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Humans of Mosman: John Dansie

“I’m John Dansie. Apparently I’m referred to as a lovable larrikin. Lovable, maybe… larrikin – but of course!

I was announced Mosman Citizen of the Year in 2014, for my community service. It was unexpected. Such a humbling and enjoyable experience. Mum and Dad would have been so proud.

I did a great deal of detective work to locate the unmarked grave of Mosman’s first Mayor (and developer), Richard Hayes Harnett Jnr., at Northern Suburbs Macquarie Park Cemetery. I also proved that Curraghbeena Park was the oldest proclaimed park, a 3 ½ acre whaling allotment, in Mosman – which was recognized with a pedestal and plaque.

I relocated the ‘hidden’ sandstone steps and pathway through Curraghbeena Park to help access the artists Curlew Camp in Sirius Cove, which led down to ‘Cooee Point’. Visitors would call ‘cooee’ to request a boat ride across to the camp.

Along with many more community activities involving the Mosman Historical Society, I am currently an active member of the MHS Committee. Around 2007 I was made Honorary Life Member of Warringah Bowling Club, and in 2011, Life Member of the GPS Old Boys Bowling Club.

As a supervising member of the Mosman Men’s Shed, I organised the complete refurbishment of the flagpole atop the tower of Scots Kirk, the signaling mast/flagpole of Archibald Mosman in Badham Avenue, the flagpole of the Mosman Tennis Club and the flagpole of the Mosman Croquet Club. These refurbishments were done in cooperation with the Lions Club of Mosman, of which I am a member.

Among other things, I was responsible for the Lions Club erecting shade sails over the tables and seats in the playground area in Curraghbeena Park, as well as the placement of an additional table, seats and rubbish bin at the northern end of the park. I do enjoy giving time assisting at the Mosman Men’s Shed whenever I can. The list of jobs completed there is truly amazing.

There is a lot more I could mention… I see something that needs doing for our community, and I get it done. Dad always said “Try and keep busy all the time, because the Devils lurks in idle minds”.

I have spent practically my entire life here in Mosman. I was born in Mosman, at Mena Hospital in 1942. I attended Mosman Infants School and Mosman Primary School, later going to Newington College in Stanmore. Mosman is a wonderful place to live – a suburban village. I love the exclusivity and uniqueness of Mosman. It is the envy of many suburbs, not only in Sydney but across Australia and dare I say, the world.

Did you know… Mosman has an area of only 9 sq. km. and a boundary of 18 km to Sydney Harbour, with a population of just under 30,000. There are approximately 100 km of roads.

I have so many funny memories of growing up in Mosman. Fishing from Musgrave Street wharf. Going under or over the wall to get into Taronga Zoo. Rowing, crabbing, playing with catapults, billy carts, push bikes, tree climbing… magic memories.

One of my fondest memories was Bonfire Night, which was Empire Day on the 24th May up until 1958. We had huge bonfires in Curraghbeena Park. They would take weeks to build with anything that would burn. Tree branches, furniture, tyres, anything! Up she would go at sunset accompanied by fireworks, crackers, jumping jacks, plate spinners and more.

Look after Mosman. Love the place. Don’t spoil it and please keep it clean. I love the saying “Give with a warm hand”. Also, “Success means determination”. Truly good values and strong principles make a good citizen – examples handed down from my parents Jean and Charles Dansie. These are the rewards that I do not take for granted. “Lead by example” – as Dad said “A good leader says, Come on!”

Finally, I am blessed with and very proud to have two wonderful daughters, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I do care for them heaps and, as they know, I am always there for them. Moreover I have just been proclaimed North Shore Grandparent of the Year 2018, awarded at the Men’s Shed by our Member for North Shore, Felicity Wilson.”

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