Marion Davis was a child opera star, beginning her career in a juvenile opera company at the age of 14 in Wellington. In 1899, she married Ernest Hyam Davis, a brewer from Auckland. As a wife and mother, she actively participated in a large number of civic and charitable organizations, and became Lady Davis in 1937 when her husband, a former mayor of Auckland, was knighted, “Sir Ernest.”
Together, they were generous donors to Auckland Hospital and to medical education. Lady Marion passed away in 1955, and five years later, Sir Ernest Davis gifted Auckland the Marion Davis Memorial Library.
The Davis family philanthropic activity was not limited to New Zealand, however. The Lady Marion Davis Memorial Hospitals Foundation, which is managed by Perpetual Guardian, also provides support for Israeli hospitals. While the Israeli government funds healthcare in a similar way to New Zealand, philanthropy plays a major role in financing capital projects and equipment.
To date, the Lady Marion Davis Memorial Hospitals Foundation (set up by Desmond in fond memory of his late mother) has granted $4.5m in New Zealand and Israel. Perpetual Guardian Senior Client Manager, Tanaz Siganporia, recently visited Israel to see some of the projects The Lady Marion Davis Memorial Hospitals Foundation has supported.
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