A tribute to David Dufty
Wagstaffe-Killcare Community Association vice president Ms Robyn Warburton said she first became aware of Mr Dufty through his work in helping people preserve and become more aware of the special environment in which we live.
Ms Warburton wrote the following tribute to Mr Dufty:
My connection with David is not environmental but cultural.
David was a founding member of The Bouddi Society, which is a group of people dedicated to bringing special events to our community.
He was a man with a wonderful mind and imagination.
He not only dreamed up creative and interesting ideas for performances, presentations and exhibitions, he managed their production as well.
He inspired and motivated those around him and as a result we were blessed with rich cultural experiences.
We live in a small place, which has a fluctuating population because of holiday homes and weekenders, but we have a wealth of talent, which David drew upon and utilised, as he developed his ideas until they became a reality.
Often, quite well-known people such as John Bell and Anna Volska, part-time residents Graeme Blundell, Judy Nunn and Bruce Venables who live here, to name some, had a role to play at David's request and willingly give their support to our local cultural activities and community fundraising.
I have been involved with David since the Year 2000.
In that special year David's ideas resulted in Bouddi 2000: exhibitions, a parade and a multi-arts production which David coordinated.
He wrote and produced The Place Where the World Turns Around - a celebration of time, place and community.
This 'more than a play' told the story, the history of where we live and why it is so special.
David's script brought together people of all ages.
The local school children from Pretty Beach Public School took part as well as other members of the community, young and older.
The production was entirely original with music written by local composers, a slide show with photographs of Bouddi by local photographers, as well as singing, dancing, acting and artwork.
David made this happen.
Two other events have been very significant in the recent past.
In 2003, David took part in Spike Fest, a combination of events involving Woy Woy and the wider community, a celebration of Spike Milligan's life and work.
This involved a Comic and Crazy Verse Competition and Cavalcade.
David's role involved encouraging the local poets and anybody else to put pen to paper, and the schools in the area to participate.
He then brought the winners together for an afternoon of performing fun and frolic where the prizes were awarded.
This resulted in a book, which David edited titled: Finding the Goon Within. It is a showcase of local poetic talent.
It must be mentioned that David was also a very good poet.
Another huge event, which happened in October 2005, was a Multi-arts Exhibition, Bouddi Reflections.
This also involved the MacMasters Beach Progress Association.
There were people who doubted that we could pull this one off, but we did and it was a huge success.
The volunteers always work hard, but not as hard as David and his wife, Helen.
David advertised the event, calling for the local artists, photographers, potters, poets and film-makers to create a work of art or more, with the local area as the theme.
The response was overwhelming and the exhibition was huge.
The opening by writers, Judy Nunn and Bruce Venables, was very special.
Many artists benefited by the sale of their work and a local charity, Bouddi Wildlife Fund, received $6000.
David exhibited some excellent photographs, so he has yet another talent.
Helen still found time to produce two films.
As well as these major happenings, throughout the years, David was instrumental in promoting concerts which showcased local talent and the Afternoon by the Bay series, where people of note performed and talked about their life in their particular field.
A series of Classic Films shown at Wagstaffe Hall was another successful venture.
David led the way and now other members of the Bouddi Society Committee are constantly thinking about what the community would like and finding the ways and means to do it.
I can believe that David dreamt many of his wonderful ideas.
Helen said he often sought pen and paper immediately on awakening to write down whatever had come to him during the night.
Writer, poet, actor, photographer, entrepreneur, producer, motivationalist, creative genius, teacher and more.
I believe David Dufty's cultural contribution to the community was outstanding.
I know of no other person who did what he did or who could do it.
The only benefit he received was knowing that he has brought pleasure and joy to a large number of people.
He was a very special person who willingly shared his creativity and generosity of spirit with the community.
July 28, 2006, was a very special day for David.
He turned 80 and to celebrate he put together a concert called With a Smile and a Song Music in Our Lives.
Local choirs, singers and musicians came together at Wagstaffe Hall to present a program of music, which reflected David's lifetime of interest in music, and his love of music.
There were many opportunities to sing-a-long and the audience loved it.
The choir from Pretty Beach School was only one of the highlights.
David produced a CD to mark this special time in his life and this was given away to all who came.
David played a significant role in our community and achieved a great many things.
David Dufty received a National Award, a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), in June 2007.
He will be remembered for his contribution to the environment, especially the huge improvements the "weed warriors" made and are continuing to make in Bouddi National Park.
David Dufty and Robert McClure established the Bitou Bashers in 2001 and cleared Maitland Bay of weeds.
The group became Bouddi Bushcare in 2003, working at 12 different sites in the park, with the major work being done at Rileys Bay: the work that has seen the removal of such unsightly weeds as bitou, asparagus, lantana and privet.
The regeneration of native species follows and is wonderful to see.
A very significant project he undertook was to discover the history of the people and life in our area.
The Bouddi Society, with David at the helm, called on people to undertake research and write chapters to be produced as a CD-ROM to begin with and a book as the culmination.
This project was an incredible success with contributions, stories and photographs, flowing in from many people.
The beautiful book, The Bouddi Peninsula, a very special place was the outcome of the project, one that all members of the community are proud of and can thank David Dufty for.
Media statement, 15 Aug 2019
Robyn Warburton, WTKCA