It is with great sadness that Gemco Players farewells its founding member and inspiration - David Greenaway.
In 1980 David, who'd come to Australia a few years earlier from England, called a meeting of people who'd be interested in forming a community theatre group. Gemco Players was literally born that night, its name coming from the initial letters of Emerald and its surrounding towns - Gembrook, Emerald, Menzies Creek and Cockatoo.
From the outset Gemco included all comers - their ideas, their varying abilities and their ages - and it was David's enthusiasm and belief in all that drew them in.
Productions in those early years were rehearsed in people's homes and small halls in Emerald and Clematis. This naturally meant packing, unpacking, packing again and carting around all that was needed to take a performance to the outlying areas.
It was with great excitement and after overcoming many obstacles that Gemco gained its first permanent home where, through the voluntary work of many helpers, the small hall was erected. This saw a huge expansion of the youth groups take place and it was a place in which Gemco was able to easily perform many different styles of theatre.
However, David's dream of a large, permanent theatre in the area was still well and truly alive and was pursued by him and the various groups of people working with him over many years and many setbacks. His dogged determination was finally rewarded with the amazing space we have today.
David's greatest legacy however will be the impact that Gemco has had and continues to have on the lives of so many people, particularly young people, whose tributes have flowed on Gemco's Facebook page. Gemco's youth groups today continue and honour the traditions established all those years ago.
Many people instrumental in the various stages of Gemco's growth over thirty-eight years have come and gone but David has been the only constant and will be remembered and sadly missed by all.