Home' Afloat : September 2013 Contents Take monthly with water September 2013 63
John 'Dawso' Dawson, co-founder of
the Quiet Little Drink (QLD), quietly
Hospital at Wahroonga on Monday
morning, 5 August.
With his great mate, Tony Cable, the
two founded the QLD at the Shipwrights
Arms Hotel on New Year's Day, 1970, where
they strolled in at 10.00am after taking
part in the 1969 Sydney Hobart race and
asked for "200 beers, please".
Assuring the barman they could pay
for the beer and that a few sailing mates
would come and help drink it, Cable, a
crew member of Adria and Dawson, who
had sailed on Weatherly, started what would
become an institution.
The crew of Jisuma from Victoria was
first to arrive that inaugural year, and
seeing what Dawson and Cable had
done, crew David Hutchen went to the
darts blackboard and chalked: 'Cable and
Dawson 200 beers'; then under that he
wrote, 'Jisuma 200 beers'.
The QLD, was celebrated at various
watering holes in Hobart (nobody would
find out the location until the morning
of New Year's Day). There, jokes were
told, songs sung, tap dances tapped,
with dancing to the local Jazz band and
general mischief got up to. It became part
and parcel of post-Hobart New Year's Day
festivities and the numbers grew larger
by the year.
That first year, 1,467 beers were
consumed and by 1983, 20,197 beers were
chalked up on the board. I still remember
the trays of dripping beers being passed
aloft through the crowd, to the chant of
"more beers, more beers..."
In some quarters, the QLD was
perceived as nothing but a drinkathon.
Dawson realised, and suggested to Cable
in 1971 they use the event to raise money
for charity. A bucket was offered up for
donations, which went to the local Spastic
Centre that year.
Since then, many other charities have
benefited from the event that became so
famous the ABC made a documentary
Since 2000, the QLD has become a
much lower key affair run solely by the
Shipwrights Arms where it all started.
However, each September at the CYCA,
Cable and Dawso would host a QLD
cocktail party to celebrate those who
have achieved their 25 and 40 Hobart
milestones. Dawso always had a joke to
tell -- and sometimes it went on and on
... and on.
It also celebrates women who have
achieved 10 Hobarts and those from
the Club's Youth Academy who have
undertakentheirfirst. Monies raisedfrom
the $25 entry fee go to the Youth Academy.
Bob Thorpe OAM and Warren Kermond
OAM from a local Tassie jazz band, with
stand-up comedians Cable and Dawso,
regularly entertained the troops at the
QLD cocktail party, where Kermond
sometimes demonstrated his tap dancing
skills. Thorpe commissioned the first 25
Sydney Hobart board, which was built by
The QLD cocktail party also remembers
those sailors who have passed on during
the year. It will be a sobering moment
when we hear Dawso's name among them
Dawson, a CYCA member since 1967,
contested 12 Hobart races: 1967 Fare-Thee-
Well; 1969 Weatherly; 1970 Fare-Thee-Well; 1971
Onya of Gosford; 1972 and 1973 Pascha; 1974,
'75 and '76 Patrice III; 1977 White Pointer;
1979 Banjo Patterson and his last in 1981
Dawson who attended the CYCA's 20-
year dinner each year and is a regular at
the Club come Hobart time, was pleased
to have a story published in the 2012 Rolex
Sydney Hobart program edition of Offshore.
Hetoldmeithadbeen someyears sincehe
had contributed and marvelled at how times
had changed in the magazine industry.
During his heyday, Dawso assumed,
"If you felt like writing something for the
CYCA's magazine, you just did, and it was
He was shocked to discover that you
had to give more than a month's notice to
allow for printing and publishing time, and
that an article had to be accepted by the
editor, who first had to confirm whether
there was space for the article.
In mid-April, Dawso asked his co-
conspirator, Tony Cable, and wife Ada
to join him and wife Laraine for a lunch
at Doyles in Watsons Bay after receiving
a $200 voucher from one of his sons for
Xmas. The four enjoyed a long lunch ...
that well exceeded the $200.
Only days later, Dawso rang to tell
Cable that he had bone cancer and was to
be admitted to Hornsby Hospital for two
days for pain management. From there it
was into Palliative Care.
Dawso, you will be greatly missed by
all of your mates who will be having a beer
Dawson is survived by his wife
Laraine, three children Anthony, Andrew
and Alison, son-in-law Aaron and their
children, Sophie (5) and Lucy, who turned 3
on June 23, the same day Dawson turned 72.
co-founder of the
Quiet Little Drink
JOHN 'DAWSO' DAWSON
John 'Dawso' Dawson (third from left) at a QLD fund raising event with Dick Bearman,
David Reid, Bob Thorpe, Warren Kermond and Frank Sticovich.
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