CTANZ remembers Davina Davis (1957-2014)

It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Davina Davis, long-term CTANZ member and respected museum Curator, after a short battle with cancer, on April 24.

Davina will always be remembered in our hearts and minds as a committed CTANZ member whose beautifully illustrated presentations were always a highlight of any Symposium she participated in.

The South Canterbury Museum, where Davina served for the last 17 years as Curator of Collections, has issued the following statement, which acknowledges the many special qualities and skills of our dear friend and colleague…


        Davina was an esteemed museum professional who demonstrated a high level of commitment to her work, the collections she cared for and the communities that she served. As one of a small team, Davina played a major role in the Museum’s ongoing development in the 17 years that she was in the position, being actively involved in collections management, exhibitions, public programmes and administrative tasks. She had a strong commitment to improving standards of operation, research and public service. Her interest in Te Reo, local Maori history and her own Ngai Tahu heritage helped establish greater connections between the Museum and local Maori communities.

Davina was also highly regarded in our team because of who she was; her warmth, concern for others and general zest for life. She effectively mentored many volunteers and interns, and actively encouraged young people to take an interest in heritage. She enjoyed being part of wider networks within the sector, willingly sharing information with colleagues elsewhere and participating in seminars, conferences and other opportunities for learning. I valued her candour, her support, her willingness to stand up for what she believed was important, and to do whatever it took to benefit the Museum and those it served. Her passing has left a huge gap in the Museum, and the loss of our colleague and friend has made our hearts heavy.

Our sympathies go to daughter Zarae, husband Michael and Davina’s extended family. Davina will be farewelled at St Andrews Church in Geraldine on Wednesday 30 April at 11am.


The Timaru Herald has also acknowledged Davina’s passing with a lovely tribute and a gorgeous photo that captures the vivaciousness that those who knew Davina remember well.


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