Hank Davidson, Finding Father
by Narelle Davidson - March 2017
I was so shocked when I saw "Lovers and Luggers" on your movie list!!!! This must be one of the rarest, most obscure movies in the world today.
I was born in 1949, and my Mother told me my father was a deck hand extra on a movie called "Lovers and Luggers," which was made in North Queensland Australia. I had never seen the movie, or my father, as my parents split up when I was 3.
My father was very tall and handsome and had a yen to be in show business. He was very well dressed and elegant in the Jeff Chandler style I would say, and met my mother in Sydney Australia.
I inherited the show business gene from him, and at 20 years old entered professional theatre in Australia as a singer and dancer.
I was in "My Fair Lady" and was also a showgirl in a Las Vegas show, "Casino De Paris" by Frederick Apcar, that came to Australia and toured the cities.
But my real love was the opera, and I joined Opera Australia in 1971. I sang at the Sydney Opera House for many years. I sang several leading roles and was understudy to the late and great Dame Joan Sutherland, the world famous diva. My last contract was in 1999 just before the Sydney Olympics, when the Australian Government cut funding to the Arts, and siphoned any available money into the Games, . . . which were VERY expensive!!!! My contract days were over.
During my time working at the Sydney Opera House many big stars came to visit and gawk at the incredible building. I was there right from the day it opened. In fact I watched it being built. I was a keen autograph hunter, and managed to get autographs from Ginger Rogers, who I met in a lift with her two body guards...hahaha, also Gina Lollobridgida, others I cant remember...and Sam Wannamaker produced the first opera performed in the opening season,..."War and peace" of which I was a part. He was a lovely guy.
My father’s name was Hank Davidson, and I believe he was once a pearl diver off Broome, Western Australia for awhile. Thats one reason he was hired for the movie as he was used to wearing those dreadful old heavy diving suits with the lead shoes and the porthole helmets!
My father was of French Polynesian and Welsh heritage, but was born in Australia and I have traced all his ancestors back to all born in Australia since 1832.
The only time I saw this movie was when I was in Adelaide, South Australia with the Opera Company, and I had just finished a show and came home to my friend's house where I was staying at the time.
It was very late at night, and she used to let me stay up and watch late movies and have some supper with her.
It was 1972, and I switched on the TV set, and low and behold this movie came on..."Lovers and Luggers"!!
Well I nearly fell over because I had been waiting all my life to see it and my father.
Since then it has never appeared anywhere. It seemed to dissappear altogether, and I even contacted the Australian archives museum to see if it was in their repository as part of Australia`s heritage, but no.
I will be thrilled to see it again and send the link to all my half brothers and sisters, who share the same father, and extended family.
Watch Lovers and Luggers —»