesford & District Historical Society began in the early 1980s and spanned more than 30 years. He served at times as President of the Society and as Curator of the Museum. He formulated the constitution for the Daylesford and District Historical Society and for the Central Highlands Historical Association. He negotiated the agreement between the Historical Society and the Museum Reserve Committee of Management for the use of the School of Mines building.

He was a valuable member for the Society to have because he was so very handy. He had a sharp intellectual mind but could also put his hand to any manual task required with precision and detail. He renovated many of the rooms in the School of Mines building (now the Museum) including the Research room, Library, Newspaper Room, Meeting Room, Kitchen and Art Room and Le Lean Room. He even helped a plumber renovate the toilets and install a hydronic heating system.

David Endacott

He was successful in obtaining a number of grants to repair and renovate the Museum. He subsequently used his fundraising experience to conduct several public fundraising campaigns to help other organisations for repairs to Christ Church, the reconstruction of the Queen Victoria Fountain at Wills Square and the Macaroni Factory.

Much of the work that David undertook and achieved for the Historical Society and the Museum building has not been fully appreciated by the community but the Historical Society recognized his service with the award of Honorary Life Membership.

David was at the forefront of a campaign to retain Cornish Hill as public land for the local community. In 1994 a public notice announced the impending sale of 49 hectares of Crown Land known as Argus or Cornish Hill. The land was deemed to be surplus to government needs and would be sold either to the Shire or on the open market for urban development. However, a group of local residents, led by David, formed the Cornish Hill Action Group and ran an ultimately successful 18 month battle to “Save the Hill”.

David contributed much to researching the historical significance of Cornish Hill as an intensive gold mining site from 1851 up until WW2. Cornish Hill is now an important component of the Central Victorian Goldfields World Heritage bid. David and his mother Joan were among the leaders in the formation of the Friends of Cornish Hill group, which has, over many years, cared for the Hill.

David was a founding member of the original Friends of Lake Daylesford. He was responsible for propagation of a range of native trees which FoLD members in planted in large numbers around the southern section of the lake. Most of the extensive range of tall trees now dotted around the smaller southern part of the lake resulted from his work. They will remain an enduring monument to David’s memory.

David has served on several forest and land management advisory committees, notably a 30 year stint on a Ministerial advisory committee, the Victorian Mineral Water Committee.

David was also passionate about soccer. He was a player and coach for the Daylesford & Hepburn United Soccer Club but that wasn’t enough. He was also the Treasurer, Number 1 ticket holder and a board member. He took enormous pride in the Club’s success and progress and he was a passionate youth advocate. Again, his contributions were recognised by the award of Life Membership.

David was tireless to the end and our community is ever grateful.

The Wombat Post is grateful for contributions from Ken Warren, Janice Thompson, Frank Page and Ivan Carter.