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Gawler History Team Inc.

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National Trust of South Australia

In Gawler now



Dawkins Campbell and Ruth

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual

The Dawkins name is steeped in Gawler history I looked back on the history of the Dawkins family finding a piece from Campbell’s Grandfather William and his passing and the words used back in 1937 to describe William would be the same used for Campbell it said “he served his day and generation faithfully and throughout maintained the full appreciation of his fellows and with his passing gained the encomium of a “good Man”.

The piece in the paper also said:

"I have fought a good fight

I have finished my course

I have kept my faith."

So here is Campbell’s story: Campbell was born here in Gawler on the 26th of Nov 1927 in Nurse Green’s home to Ada and Arthur. Sadly his mother Ada died during his birth and Campbell went to stay with his Aunt Ev and Uncle Percy. When he was nearly three Campbell returned to live with his father as he’d remarried, Lil was a wonderful mother to Campbell.

The bond with Aunty Ev and Uncle Percy remained strong and many wonderful visits as Campbell would ride his bike to visit or going out the farm in Gawler Belt to Erns and Phil’s.

Campbell had a large age gap with his brothers 13 years old was Arthur and 10 years between he and Bob. By the time Campbell came home to live the boys had gone off to Boarding school in Adelaide. The story of his mothers passing was one never spoken of by the family over the years so Campbell knew no more than this.

He went on to do his schooling at Gawler primary and then Gawler high before going to PAC in town.He played Cricket and Football until marring. Joining golf later in the years.

Campbell working career started as the war did and he was called back to the family business William Dawkins and Co. working in the family business at the bottom of Lyndoch road till it closed. He then went onto to use his salesman skills in Furniture at Mattie’s in Gawler later Patterson’s took this over and eventually Campbell went to work in Adelaide to Hooper’s. Campbell ended his fulltime working career as a sale rep for Knights travelling all over to different places interstate taking Ruth along on some trips.

Campbell was a good salesman as it was said he was the right man for the right job he achieved a bonus on sales it was only a cent on each item but this added to a good sum with his good sales so much so that the other staff got jealous and it had to stop.

For a time Campbell worked part-time in Budget Kitchens, his final job was sales at the ice factory.

But of course during these years Campbell met and married:

It was in 1946 that a young 18 year old Ruth came to Gawler nursing she was known to fellow staff a Woody by her first name it was in her first week here, one of her friends “Woody I know a man you’d like” so her friend took he into the shop and once Campbell met Ruth he would say “they were meant for each other”. They married and moved into a flat before buying their home on Carlton road.

Nights out would be to dances at the Church of England dance and Balls, Hospital Balls, Apex Balls it was an era of dinner suits and ball gowns they continued their love of dancing up till their late 60’s going with a group of friends to all the seasonal Balls and dinner dances in Adelaide.

Life altered as it does when children arrived in 1952 Bronwyn and 1955 Lyn was born. life revolved around family times, holidays would be to Wallaroo to the beach to stay in the family shack, a caravan trip to the Flinders Ranges and over into Victoria.

I asked if Campbell was a good fisherman on these beach holidays the girls laughed and said no but he liked eating them…

Gardening was more than a hobby for Campbell it was his passion, when the girls were little the girls would build cubby’s in the fruit trees causing great grief for Campbell, there was no running thru the garden, later looking back he said he wondered why he worried so much.

Over the years Campbell and Ruth played hosts to many friends in their home and their friends homes sharing meals and laughs together.

Campbell was a tolerant man, never having a need to raise his voice; Bronwyn and Lyn don’t remember an argument in the home. Ruth said they had disagreements but always sorted them out and if she got cross Campbell would just come back a bit later and say “well how are things now”.

Holidays with friends were to Tasmania and Western Australia with plans of more travels but Campbell’s health was not good, but in saying this they loved to be home surrounded by family. As the garden got to big on the double block on Carlton Rd they moved Alwood dr before moving into the current unit. Still Campbell pottered around in the garden.

Campbell was a founding member of Apex in Gawler resigning only due to his work commitments they had achieved many good things in these years and enjoyed the friendships.

Spending a long time with Probus only retiring from this in recent years.

Campbell is described by his family as kind respectful of others, a gentleman and I am sure you would all agree with this..

As family Remember and honour Campbell he had a hand in shaping the people you have become and as you tell the stories of your Pop he will still be part of the family and to continue to shaping the family for generations to come.

Thanks to Gawler Health for making sure Campbell was comfortable.

The greatest thanks go to Campbell’s family for their love and support over the years you returned the love that Campbell gave to you so freely over the years.

Please click here to see more photos of Campbell and Ruth

Campbell Percy Dawkins
Campbell Percy Dawkins
Ruth and Campbell Dawkins
Ruth and Campbell Dawkins
Ruth and Campbell Dawkins
Ruth and Campbell Dawkins

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