DAVIS, Mr Stanley William

1920 - 2001

Davis Stanley William  - Creswick Historical SocietyStan Davis was born in Ballarat to Herbert Arthur Davis and his wife Grace, one of five children; his siblings were Alf, Ray, Ian and Marianne.  The family was brought up on a farm at Western Creek, near Cape Clear, and later moved to Buninyong where his father started a bus company to replace the passenger rail to Ballarat.  It was here that young Stan got his introduction to Scouting, a lone patrol that they called Ebeneza.  He also attended the first scout jamboree, an event attended by Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the scouting movement.

Stan completed his schooling at the Central Technical School and obtained an apprenticeship with the Victorian Railways as a blacksmith at Spotswood workshops.  He was trained also in metallurgy and heat treatment and recalled making parts for “Heavy Harry”.

He met Mary Murray, his future wife, while learning to dance in Melbourne in 1937.  They eventually married in 1942 and went on to raise four children, Beverly, Alan, Graeme and Ian.  He and the family lived in Melbourne until his father asked Stan and his brothers to join the bus company after WW2 and in 1950 they bought the Creswick to Ballarat bus line. Thereafter, Stan and his family lived in Castlemaine Road, Creswick.

In the same year following a conversation with the Rev. Ray Huxtable of the Methodist Church, in which they discussed the needs of Creswick youth, they called a public meeting, at which it was unanimously agreed to reform the 1st Creswick Scout Group. By the first annual meeting in 1951 there were fifty-one boys in the group.

In the beginning the cubs and scouts met in the Methodist Church Hall and then Mr Wally Sudweeks offered the use of the rear of his drapery shop, behind the present laundromat.  It had a dirt floor, no electricity and the walls needed lining.  Money had to be raised to buy land, build a hall and equipment for the cubs and scouts to use.  A big task for a little town.

Dances were held in the North Creswick Recreation Hut with the music  provided by Stan on guitar and mouth organ, and Gil Taylor on the piano accordion.  They organised Debutante Balls and played at other functions with all money going to the scout’s fund.  An annual Scout carnival was started at Park Lake, with numerous stalls, sideshows and fun rides.  The scout group even had its own merry-go-round.  Stan was chief organiser for this event and all year between carnivals he made wooden toys to be sold.

The land was bought and a hall was built – mostly by volunteer labour.  Stan was the foundation chairman, and as time went on he became Group Scout Master, and in 1963 was made District Commissioner of Ballarat.  When Ballarat was elevated to area status, Stan was appointed Area Commissioner, and held that position until 1975 when he retired.

Stan and Mary’s daughter and three sons all gave valuable service as leaders at 1st Creswick.

As well as scouting, Stan attended the Methodist Church, where he became superintendent of the Sunday School, and after the formation of the Uniting Church, he became an elder and lay preacher.

He was Master of the Havilah Lodge in 1971.

In his retirement, Stan continued to make hundreds of wooden toys that were donated to many charities.

In Stan’s memoirs he said, “… no matter what you do in the community, you can’t do it on your own.  You are always part of a group, working to the same end”.

Stan passed away in 2002 in Creswick.

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