Sunday, January 06, 2013

Remembering Gwen Davey and Dilkusha

from w
Here is some informaton about Miss Gwen Davies for those who might like to attend the funeral or send tributes. One in the Age, the other in the Herald Sun.
DAVEY Gwenneth Kempster
1.6.18 - 6.1.13
Dearly loved sister of Vic (dec), Tasma (dec) and Winsome. Loved aunt of the many nieces, nephews and their families. Loving Mother to hundreds of Indian orphan girls at Dilkusha, Fiji over 30 years. Gwen lived a life of faith and of service to those in need.
Gwenneth Kempster DAVEY
DAVEY. - A Celebration for the Life of Gwenneth Davey will be held at the Ringwood Uniting Church, cnr Greenwood and Bedford Roads, Ringwood on FRIDAY (Jan. 11, 2013) at 11.00 a.m. A Private Cremation will follow.

Remember Gwen Davies and Dilkusha

Today I received a phone call from one of the ‘Dilkusha girls’ to tell me that Miss Gwen Davey had passed away in Melbourne this morning.  Gwen was a significant  and much loved missionary who worked for many years at Dilkusha.

When I first went to Fiji on a Methodist work camp we spend a few days helping paint fences etc at the Dilkusha home.  From that time onward I enjoyed a friendly relationship with Dilkusha and the ‘mother’ there, Miss Gwen Davey.  When I lived at Davuilevu I continued spending time with the children there. One camp I remember was at Colo-i-Suva and the girls taught me how to make square roti.

I remember with affection those happy times spent with the children at the Dilkusha Orphanage. It's a hundred years since a Methodist lay missionary started caring for small girls in the Nausori area, and then an orphanage and primary school were established a bit later. At this time in the year some people remember that kindness and gift-giving are part of the Christmas culture and give treats to the Dilkusha children.
As I think of Gwen Davey I think of the many women who foster or adopt children, or are carers in institutions such as Dilkusha Home.  I  remember the time we lived with our little family in Shantiniwas below - a building which is no longer there. Peceli was an assistant minister at Dilkusha and we had two children then, George and Robin and three teenage girls  - all relatives – stayed also with us. George went with the little Dilkusha children in a crocodile line along the road to the turnoff into Davuilevu to attend a kindergarten run by Lorini Tevi. This was in 1971.

The photo is of a Melbourne woman who was raised at Dilkusha holding a photo of Gwen Davey taken a week before her 94th birthday last year.  She was telling me of her visit to Gwen.  We were at a function at Dandenong Uniting Church where there is a Fijian congregation and a Hindi Fellowship.

Thank you Gwen for a life well-lived. Her contribution to the life of so many children at Dilkusha will not be forgotten. Today there are hundreds of middle-aged women in different parts of the world including Australia who were raised by her. Dilkusha Home is much loved by people in many parts of the world and has been significant in spreading God's love in Fiji in a practical way.


Roger Drummond said...

I am Ruth Raj Kumarie, and was brought up by Gwen " Missa " Davey at the Dilkusha home, and now live in Adelaide, South Australia
I have not enough words to thank Missa for her kindness and love that she gave to me thru my youth, her values that were instilled to me are an every day occurence today, she was a remarkable woman, and I am proud to have been a part of her life, and to call her mum
I will miss her greatly

I would also love to hear from any girls who were at the Dilkusha home in the late 60's and '70s
my email is
Love to all the girls who also called Gewn, Mum

RIP Gewn Davey [ Missa ]


Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Ruth Raj Kumarie, nice to hear from you. We will give your email address to one or two of the girls we meet tomorrow morning at the funeral and pass on your greetings to them.

Joshua Callaghan said...

I'd just like to share that I have just come across a wooden bench along the beautiful Aquaduct Trail that runs along the back hills of Research/Eltham in Melbourne. It has a dedication to Gwenneth on it. She sounds like a great woman.