Vale: Fremantle Impressions writer and local legend Ron Davidson

Fremantle Press extends its sympathies to Dianne and the family and friends of Ron Davidson, who passed away on Saturday 10 October 2020.

For more than 30 years Ron was an integral part of life at Fremantle Press. Living just a stone’s throw from our offices, he was a regular visitor – whether stepping in for an update on book sales with customer service, or catching up on the progress of reprints with his editor and publisher, or just dropping by for a chat, Ron formed a part of the fabric of our days.

Anyone who knew Ron knows he was born for storytelling. His father was a newspaperman and Ron followed suit, working as a cadet at the Perth Sunday Times when, in Ron’s own words, ‘Rupert Murdoch as a young man arrived from Adelaide on his first takeover mission’.

Ron Davidson

Ron had his first visit to Fremantle at the age of eight with his father, who apparently gave him an idiosyncratic slant on the port city and Ron was hooked. His fascination with Fremantle continued into adulthood and into a heritage house in Fothergill Street, where he lived for 40-odd years.

Ron had a mind like a steel trap for all things Fremantle – its history, its streets, its buildings, its stories and the personalities that make this city a wonderful place to live. Ron captured these in Fremantle Impressions (2007), a book that brought the unique character of Fremantle to life.

A stalwart committee member of the Fremantle History Society, he and Dianne edited their newsletter and wrote Fighting for Fremantle: The Fremantle Society story. In 2010 the Fremantle Society commissioned Fremantle Press as publishing consultant on the book. Days before it went to print, Ron rang with the news that an urgent and wonderful correction to the text was needed: the UNESCO committee has just met in Brazil and announced Fremantle Prison had been placed on the World Heritage List.

As well as working as a journalist, Ron taught social psychology at the University of Western Australia. His other works include The Divided Kingdom with Connie Ellement (1987), High Jinks at the Hot Pool (1994) and Anything But Ordinary with Cecile Doward (2000).

Ron was an important keeper and sharer of Fremantle stories and a huge supporter of Fremantle Press – he will be missed but his legacy will, we feel, be lasting.

Ron’s funeral will be held at 2 pm on Tuesday 20 October at Fremantle Cemetery in the West Chapel. Attendees are invited to meet at the Samson Pavilion at 1.45 pm to form a procession behind the car to walk over to the West Chapel. There will be a wake following the funeral at Ron and Di’s place from 4 pm following the service. Donations to Diabetes WA in lieu of flowers.

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