NEWCASTLE has lost one of its most treasured citizens after Vera Deacon passed away on Sunday.
She was 94.
Born in Mayfield in 1926, Mrs Deacon was raised on the islands in the Hunter River estuary before it gave way to heavy industry.
She spent much of her life promoting and conserving the city's history, its culture, and environment.
In 2020, the writer, historian, and philanthropist was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her work and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Newcastle. In 2019, she was named a Freeman of the City.
Mrs Deacon told the Herald that the OAM came as a shock.
"I received a call yesterday; I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest," she said.
"Seriously, I can tell you 100 people who should have been ahead of me on the list."
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes posted a tribute on Facebook on Tuesday morning to a "truly remarkable woman".
"A passionate historian, philanthropist and writer, in 2019, City of Newcastle named Vera as a Freeman of the City in recognition of her immense contribution to local heritage, conservation and history," Cr Nelmes wrote.
"Steadfastly involved in progressive social and political movements, Vera was a trailblazer for women with the strongest sense of social justice and equality.
"Newcastle's stories will continue to be remembered and passed on, thanks to the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund and the altruism of its namesake.
"Through her generosity and passion, Vera has ensured that current and future generations of Novocastrians will be able to access the records and accounts of those who have come before them."
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