Dr David Madew loved Queanbeyan so much, his ashes will be scattered on Mount Jerrabomberra.
When Dr Madew passed away at the Canberra Hospital on April 11 aged 84, much was, rightly, made of him being Queanbeyan's first popularly-elected mayor. But he was more than only that.
"He got in and did things," his son, also David, said. "At one time, he was the mayor of Queanbeyan, a local doctor and also running a vineyard. He took all these things on with gusto and was really very happy to do them."
Dr Madew, in the end, had pneumonia and refused further treatment. His death was not related to the COVID-19 crisis but it did have an impact. He was allowed only one visitor per day while in the hospital.
His son David Madew managed to get two of his children in to see their grandfather before he died. David couldn't get in to see him because of the visitor restrictions. He planned to go back in to the hospital to see his father on the Monday. Dr Madew died on the Sunday.
Dr Madew's cremation was also restricted because of social distancing requirements. Relatives and friends interstate and overseas watched the service by Zoom.
"Ultimately, it is sad, but we're not the only ones going through it," David said.
Dr Madew lived his final years at The Grange retirement village in Deakin with his second wife Jill. He was born in Cooma in 1935, the son of a school teacher and school inspector.
He studied medicine at Sydney University, lived at St Paul's College and met his first wife, Barbara, at the uni, where she was studying teaching. He did his locum in England and David, was born during that time, in Crawley, Sussex. On their return to Australia, they had the choice of living in Queanbeyan or Coffs Harbour and chose Queanbeyan, never regretting it.
David and Barbara Madew were a powerhouse couple. They had five children - David, Sarah, Peter, Elizabeth and John. Barbara Madew made her own mark, a one-time national president of the Australian Practice Managers Association and chair of the YMCA of Australia. They set a great example to their children.
"That was always part of it, always an expectation you would help the community," David said. (Youngest sibling John Madew, a senior trade commissioner for Australia in India, arrived back to Australia only late last month, in the face of the pandemic.)
Dr Madew was an alderman from 1969 to 1991 and became the first popularly elected mayor of Queanbeyan Council in 1980, before retiring from the role in 1991.
The family had bought an eight-hectare property at Appletree Hill about the same time he joined council. He put in a vineyard and Madew Wines was established the same year he became mayor. David Junior took over in 1991 and the winery moved out to Lake George to 1994, including a restaurant, as the original vineyard was taken over by the expansion of Queanbeyan.
David, married to Infrastructure Australia CEO Romilly Madew, sold the Lake George vineyard in 2007 and now live with their family on Sydney's northern beaches.
After Barbara died in the late 1990s, Dr Madew married Jill and shared "a great companionship", David said, especially living in the Yaouk valley, north of Adaminaby.
"Dad always said, 'I had two loves in my life' and that was a lovely testament to them both," he said.
David Madew, who stood for the Nationals in Monaro in the 2007 NSW election, remembers his dad as a "go-getter".
He hand-built their tennis court. When Lake Burley Griffin was just new, Dr Madew built a heron dinghy in a bedroom of their first house in Crawford Street (and had to remove a window to get it out).
David remembers the council approving the rubbish tip at the back of their vineyard, without objection from his father, much to his mother's chagrin. But that was the measure of the man.
"He always had the best in mind for Queanbeyan, even if if wasn't the best for him," David said.
And his name will carry on, literally. Dr Madew's grandson, David and Romilly's older son, is also called David.
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