Tathra's Terry Dickson remembered as 'a true gentleman'

Terry Dickson (left) with Raiders great Alan Tongue and fellow Men of League committee members Frank Davey and Damian Kennedy.

Terry Dickson (left) with Raiders great Alan Tongue and fellow Men of League committee members Frank Davey and Damian Kennedy.

Group 16 and the broader Tathra community have said farewell to an icon after the passing of Terry Dickson.

Mr Dickson has been remembered as a kind and generous man with a great love of his wife and their daughters as well as a "true gentleman" of rugby league.

Mr Dickson had a distinguished 40-year career as an educator that saw him find home in Tathra as principal of the Tathra Public School until his retirement in 2002.

He had also served as president of the Tathra Sea Eagles after being a pivotal volunteer for the club since 1996 and served as the president of the Far South Coast branch of the Men of League for eight years between 2009 and 2017.

Known as a boy from the Shire, Mr Dickson became an unflappable backer of the Cronulla Sharks, and his love of the game spurred successful coaching stints with schools during his career and a keen involvement in Group 16.

Lifelong educator: Former Tathra Public School principal Terry Dickson catches up with pupils during a camp in 2017. Picture: Tathra Public School.

Lifelong educator: Former Tathra Public School principal Terry Dickson catches up with pupils during a camp in 2017. Picture: Tathra Public School.

His involvement is so widely recognised Group 16 has a perpetual Terry Dickson Shield clash between CBU and the Sea Eagles.

"He was a real mentor to a lot of people," current Eagles president Peter Finucane said.

"He wasn't just a teacher in the sense of being an educator - but he was a life teacher as well.

"He was an incredible listener, he was always very open if anyone was going through any troubles even though he had suffered a lot himself for the last 15 or 20 years [battling cancer].

"He sort of put everyone else before his own well-being half the time, he was a very tough but kind and caring man - a soft exterior, but very tough on the inside."

Lifelong friend Damian Kennedy served with Mr Dickson on the Men of League committee throughout his presidency.

"Terry became very good friends with all on the committee and was always the first to check up on the wellbeing of others despite his ongoing health challenges," Mr Kennedy said.

"When asked how he was going, how his health was, his response would always be 'I'm going alright mate, but more importantly how are you?'. This was just the way he was, putting others first."

His passion for the Sharkies waivered as little as the passion he had for his family, and watching Cronulla win the 2016 NRL grand final with his daughter Leanne at his side was a lifelong highlight, friends said.

"He was an incredible family man with loving and supportive family," Mr Kennedy said.

"He and Julie are so proud of their daughters, Jodi, Kim and Leanne and grandchildren.- just talking about them would light up his face."

Terry Dickson is being remembered as a 'true gentleman' after his passing on Monday.

Terry Dickson is being remembered as a 'true gentleman' after his passing on Monday.

Mr Finucane said Mr Dickson's love of family extended to the students he taught and the players he guided through their development.

"His big thing was family and friends and all the kids he taught at Tathra, I've never heard a bad word about him," Mr Finucane said.

Mr Dickson regularly attended games at the Tathra Country Club as well as travelling to watch the Sea Eagles in action at Bega as well.

Mr Kennedy said the Sea Eagles were a beloved club to Mr Dickson and it wouldn't matter if it was senior grades or the junior ranks beginning their league careers.

"He would enjoy it all and say 'how good is this?'," Mr Kennedy said, adding Mr Dickson had been particularly thrilled by advances in the women's game in the past few years.

"Terry will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

This story Terry Dickson remembered as 'a true gentleman' first appeared on Bega District News.