RSL Art Union Draw 355 - Winners 

A Rich Service History


A sanctuary for over a century

The land this home has been built on was purchased from a family with two generations serving in WWI and WWII, and for over 100 years, Freshwater was where they came home to.

Where it all began

In 1906, 18-year-old Laura Faviell purchased the land of 23 Carrington Parade and built her home a few years later in 1912. In the following years, Laura met and married Herbert Edwards and they travelled to England for their honeymoon in March 1914. With the outbreak of the First World War, Laura and Herbert stayed in the UK and both served, Laura as an Army Nurse stationed in London, Egypt, Belgium and France. On 16th September 1915, Laura and Herbert became the proud parents of David Herbert Edwards.

David Herbert Edwards

In 1920, Laura returned to her Freshwater home with David, where he spent his childhood years growing up next to the beach and in the close-knit community. In their garden was a pine tree that David often played in as a child, and he watched it grow for 50 years. In July 1942, David enlisted as a Bombardier in the Australian Army in the Second World War and served until September 1945.

The Pine Tree

In the 1940s, Laura became a published poet and writer, and while she remained home and thought of her sons at war, she wrote a poem about the pine tree in their garden. 30 years later, the pine tree was unfortunately removed in the interests of public safety, but the poem was published in the Manly Daily on Saturday 14th March, 1970 in memory of the local landmark.

Rita Edwards

In 1951, David’s mother Laura introduced him to a lady called Rita Kronbergs, whom she had met on the Manly ferry one day. A year later, David and Rita were married, and in the years following, David served in the Merchant Navy until 1959. In 1954 the Freshwater home was passed down a generation and became a part of David and Rita’s lives for over 60 years.

A pillar of the Freshwater community

In 2013 Freshwater lost a pillar of their community when Rita sadly passed away just three weeks before her 100th birthday. As her neighbour for over 50 years, the Lang family not only shared a garden with Rita, but became her family. Gabriella Lang shares her precious memories , “David and Rita were more than wonderful neighbours – they became much loved members of our family. Rita was very happy living in Freshwater and often said ‘I live in paradise!’ as she looked out of her window onto the ocean. I know she would be absolutely delighted to know it is now being used to raise money for such a worthy cause. I cannot think of a better and more fitting legacy for Rita and David.”

In memory of the Edwards family, RSL Art Union is pleased to be able to pass on this new home that has been built on a foundation of a rich service history.