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Vernon Crock
10 years ago

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Vernon Crock
10 years ago

I was deeply saddened to learn, just a few days before Christmas 2010, that Pam had recently died. I last saw Pam in late 1981, at the end of my Year 12 at Scotch - 29 years ago. Despite the passing of all those years, my memories and appreciation of Pam are as fresh as ever. She was a delightful, uplifting influence on my life, and someone I will never forget. Pam taught me English for 2 of my 6 high school years at Scotch. She was a brilliant English teacher, but was far more to me than an English teacher. She was a source of light, a bright and cheeky spirit, always providing interest and surprise, and illuminating truth and beauty. She lit my way in the discovery of my own language. When she introduced us to Shakespeare by way of Macbeth in Form 3 (Year 9) I was blown away that English could be so powerful and emotive. I loved and looked forward to every English class. As an editor of written work she was someone I both feared and respected, an honest and incisive critic. She demanded clarity of thought and expression. Annoyingly, she was always right. She also acted as a quiet supporter and guide, someone who saw through my erratic or troublesome teenage behaviour to something higher, to my potential as a person. One of her parting comments to me in 1981 was a simple but powerful affirmation that I've valued ever since: "You'll be OK". Pam, you beautiful soul, I thank you for your teaching, for sharing a love of language and your subversive sense of humour. Thanks too for the faith you constantly placed in me, a priceless gift. May you continue to shine on in realms of joy and light. With love and gratitude, Vernon Crock

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Vernon Crock
10 years ago

I was deeply saddened to learn, just a few days before Christmas 2010, that Pam had recently died. I last saw Pam in late 1981, at the end of my Year 12 at Scotch - 29 years ago. Despite the passing of all those years, my memories and appreciation of Pam are as fresh as ever. She was a delightful, uplifting influence on my life, and someone I will never forget. Pam taught me English for 2 of my 6 high school years at Scotch. She was a brilliant English teacher, but was far more to me than an English teacher. She was a source of light, a bright and cheeky spirit, always providing interest and surprise, and illuminating truth and beauty. She lit my way in the discovery of my own language. When she introduced us to Shakespeare by way of Macbeth in Form 3 (Year 9) I was blown away that English could be so powerful and emotive. I loved and looked forward to every English class. As an editor of written work she was someone I both feared and respected, an honest and incisive critic. She demanded clarity of thought and expression. Annoyingly, she was always right. She also acted as a quiet supporter and guide, someone who saw through my erratic or troublesome teenage behaviour to something higher, to my potential as a person. One of her parting comments to me in 1981 was a simple but powerful affirmation that I've valued ever since: "You'll be OK". Pam, you beautiful soul, I thank you for your teaching, for sharing a love of language and your subversive sense of humour. Thanks too for the faith you constantly placed in me, a priceless gift. May you continue to shine on in realms of joy and light. With love and gratitude, Vernon Crock

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Nellie Dickinson
10 years ago

In loving memory of Pamela, on behalf of her mother Nellie, her late father, Rowland, her sisters, Norah and Judith, and brother Rowland. So many happy memories of a good and loving life.she was loved by all, and taken too soon. (via Jim and Nic)

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Kirk Robinson
10 years ago

Some of my favourite memories are from times spent in Forbes as a kid, visiting Grandma and Granddad (Robinson side). It was always a fun time to see cousins, Aunts and Uncles as they came passing through or came together for a family gathering. One of my earliest memories of Aunty Pam was in the garden of my Nana Rob's house in Forbes town. My grandparents and all the uncles, aunts and cousins had gathered to resolve what to do about Nana Rob's house and possessions. With that many people, the kids were shuffled outside. My strongest memory of that day is Aunty Pam taking a special interest in us kids outside and finding some Orange Ade to share with us to keep us happy. For me, Aunty Pam always had a sparkle in her eyes, always an encouraging word. She was forever recommending interesting books for me to read as I was growing up. One of my treasured times together with Aunty Pam was when she made the time to take me on a day's drive along the Great Ocean Road to Lorne, ostensibly to satisfy my curiosity about the great road and surf coast, but more importantly, to listen and discuss my recent breakup. She really took the time to let me speak and try to help me through some difficult issues. It felt good to open up to someone about the pain I was feeling and to have someone point to "life on the other side of the relationship". We love you and will miss you Aunty Pam.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

Series of photos (sans audio) which was played at Mum's funeral service. Thanks to all who contributed photographs.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Pam with her glorious humour, solid commonsense and utter utter kindness and sweetness (with a tiny touch of waspish) saved me in a time of my life when everything seemed to have tipped upside down. She and Mary would come in in the morning after I had left for work, and hang my washing up, and come back before I returned to take it down. This act of kindness (and honestly who likes doing even their own washing) had the MOST enormous impact on me - to this day. Pam and Mary would come round and we would laugh, we would talk about everylastthingontheplanet and more besides. She was a huge current of energy and joy. I did not have contact with Pam over the last few years, but she remains in my heartspace as a dear beloved friend.

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10 years ago

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10 years ago

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10 years ago

My ‘Aunty Pam from Melbourne’, my most favourite Aunt in the world. With the more recent difficulties with long distance communication, I have longed to hear her infectious giggle, delightfully correct pronunciations and fabulously big words. I cherish her thoughtfulness and her guidance for Aunty Pam has been a wonderful contributor to my life in so many ways. As I reflect, it seemed she sensed just what life lesson I needed at that point in time as she inspired me to strive for the best in life, to embrace education and all the opportunities it could bring. I truly cannot imagine not knowing all that she has taught me about everything, but mostly living life to the fullest! As a link to the extensive & complex Dickinson & Bavington clans she has given me a gentle insight into our marvellous, yet eclectic, family ways and history. She truly had a desire to keep the bonds of family tied, no matter the distance... be that physical or metaphorical... , a fact I was reminded of only recently when she showed absolute thrill when viewing photos of all the family gathered for Nan’s 90th birthday (Nell Dickinson); she was just over the moon excited! There are so many wonderful memories I hold dear, how do you pick just a few to share ? The memory I hold dearest is Aunty Pam teaching me to bake shortbread, amidst having me stay with her for a week when I was aged 10, (a testemenat to her exuberance & energy, when I think of it now, as Gina was a sleeping newborn and Nic a delightful & energetic toddler). It was an exercise not just on how to bake shortbread, but a life lesson with many subtle levels. That is what I love and cherish about so many of the ‘little’ things my beautiful Aunt took the time to do – they were in deed big life lessons for one little girl... Over different visits she introduced me to the delights of cycling through Melbourne, growing & tending a herb patch, ordering exotic goods like marinated olives and home-made cabanossi (it was the 80’s!). She introduced me to the Vic Markets, and sipping coffee whilst perched on an upturned milk crate. I’m saddened that we will never have the chance, as an adult, to share a coffee on an upturned milk crate whilst discussing the wonders of family, education, food and life... I have to mention that Aunty Pam’s thoughtful gifts were always an absolute delight and so personally perfect. Like the Salmon Poacher as a Christmas gift soon after I became engaged to my avid fisherman of a husband or like the two beautiful floral paintings I admired at a market in Melbourne. I am grateful to still be surrounded by so many of her gifts as a physical daily reminder of her thoughtfulness and approach to good quality - particularly in the kitchen equipment department... I feel it is a testament to the impact Pam had on my life, in that although we didn’t spend regular amounts of time together, I remember a little something from every meeting & conversation we had. For each time we met she naturally guided and taught me, in a beautiful and subtle way. My beautiful Aunty Pam, I cannot believe you’ve gone so soon, again, I thank you so very very much for everything you taught me, I truly cannot imagine what my life would be without your influence and love. May you now be free and at peace, yet know you're missed dearly on this earthly plain. With love until we meet again - be sure to save me an upturned crate ! Amanda Wyeth xoxo www.questforlife.com.au - a beautiful and peaceful place that I highly recommend

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10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

Pam and I are cousins, born one year apart. Our fathers were brothers. They had different ways. So did we. Pam had a humanities bias, mine was science. She was smart, obtaining a scholarship to MLC in Sydney. I struggled, but did OK. Pam excelled. We were supposed to grow old together. I can divide Pam's life into 3 unequal portions. 3. Her life with her cerebellar atrophy. All of us here are familiar with this. I want to acknowledge it and emphasise Pam's ability against the odds, her persistence, stubborness, determination. It is the saddest part of Pam's life. I, however want to address the other two parts of her life. 1. The First part begins in Sydney, where she was born the third of 4 children. She excelled at school . She was vibrant, happy, lively, mature way beyond her years. For naive me, I was left wondering whether all Sydney girls are like this? She was fun. She swam competitevely and trained over a mile before school. This was before indoor heated pools. For years she took elocution lessons and could speak real good. She was blonde and had sparkling eyes. She had a toy tennis ball, placed in the end of a stocking. With skill , she would bounce it against a brick wall, flicking her leg above and then below the expected point of impact. I tried and was hopeless. She had a Pogo stick, and would not let me play with it. She rememebered this and rectified this at my 50th Birthday, by giving me my very own Pogo stick. I still have this . 2. The second and most important part of Pam's life is her time with Jim. It begins with her meeting Jim at Uni, whilst doing a play, with Nick Enright, a soon to be famous playwright. Jim blew us away. He looked a Hippie. He had long hair to his shoulders, John Lennon glasses and such a strong presence. They were a brilliant match. They lived in a dive of a place in Glebe. Our kids would love it today. Pam and Jim would have brilliant, philosphical discussions. I was in awe of them. This was the platform on which they built their lives together. It was rock solid. We will hear more of her life soon. Before we do, there is in fact a 4th part of Pam's life and that is the Legacy that she leaves us. It is substantial. Her poise, her intellect, her care and support for others. The love for her family. Her excitement, her smile and laughter, then rubbing her hands and cheeks and laughing some more. She was inspirational. Each of us here has been touched by her. We have each benefited by knowing her. We are blessed to have known her. Finally, to Jim, Nic and Gina I provide this pledge on behalf of all of us here. Long after the flowers are dead and our tears dry, you each have our enduring love and support in what ever your needs, where ever it is. We will do what ever it takes. Pam, be at peace.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

In 1979, Pam and I went skiing with the Year 7 novices from Scotch College . The coach’s idea was that there should be at least one adult, preferably two, who had not skied before, so that the boys could see that any novice is pretty hopeless, and not take their incompetence too much to heart. Pam and I certainly fulfilled our role in that scenario.   One of the lads approached me fairly early into the weekend, and asked, “Are you married to Ms Dickinson?” I replied in the affirmative. “Wow”, he said. “That must be fun!” I looked at him sharply, to make sure that he wasn’t seeking to imply anything smutty; but he had a look of such cheerful innocence, that I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and responded that yes, it was.   And so it was. As the others have told you; and as, I hope, comes out in the DVD, life with Pam was fun. That is not to say that she was never serious or even difficult, at times; but she refused to accept pomposity in anyone, and could usually see the funny side in any situation. If she was nearby, she always gave the impression that whatever she was doing was a lot more fun than whatever you were doing. For instance:   At university, some young man (not me) was trying to make an impression. He asked Pam her name. With a completely straight face, she said, “Ima Nickenoff”. He stared into the middle distance, and said, “Ima. That’s a beautiful name”.  I note that there is now an ABC Radio newsreader called Mary Nickenoff. Whether she has an aunt called Ima, I do not know. In Surrey Hills, before children, we used to go for a walk most nights. One garden, that we used to walk by regularly, was edged along the footpath with a rockery, including about 5 large stones the size of cannonballs, spread out at intervals of about 1½  metres. It occurred to Pam that these stones might be lonely in their isolation, so each time we walked by (in the dark), we would move one to be next to another. Next time we passed, the stone we had moved would have been returned to its former position, and we would move it back to be beside the other. This went on for 12 months or so. It is not clear whether the owner was exasperated or amused by our antics, or simply submitted with resignation. Anyway, after the 12 months or so, Pam ventured out with a note. The stone was moved, and under it was placed a note that read, “Why do you keep us apart?” Once we had children, and they were old enough to write notes for Santa, we would put out the notes, with some biscuits for him, and some carrots for the reindeer. We parents would eat the biscuits, but for a touch of verisimilitude, Pam always took a few chomps out of each carrot, and left them there, with tooth marks, so that, in the morning, the children would see that the reindeer had enjoyed their gift.   The front page of the memorial card includes the words, “Try to be kind and generous”. Those of you who ever received an email from Pam when she was at Swinburne may recall that she incorporated this phrase into her email signature. Whether she felt that making the effort was alone enough, or whether she reckoned that if you tried you would probably succeed, I’m not sure; but that phrase was how she conducted her teaching, and her life in general. She was generous with her time to friends and students, and with kindness and sympathy for those in trouble.   I won’t repeat what others have said about Pam’s life and career; but for someone whose life was centred around intellect and the brain, OPCA was particularly devastating. For a layman like me, OPCA is like this. Your olive, your pons, and your cerebellum, are all parts of your brain. With Pam, these parts of her brain gradually turned into non-brain tissue. This interfered with their ability to function as a brain, so that, gradually, she lost the ability to control various parts of her body. It started with walking, standing and writing. By April of last year, she had also lost the ability to speak; and there must have been so much she would have wanted to tell us. The condition is degenerative, incurable, and irreversible. But through it all, she seems not to have lost her intellectual or reasoning capacities.   In a card, one of the Tennis Girls recorded that Pam never complained about her illness. I know that she wasn’t happy about it; but she came to realize that it was useless to fight it. “If you make it a war with the disease, the disease always wins”, she told me, more than once. Her stoicism during the last years puts me in mind of those lines by Adam Lindsay Gordon:   Life is mainly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone.             Kindness in another’s trouble,             Courage in your own.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

When Kerry and I first met Pamela Dickinson, nearly 40 years ago, it was easy to understand why (brother) James (not Jim at that time) had fallen love with her. She was a beautiful blond girl, absolutely full of fun and full of life.  As well as that Pamela (never Pam in those days) was extremely articulate, always happy to participate in an animated discussion (rather than an argument) and frequently used words that I later had to look up in a dictionary. The photo of Pamela and James on their wedding day is all white clothing with lots of hair, which even at that time, was on the extreme side of trendy. They had lots of fun, always searching for interesting things to do, and often just a bit mischievous.  I remember going to dinner at their Artarmon house where the main meal was a flavoursome Asian dish, served in a large leaf.  I asked what the leaf was “Banana leaf” said Pamela “fresh”. “Where did you find a banana leaf?”  “I assisted the Council staff by trimming the banana tree in the park”. As the years went by and we were all able to afford a little more, “French bubbles” became Pam’s (by then she would answer to “Pam”) aperitif of choice and we all enjoyed it.  Pamela always had a quirky sense of humour and we will always remember her special laugh – when she would often rub her hands and/or her face. After Jim and Pam moved to Melbourne, Pam set about discovering Melbourne and she loved showing Kerry the boutiques, antique shops and markets and we looked forward to visiting the restaurants that she and Jim selected, it was always great fun. Pam was a very loving mother and adored her children, Nicholas and Gina.  We were reminded of this when Pam and Gina stayed with us in Sydney during the second week of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.  During the days – we mostly went our own ways because we had bought our tickets to various events independently.  But usually when we got home, Pam and Gina would be curled up together on a sofa happily watching Roy and HG and the Wombat on TV. Pam and Jim were always checking that our sister and brothers and their families were well, and kept in regular touch.  Mary and Stan are here from Tea Gardens, NSW, Stuart and Chris from Perth, and Richard and Kerrie from Queensland (with Jess).  We in Jim’s immediate family share a deep affection for Pamela, Jim, Nicholas and Gina. As Pam’s condition gradually became worse over the last ten years, she was always so positive and interested in everything when we came to visit her.  We marvelled at her courage and continuing good humour through all those years, which courage and humour she continued to show even when communication – in which she had excelled – became difficult and then almost impossible for her. All of Gina, Nic and especially Jim have been fully supportive of Pam through all of this time and that has been a huge test of their love and courage in which they have not been found wanting. Pamela, we salute your courage, we loved your happy, cheeky, lively personality – We will miss you.

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Ken Dickinson
10 years ago

The first time I met Pam was when she and Jim moved to Melbourne in 1977. I was a young stay at home mum with a 9 month old baby. She was a witty, intelligent English teacher. I thought I was the only person who ran to the dictionary after a conversation with her. I've since learnt many others did the same. Our family loved spending time with Pam and Jim, and later when Nic and Gina arrived we celebrated many family Christmases together. We know Pam loved 'words'. And so my tribute to Pam is from the greatest wordsmith ever, William Shakespeare. From his play 'All's Well that Ends Well'.......Praising what is lost, makes the rememberance dear. All praise to you dear Pam. Thank you for being a part of our family. You have left a physical gap but the space is filled with memories of wonderful happy times. Much love and fondest memories Linda Dickinson

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Ken Dickinson
10 years ago

Outside my immediate family, Pam is my closest and most long standing mate. We were pen pals as kids ( no face book/Email/text). I hope she threw out my letters, else I'll be very embarrassed. She was my confidante and soulmate. My all time favourite memory was when our daughter, Karen, was doing year 12 and Pam volunteered to help her with English. They beavered away without interuption. In the meantime, I washed Pam's car. At the end of it, Pam quietly left. I found Karen totally fired up and could not appreciate what had happened. I went into Karen's room and found a few hundred Post It notes in multiple colors festooning the walls. It looked like Christmas. It was inspirational and Karen then excelled in English. The whole event was repeated, with out Post It notes, a few years later when Debbie did Year 12 English. She too excelled. Pam was inspiraional. All for a car wash. Pam, be at peace, As always, Love Ken

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10 years ago

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10 years ago

It is hard to know what to say as we didn't see a lot of Pam over the years. But our meetings were always enjoyable and her bright personality stayed with us. Whenever I think of Pam I think of talking and laughing, her great love of words and her tremendous interest and involvement in the conversation of the moment. A short time ago I attended a funeral at which the son gave the eulogy for his father. Part of this eulogy has stayed very strongly in my memory. It went something like this: "Whenever we think of (his father) we smile - and that was his gift." This was true - whenever we think of this person, a smile is the spontaneious reaction. I don't think that I can do better than to say for Pam: "Whenever we think of her, we smile - and that was her gift." The enclosed photo was taken at Easter in 2003 when a good representaion of Backhouse descendants and family members came to the Tottenham Centenary and on the following day to a barbecue and gathering at "Mirilba". We don't often have the opportunity to get together, so this time was special.

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Sarah Taylor
10 years ago

Pam was warm and witty during many occasions in which i, her son's girlfriend, was a guest at the family table with very limited manners and conversational skills. She graciously ignored the latter fact, and i always remembered that i could not think of a nicer person to have at an intimidating social occasion. Some of the memories i have of her i was not actually present for, but formed from vividly told anecdotes. Riding a motorbike around the countryside near New England University in the 70s, or cooking a truly giant bowl of broccili for a debut dinner party under the assumption that everyone liked it as much as she did. Her descriptions were engaging enough to form mental images, as well as giving the clear impression of a couple very much in love for many years. That said, sometimes she and Gina would keep laughing about things that i, or pretty much anyone else, just didn't quite find THAT funny. I was glad for them being so entertained though. I also remember her firm but fair responses to Nic's uni friends. When one young man decided to scale the drainpipe during a party and climb down the side of the house, she met him at the bottom and informed him that this was "breaching our duty of care". This quote went into legend in our circle of friends...i imagine that lesser souls would have been too scared to say anything, or else just yelled to get the f*** off the drainpipe! A cool and clever lady. My best wishes to Nic, Jim and Gina.

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Carole Hungerford
10 years ago

Pam's smile. Who could ever forget Pam's sparkling eyes and her smile? Even in the late phase of her illness-her eyes could still light up like stardust Another memory. The night she cheated at speed Scrabble. She did it so spectacularly, and with such flair-she fooled everyone. None of us can remember that night without a smile-years later. She won forever the hearts of those in the family who had not known her so well until then And my earliest memory. When she came home as a newborn from hospital, and I was allowed to nurse her. I thought she was the most beautiful baby I'd seen. I always wanted to find a cure for your illness Pam. I hoped stem cell therapy would come in time. I so regret that it did not Pam, we will miss you so much

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Dean Madden
10 years ago

Aunty Pam a mystery a light a love, sincerity, a wonder, blessing, a joy to see so distant once but now with me, across the stars the universe, a classroom voice, a humming bird, a tear, a drink, a joke or two all of this she'd give to you, you touched my soul instantly your tender eyes, purity, your sweet lips left a mark when they kissed my open heart, I knew you not well my dear But Aunty Pam I know you hear All of us shedding tears, we miss you here on our earth As you take your new birth You are free from your pain Living where we're all the same Please look out over me, Your nephew far from home it's Dean. Thank you Aunty Pam, thank you.

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Jill Hulme
10 years ago

Pam was my "over the back fence " neighbour and friend. We made a gap in that fence so that we could come and go with a small child in tow. We would sit with the kids for an "early tea" and whilst supervising the meal we would share a beer and talk together about everything from the serious to the hilarious. I left Australia to come here to the US twenty-five years ago. Pam and I were sad to part but she new it was a good move for me. I gave her my kids clothes for Nic and Gina who was, I believe, born that year. Each time I came home to visit we always quickly found that easy connection and regained the familiarity we had always so enjoyed. Everyone who knew her was charmed by her hand and face rubbing enthusiasms, her lovely engagement and her ability with words and ideas especially in conversations where something needed examination or a more thorough working out. The last time I had this connection with Pam was over several days in April of this year. Sadly she was diminished and I knew we would not be able to actually talk. I came to her prepared with family pictures and something I especially liked, to read to her. Jim had told me that she could signal "yes" or "no" by showing one or two fingers. She looked directly into my face and flashed those eyes and so we once more fell into our easy closeness. I arranged pillows and managed to get right next to her to show my pictures with their attendant stories. Pam somehow managed to let me know she needed her glasses and so we went on. I knew I would never see her again as I walked to my car from her room. I have cherished my friendship with Pam and know that all of us who have loved her will go forward with wonderful memories and many, many interesting thoughts never to be forgotten but rather happily incorporated into our lives without her.

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Rowland Dickinson
10 years ago

Little brothers are such annoying people. To me she was always suave, sophisticated and cultured. I’ll contribute some memories from before 1973 when we both left home – Pam to be Jim’s wife and me for the Army. These typified her zest for life. One of her favourite lines was going around in year 11 or 12 with one of her tall blond friends declaring themselves to be tall blond Aryans, with a Monty Pythonesque after comment from Pam of ”and I’m stunted”. We used to wrestle a lot, but about her being 15 or so I got stronger, I can remember having pinned her to the ground and totally immobilised and yet she still continued to call out “I won, I won” – I don’t think we ever wrestled again after that, but she could still swim better than I. When I was in middle high school I convinced a couple of friends to rendezvous at our house before heading off. They were welcomed by me bursting out of the front door and holding the wire door shut with Pam in hot pursuit ‘screaming’ “boys, boys, boys”, my poor friends thought we had some sort of demented woman in the house. A little bit mischievous she was always fun to be around and quite capable in her own way of doing the unexpected.

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Audrey Stewart
10 years ago

Dear Pam – warm and funny with an outrageous sense of the ridiculous. Her compassion and huge generosity of mind and spirit could transform the bleakest of days. So many happy memories from the time of her arrival in Armidale, bubbling over with enthusiasm and the joys of life, through to Melbourne. Saturday mornings at Vic Market followed by coffee at Carlton, memorable meals at Norfolk Road and Illawarra Road and her presence at many of our family special occasions making them even more special. Safe journey dear Pam – you will always have a special place in our memories. We are deeply saddened by her death and extend our sincere condolences to Jim, Nicholas and Georgina. Audrey, Grant, Martin, Gillian and Anna Stewart

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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10 years ago

The two other fine young 70's fashion embracing couple in this photo are my parents, John & Sue Barnes (Nora Dickinson). I don't think they were in the bridal party? But my oh my what a fabulous wedding & marriage xoxo

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Judy Reynolds
10 years ago

As Jim's cousin I knew of Pam as his wife. The tyranny of distance and our own family lives did not give me much opportunity to get to know Pam. I first came face to face with her at the Backhouse Family Reunion at Dubbo many years ago. I liked her instantly and felt very comfortable in her presence. The next time I saw Pam was at the Tottenham Reminiscence also some years ago, however the change in her movements and speech made me think how did this happen to this lovely lady. I have followed the progress of her illness since that time through Ann my cousin and my brother Jon and his wife Pauline plus also my cousin Mary Hawes. I have related what I have been told to my family, my children to enable them to understand my relationship and theirs to the Robinson family. When I told them that Pam had passed away they described how they felt and send their condolences to Jim and their family, so do I. I believe that Pam did tread gently, lovingly, to leave graceful heart prints. Pam would have left a smell, left a sound, left a taste, left a glimpse. left an essence that was uniquely her. Judy Reynolds

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Debbie Dickinson
10 years ago

A wise, wonderful woman - Pam touched the lives of many and I personally feel blessed that she did mine. I can only echo my sister Karen´s comments that Pam showed us what being a Dickinson woman is all about. And what a fine example she gave - funny, caring, always bringing the best out in us all. Her enquisitive mind inspired those around her. Pam´s twinkly eyes and seeing her rubbing her hands and face with excitement are memories that as a kid always made me giggle and now as an adult will always make me smile. Sincere condolences to Jim, Nic and Gina at this difficult time, and may Pam now have the freedom and peace that she so deserves.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Rob Dickinson
10 years ago

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Karen Dickinson
10 years ago

Pam was an absolute inspiration in my life. She was dignified, strong and beautiful. She taught me what it meant to be a Dickinson woman. I grew up with her eloquent wisdom and zest around me. She had a laugh like no one I ever knew, rubbing her hands and face with glee always made the warmth in the room warmer. I feel privileged Pam shared many of my life events, in particular that my children we able to touch and feel her warmth. For my 21st Birthday Pam delivered me a Bay Leaf tree and explained its mythological symbolism as a tree of honor. Pam, I honor you and the brilliance you brought into the world. You touched the hearts and refined the words of many. May you rest and may you be free. With love from Karen

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Sue Williamson
10 years ago

As a little girl my younger sister Pam was always affectionately known as "Pom" or "Pommy". Pommy was a beautiful little blond haired, blue eyed happy little girl, who astutely observed the mistakes her big sister made &, even more astutely, leaned much from them!!! Such was Pom, always learning - she loved knowledge and used her ability to study & learn to great advantage & to the advantage of her family and those she taught. It is difficult to understand why such an inquisitive & well-channelled mind, housed in a beautiful, caring, sweet person was so cruelly & tragically stricken with the OPCA at such a young age, (which would eventually take her from this earth so prematurely) she had so much to give to others & willingly did so. Pom's journey here is now over & she is once again free to be herself - the vibrant, caring, happy, kind & generous little blonde who will willingly teach anyone who cares to listen as she joins all those who have gone before her. As I say "au revoir Pom" I know next time we catch up you will be the big sister & I will learn all of "heaven's ropes" from you. Til then brave li'l sister our comfort is that we all know you are finally at peace. Sue. xxxxx

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Jill Hulme
10 years ago

Hey Nic, The hat you are wearing was knitted for my first baby Zachary and passed on consequently to Gabriel , Rafael and you! We have a picture of Gabriel wearing it actually hanging on the wall as we speak. Jill.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

Mum was (except when I had done something naughty!) always a fun person to be around. Remembering the good times is something which regretfully I have not given as much time to in recent years, since her diagnosis, but this was certainly not for want of material. The first memory that comes to my mind is of mornings on the weekend when Gina and I were little. We had been forbidden from going into the parental bedroom before a certain hour (7am?), but once this time had passed we would race in and dive under the covers to cuddle and maybe sing some songs, at which point Gina and I would generally start fighting over which side of mum was whose. Mum's participation in these hijinks tended to be a little more enthusiastic than Dad's, who as I recall preferred to advocate the let's-all-go-back-to-sleep game. However, I am better able to empathise now with his position, and should also take this opportunity not only to commend his grace, but also to belatedly apologise for Gina's and my blatant favouritism! Another quality is the skill mum showed in her teaching career. I recall seeing her in action on a number of occasions at Swinburne on days when I was off sick from school. That I have these memories at all is indicative of mum's confidence, not misplaced in my opinion, that she could manage a full class of young adults whilst also caring for an unwell child, which shows how seemingly easily she was able to juggle roles. Indeed, she was able to do this so well that on occasion I was even co-opted in classroom exercises, on one occasion mangling the Bard's words as one of the witches in Macbeth! Although less flattering to myself, I should also mention that another skill of mum's was her ability to discipline misbehaviour. Mum was only 5'2", but when telling you off she seemed to be able to double in size, volume, and general ferocity, all without any apparent motion. Friends of mine from my undergraduate days still vividly remember the last infamous house party at mum and dad's, which I can now admit was called a Grand Final BBQ lunch simply because I was no longer allowed parties, which mum terminated at around 11pm by using her aforementioned abilities to gain the undivided attention of over a dozen rowdy students in party mode, and uttering the line: "lunch is well and truly OVER!", whereupon everyone ran for the hills. I believe that to this day, everyone who was there remembers it, and I don't recall any of them ever putting a foot wrong when at our place ever again! Although in most respects mum was very much a happy-go-lucky type, there was at least one notable exception - a morbid fear of heights. During the family's trip to Europe in 1998, we encountered a chairlift-type contraption running up the side of a mountain near Grenôble, except that instead of pulling chairs on a frame or seated in a box, this thing housed the intrepid traveller in a perspex box, which I think would have to be the scariest mode of transport in the world for someone like mum, with the possible exception of luge or skydiving. Despite this, mum surprised us by not only letting us go up, but accompanying us - another example of her love for her children, and selflessness when it came to encouraging new experiences without compromising our safety. However, the dedication shown by the actions just described was something I only realised much more recently. At the time, the main things I remember were the hilarity with which we greeted her nervousness (though I suspect her behaviour may have been at least partly motivated by a sense of theatrics), and the neologism that she coined that day: "fuuugg", which I think is a word which started out intending to be the common expletive, but which sort of stops halfway through the utterance and ends not in the more usual palatal plosive "k", but rather degenerates into a kind of gibbering. Maybe you had to be there, but it seemed very amusing to us children at the time, as indeed to mum herself once safely back on solid ground. This nervous tendency was also evident in mum's approach to driving, and is unfortunately a trait I seem to have inherited, however never to the extent she revealed to her immediate family when we were on that same trip in 1998. Every sharp turn in the road would be preceded by an ominous wailing sound, and (as she freely informed us) "pulling my bum in". Although it was never explained to us exactly how this assisted the car in remaining on the road, we always arrived safely, so far be it from me to doubt the technique's efficacy! Although perspicacity occasionally eluded her at times of high emotion, Mum's passion for languages formed the foundation of not only her career, but also much of her life as a mother. I have many fond memories of long holiday afternoons spent playing games such as Scrabble, at which mum was a formidable opponent, and of her passing on to me her love of literature by introducing me to many books, some of which are still firm favourites. Almost every night the conversation at the dinner table was lively and stimulating for growing minds, although when younger I would sit and listen in a sort of dazed awe as new words and concepts washed over me. A particular highlight of her devotion to the art of language was surely her MA, which was awarded around the same time as we first became aware of her then-occasional balance and co-ordination problems. It was a cruel irony indeed that OPCA eventually came to rob her brain of the very ability to communicate that so captivated her mind, however she amazed and inspired all who had the privilege to know her with her ability to remain stoically cheerful, and to the best of my knowledge as sharp and perceptive in her receptive communication ability as ever. About a fortnight before she died, I read her a spelling test which was part of the book "Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson, at which I was pleased to tell her she did very well, and which she seemed to relish, as indeed she loved any opportunity to keep her mind as sharp as her devastated physical condition would allow. Which was still, to the very end of her life, very sharp indeed. Farewell, Mum, and remember: I Love You Every Single Day No Matter What.

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago

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Nicholas Robinson
10 years ago