MUCH-LOVED media personality David Evans has been remembered fondly by the community after he passed away on New Year's Eve.
The Order of Australia Medal recipient died in Korumburra, Victoria, aged 78. He was a well-known journalist and radio announcer in Tamworth and dedicated much of his life to charity and community efforts.
Friend Jeff Esdaile remembered Mr Evans as a young successful radio announcer for 2VM in Moree who endeared himself to local listeners before he moved to Tamworth some years later.
Mr Esdaile said Mr Evans was employed as the principal newsreader for TV channel NEN.
"As well as news reading, he also covered rural stories and outside broadcasts, concentrating on rural matters," he said.
"He continued in this role for many years."
Once retired, Mr Evans continued to pursue his love of horses and was particularly interested in the history of the Australian Light Horse and advocated for recognition of its role in the country's war history.
Mr Evans successfully lobbied for a memorial to the Light Horse and the 'Walers', who never returned from the Middle East.
The memorial cost $150,000 and was sculpted by Newcastle artist Tanya Bartlett.
Mr Esdaile said Mr Evans regularly rode a Light Horse contingent in the annual Anzac Day parade.
"In recognition of his contribution to the Tamworth community and the history of the Light Horse, David was awarded an OAM in 2007," he said.
Mr Evans worked as the Saturday morning ABC presenter and in regional television with NEN9, NEN-ECN and PRIME television.
Former 2TM colleague Garry Coxhead said he was sad to learn that Mr Evans, a man he respected greatly, had passed.
"I first got to know him personally when I worked at 2TM and we became good friends, a friendship that endured up until the last time I caught up with him just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"I always enjoyed our conversations across a wide range of topics."
I extend my condolences to his family and friends, you will be missed old mate.Garry Coxhead
Mr Coxhead said Mr Evans enjoyed his career as the Saturday morning announcer on ABC New England North West and was a VFL boundary umpire.
"In his younger days he was a very good athlete, just missing the 1956 Olympic team through injury," he said.
"I extend my condolences to his family and friends, you will be missed old mate."