Ian Dickens farewelled by Dubbo community

DUBBO has lost a great community stalwart with the death of Ian Roy Livingstone Dickens.

The well-known retired solicitor died at St Mary's Villa aged care community in North Dubbo on July 20. He was 82.

Born in Grafton, Mr Dickens was educated at Sydney Grammar and Sydney University.

He moved to Dubbo with wife Pat in the early 1960s, became a partner in legal firm Peacocke, Dickens and Price in 1964 and remained with the practice until his retirement in 1994.

Mr Dickens did a considerable amount of pro bono legal work for community groups in Dubbo and was actively involved with Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Holy Trinity Retirement Village and took an intense interest in the welfare of its elderly residents.

Mr Dickens was the founding chairman and remained an active member of the retirement village committee until 2010, when ill health forced him to step down.

Austin Jupp, who took over as village chairman, described Mr Dickens as a hardworking, sincere and caring man.

"Ian was a man of vision and commitment,'' Mr Jupp said.

"The parish and retirement village dedicated a garden to him in recognition of faithful service and foresight.''

Doug Dickens said his father loved Dubbo.

"Even with all the changes over the years, he still felt it was a nice country town at heart," he said.

"Through his legal work Dad played an active role in the growth of Dubbo and the western region.

"He was involved in the development of the irrigation industry in the Macquarie Valley and advised people who were starting up businesses and buying and selling houses and property in and around Dubbo.

"Dad saw his job as providing the best advice possible to help people avoid mistakes and make their lives easier.

"He did a lot of court work early in his legal career. Dad always did his best for the client but there were never any shenanigans in or out of the court. Retired police officer Bill Black told me at the funeral that everything Dad did was above board and legally correct.''

Doug Dickens said his father worked long hours as a solicitor but devoted weekends to family, gardening, cricket and rugby.

He was fascinated by different species of trees and interested in the various styles of geraniums.

Mr and Mrs Dickens moved to St Mary's Villa earlier this year when they could no longer stay in their own home.

"Mum and Dad were together through each stage of life,'' Doug Dickens said.

"They had no desire to leave Dubbo - there were too many great friendships and church, business and community contacts.

"Dad always said he wanted to die here and that's what he did at 8pm on a Friday night. I am sure he would have wanted gathered family members to have the weekend free to enjoy time together.''

Andrew Graham spent 10 years working with Mr Dickens.

He described his former legal partner as reliable, trustworthy and true to his word.

"Ian was good counsel to lean on and always had a willing ear to discuss problems or issues,'' Mr Graham said.

"Most of those discussions were held after 5pm and invariably the subject would get back on to cricket.''

Orana Law Society president Andrew Boog said Mr Dickens was a well respected legal practitioner.

"It was a great loss to the profession when he retired,'' Mr Boog said.

"The Orana Law Society extends its sympathy to the Dickens family.''

A funeral service for Mr Dickens was held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on July 25. He is survived by wife Pat, children Doug and Caroline and six grandchildren.

heather.crosby@ruralpress.com

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