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Dawson, Robert (1812–1901)

Death has removed from our midst one of the early settlers of Manaro, and one who was closely identified with the progress of this portion of the colony for nearly three quarters of a century. Mr. Robert Dawson passed away at his residence, Vale Street, Cooma, on Wednesday afternoon at 1.30 at the ripe age of 89. Death was due to a general break-up of the system, although up to within a few days Mr. Dawson gave evidence of remarkable virility, being able to read without glasses, and enter into business transactions. Up to his eightieth year he exhibited considerable activity, but met with an unfortunate accident in Sydney which told upon him as his years inoreaaed. He fell down some stairs at the Central booking Office, the result of which was enfeeblement of the system, deafness supervening.

The deceased, as will be judged, may be referred to as one of the old land marks of Manaro. Coming to the colony in 1838 with Sir George Gipps, in the ship Upton Castle, he shortly afterwards came to Manaro, where he has remained, with the exception of about eleven month, all his life. He followed pastoral pursuits for some time, and entered the Government service in January 1847, retiring 40 years later, in 1887. For a large number of years he filled the office of Police Magistrate of Cooma, being widely known and respected throughout the district. In 1848 he married the eldest daughter of the late Mr Harnett of Rossbrook station, and sister of Mr Lawrence Harnett, Sergeant-at-Arms in the N.S.W. Legislative Assembly; and three years ago the golden wedding was celebrated. The family consisted of nine sons and two daughters, the surviving sons numbering seven, who with Mrs Dawson and her two daughters have to mourn their loss. Two of the sons of Mr Dawson, Messrs Henry and Percy Dawasn are members of the legal profession in Sydney, the latter being City solicitor. Three others are in the service of the Commercial Banking Company, whilst there are numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mr. Dawson took an active interest in public and political matters, also the institutions of the town. The house in which he lived, close to the Mercury office, was erected by him, and was one of the first six tenements of Cooma.

The funeral took place st the Mittagang Cemetery on Thursday afternoon, the procession of mourners being large, and fully representative of the Manaro district. This took place only twenty-four hours after death, and time did not permit of the news reaching many who would otherwise have been present. The service was read by the Rev. Pressaeli, who is temporarily carrying out the duties of the Rev. H. E. Thomson, who is way on a health trip. Some choice floral devices adorned the coffin, the bearers being Messrs. T. W. Faulkner, P. D. Murphy, J. H. Montague and A. Butler.

Original publication

Citation details

'Dawson, Robert (1812–1901)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/dawson-robert-22667/text32232, accessed 25 November 2017.

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