Fishing is in the blood of whaling descendent

Fishing is in the blood of whaling descendent

A descendant of the Davidson family, the legendary 18th century whalers of Eden, Elsie Severs-Hancock has returned to her former home of Mallacoota after several years in Melbourne.

The seventh child in the Severs family, Elsie went to school in Mallacoota and eventually worked in real estate when she and her husband, Peter Hancock, moved to Melbourne.

Elsie is named after her famous forbearer, Elsie Severs (Davidson), well known in the Eden area as a direct descendant of the legendary master whaler of Eden, George Davidson.

Now a community care worker, Elsie is involved in this work in Mallacoota where she also loves fishing, attributing this to her fishing ancestors.

Her other loves are gardening and craft work. She is well known for her candle making, specialising in shell candles, which she displays on wooden stands made out of driftwood. She also decorates glass jars with hand-knotted jute, as her ancestors did with fishing nets.

Elsie sells her shell candles, and teacup candles, at the Mallacoota Markets. She will be at the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival in Mallacoota from April 12 to 14 and at the Mallacoota Easter Market.


The inaugural Wild Harvest Seafood Festival, from April 12 to 14, caters for everyone and promises to show off the very best of what Mallacoota and the surrounding areas have to offer.

The three-day festival, run by the Mallacoota community and funded by the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund and Victorian Fisheries Authority, includes free and ticketed events, such as the launch of Freddy and Heidi Ledwell’s new book, Head Down, Bum Up, chronicling the beginning of an industry; wild harvest seafood market with guest appearance from renowned Melbourne chef, Alejandro Saravia, of Pastuso; Saturday Sippers, Seafood and Outdoor Cinema; fishing clinic; tour of the local abalone processing factory, AFCOL; indigenous food talk and workshop with Noel Butler; and Mallacoota lake boat tour with an indigenous host.

Not surprisingly, the centrepiece of the festival will be seafood.

Find out more on Facebook and Instagram or visit the festival website.

PICTURED: Elsie Severs-Hancock with some of her abalone shell candles, which she will be selling at the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival, April 12 to 14.