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Monday, October 24, 2011

THE ADMIRAL DAWSON OBIT: Chief sets out on a last voyage orphaning friends, pianos & Austin Cambridge

MY WAY: Admiral Dawson entertained his guests and friends by playing his favourite songs My Way (Frank Sinatra) and Danny Boy (Jim Reeves). He had three pianos and a 1961 model Austin Cambridge as prized possessions. His sister Thelma Dawson (85) and close friends will now miss the Maestro's magic moments. R.I.P. Photo: Courtesy Thelma Dawson\B.G. Koshi
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: He missed his 87th birthday by a whisker. His friends and family were hoping to hear Admiral Dawson play Frank Sinatra My Way and Jim Reeves Danny Boy on his piano, next month. The Admiral would have played host to his friends -- cracking jokes, sharing sea-time stories and sipping on his favourite scotch.
But the birthday boy started a new voyage on Sunday – a destination longer than the sea he dated. Orphaned with his demise are three pianos and a 1961 model Austin Cambridge car he brought from England. The driver is no more!
Admiral Dawson who scripted the 'blue water navy' concept so that his men could undertake deep sea missions, was a simple man. He was also responsible for setting up the Karwar Seabird Project (INS Kadamba) in Karnataka and the Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala in Kerala. He personally flew over Ezhimala in the late 70s to finalise the land for INA.
His close associate for over 20 years B.G. Koshi, a businessman in Bangalore, shared an interesting story. “While he was the ADC to late President Rajendra Prasad, serving liquor was banned at Rashtrapathi Bhawan. The President's order was to drink milk, instead. The Admiral  wanted a drink and requested the President to allow him to have the milk of human-kind and drove to the naval mess,” recalls Koshi.
He shared a very special relationship with his sister Thelma Dawson. The Admiral was a bachelor and it was mandatory to have a lady as the hostess when he became the CNS. He refused to get married and his sister Thelma Dawson, now 85, was instead given the status of the hostess (First Lady). “He dated the sea and didn't want to get married. He felt that he will be doing a great injustice to the girl, with he being on ship all the time. Sea was his passion. He loved his mother a lot. He was a man full of life. We will miss all his jokes and music,” Thelma told The New Indian Express.
Last birthday, the Admiral expressed doubts of being around to celebrate another one. "We used to fondly call him 'Chief' and he told me that he might not be there next time and offered me another drink. May be he knew that...," says Koshi.
Cheers 'Chief.'
R.I.P.
(Copyright@The New Indian Express)

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