ROBERT WESTON DAWSON, Monaro born and bred, rendered sterling service to our live stock industry as Stock Inspector in several districts. Recently he retired from the Service because of the age limit, and the Department expressed high appreciation of his services.
Mr. Dawson has seen Monaro develop from an unfenced cattle run into a prosperous settled sheep district. In his early days there wasn't a fence from the Victorian border to Michelago. At the age of twenty he was manager of Rosebrook Station, near Cooma, and he put up the first fence that was ever built on that property.
Those were the cattle days! Cattle were almost legal tender: If a race meeting were on and a cattle man wanted to have a bet he would probably make the bet "one hundred cattle." Cattle were not worth much, looked at from this distance, but that was mainly all that Monaro was running. Yes, there were horses! Monaro men always loved a good horse and they all knew how to ride—as Banjo Patterson discovered. Mr. Dawson saw three hundred mixed horses mustered on Anembo Station, and sold for five shillings a head. They were taken down to the Bega district and boiled down on Tarraganda estate. That was before dairying came to make the South Coast famous.
Off Rosebrook, another mob of horses were sold for five shillings a head and they went to Adelaide.
Mr. Dawson was Inspector of Stock for Bombala and Eden districts until 1923, when the rabbit invasion came to Bombala, which made it necessary to appoint an Inspector for Eden district. In 1919 he was promoted to Goulburn, where he has been until he retired from the Service at the end of last year.
On leaving Bombala. Mr. Dawson received an illuminated address and a handsome presentation from the stock owners of the district. When the time came for his retirement, the Goulburn district stockowners banqueted him and presented him with a wallet of notes and a handsomely inscribed gold watch.
Mr. Dawson was in the thick of the fight against tuberculosis on the South Coast, when legislation was introduced to combat it. He was partly instrumental in having legislation introduced to deal with lice in sheep, and in the procuring of the provisions now in force. He was first president of the Institute of Stock Inspectors, and has been a vice-president since relinquishing that position.
Mr. Dawson proved himself a strong, efficient officer, and, although he did not always see eye to eye with the various Boards he was in contact with he won the appreciation of stockowners.
Three of Mr. Dawsons sons went to the war. One was in South America and two in Queensland, and they responded to the British appeal for recruits for King Edward's Horse. Afterwards they went into other branches of the Service, and one was decorated with the D.F.C. for special service with the Flying Corps in Palestine. The second received a French decoration for services in France. Both obtained commissions. The third was gassed early and was not able to return to the firing line.