Renowned local historian Vale Vera Deacon OAM passes away at age 94

Vale Vera Deacon OAM leaves a wonderful legacy as a truly remarkable woman.

 

HISTORIAN Vera Deacon has passed away peacefully at the age of 94.

Vera was a beloved Stockton resident who gave back to the local community in many ways.

Throughout her life she was involved in a variety of social and political movements; she has written works of local history and fiction, and she was a supporter, volunteer and benefactor to a range of organisations from the Hunter Wetlands Centre to Aboriginal Scholarships at the University of Newcastle.

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Her family wrote, “Passionate about Newcastle’s history and a committed social and environmental activist in both Sydney and Newcastle, her passing leaves a huge whole in the heart of her family and the wider community.”

Ms Deacon was an Order of Australian recipient and Freeman of the City of Newcastle and spent many years recording and conserving the local history of the area.

Ms Deacon provided many generous donations to the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections for over twenty years.

The Vera Deacon Regional History Fund was set up by the university and named in her honour to recognise her ongoing support and generosity, ensuring that current and future generations of Newcastle will be able to access the records and accounts of those who have come before them.

One of Vera’s friends said about Vera, “She always said ‘we stand on the shoulders of others’ when referring to our pioneer ancestors and all Novocastrian feminists- but she especially revered those working-class heroines of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley; particularly the Lysaght’s Girls on the Owen Gun assembly line in World War Two.

“Vera Deacon had respect for decent ordinary people, and she has all of ours.”

There will be a memorial service to be held at 2:30pm on Thursday 3 June at Pettigrew Family Funerals at 7 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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