Death ends the good life

FAMILY MEMORIAL: The Davis grave at Waikumete Cemetery.
FAMILY MEMORIAL: The Davis grave at Waikumete Cemetery.

The world truly was Trevor Moss Davis' oyster.

He was, at 45, a director of Hancock and Company, the family firm founded by his pioneer grandfather Moss Davis in the late 19th century.

He was also happily married and the father of a nine-year-old daughter.

LOVED SON: Trevor Moss Davis.
LOVED SON: Trevor Moss Davis.

But money, success and domestic bliss could do nothing to save Trevor when, on October 23, 1947, he succumbed to a massive heart attack.

The end came just a short while after a meeting with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Trevor, who was president of the organisation, returned to the Princes St apartment he shared with wife Alison at 7pm, soon after delivering a speech to fellow members.

He made a beeline for the bedroom of his little girl Susan and kissed her good night before heading back to the main living room.

Minutes later he was dead.

The family, immediate and extended members included, was heartbroken.

Trevor's parents, Eliot and Stella, were espec-ially hard hit.

Eliot was on the verge of publishing his mem-oirs when tragedy struck and very nearly abandoned the project as he struggled with his grief.

"Trevor's untimely death," he said, "has almost robbed us of any zest for life."

But the book, A Link with the Past, went ahead – dedicated to Stella, though very much a tribute to the son they had lost.

"A most precious link has been broken," Eliot wrote in the preface. "Our only son has suddenly passed away. Our hopes were largely centred on him.

"It is as though part of ourselves has been wrested from us, but by the flickering torch of faith we hope to discover some hidden purpose behind this shattering event."

Eliot strived to immortalise his boy further in 1950 by gifting a memorial fountain to the people of Auckland at Mission Bay.

The resulting sculpture, designed by architect George Tole and created by Richard Gross, is a centrepiece along the city's waterfront after receiving a $150,000 makeover in 2004.

Trevor is buried in a family grave at Wai-kumete Cemetery, along with his parents and a few steps away from his well known uncle, Ernest Davis – a one-time mayor of Auckland.

Western Leader