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   Obituary - Brian Hawkins


Brian Harlan Hawkins

Nickname: "Hawkeye"
House: Grigg/Hawke ?
Year: 1944-1947 ?

On 9th Feb 2006, Webmaster received an e-mail from Mac Spence (Hawke 1948-53), with a message that had been sent to him by Ted Downer :

I have just received an e-mail via various personnel, but originating from Nairobi, that Brian died at his home in Nairobi, on 7th February 2006, after a long and difficult illness. I quote below:

"Brian died in Nairobi yesterday evening of complications from his long term diabetes. He had recently had some toes amputated from one foot, and on Monday had been advised that one leg would have to be removed before the end of this month. In his usual stubborn manner, he refused to countenance that option, especially as he wished to attend his younger daughter's wedding at Ngorongoro in April.

As a result, I believe that he then decided that as he would be useless without the leg, and useless with the leg, there was no further point in living. He died at home after a long and painful illness, but was cheerful when friends spoke to him last Sunday. Friends, Shooters and Members of the Kenya Regiment had been very supportive over the past month, and had contributed generously to his medical expenses.

Many of the people to whom this letter will be sent will not have known of Brian's illness or circumstances, but I'm sure you will remember Brian for what he was, a very generous man who gave a great deal of his time, energy and life to Shooting, Round Table, The Kenya Regiment, his Philately Club, and many other causes in which he had an interest.

With Brian's passing, it will be the end of an era, especially for Shooting, as he was known throughout the Commonwealth for his tireless efforts in promoting the sport in Kenya, and without him, I'm sure there would be no target shooting in Kenya today.

For many years, Brian would not have been shooting good scores, but I'm sure that when his final score card is examined, it will be found to have been "a possible".

Good Bye, Old Friend."

  • Dennis Leete (Nicholson 1947-1951) e-mailed Webmaster on 11th Feb 2006:

    We will have a Memorial Service at RHQ Clubhouse on Friday 17th Feb starting at 1500 hrs.

    Rev Mike Harries will conduct the Service, Dave Stanley will read the Eulogy, and Jane Stanley will play the music and sing a solo, so its all " in house" so to speak.
    Dave's eulogy will be written up in "Sitrep" in due course, but will copy OCS, when I get the script from Dave after the Service on Friday.

    A Tribute to Hawkeye

    Fifty years have passed since Hawkeye and I first competed shoulder to shoulder in the early fifties at the Athi Prison Rifle Range. Little did I realise then that Brian's tireless efforts to further the cause of target shooting over the next decades, would bring Kenya into the forefront of International shooting and establish its shooters as a force to be reckoned within the Commonwealth.

    Hawkeye became a household name throughout the world's target-shooting fraternity, especially so in his favourite target-shooting grounds at Bisley where he proudly flew the Kenya flag on countless occasions for his country.

    Brian gave unrecognised and many years of selfless service to furthering this sport in Kenya, which embraced and brought together shooters from the Army, Police and civilian sections.

    With Hawkeye's passing who is there today who can totally commit themselves to target shooting, as he did?

    Those of us who are left to close the bolt and fire our last shot will know where to seek out his indomitable spirit. It will be found walking tall and proud among the firing ranges hand in hand with the great legends of this sport at Bisley in the UK.

    Farewell, Hawkeye. You gave us your all. Your dedication was an inspiration to every one of us.
    We salute you.

    Dave Drummond (Clive/Grigg 1946-1950)                       12th February 2006

    Life Member

  • Alastair McCrae (Rhodes 1943-1946) e-mailed Webmaster on 17th Feb 2006:

    I was thinking about Hawkins just the other day (I hadn't remembered that his Christian name was Brian) and I'm saddened by the news of his death and the suffering that preceded it.

    It must have been 1944 or 1945 that the School staged Ian Hay's comedy "Housemaster" at the Theatre Royal in Nairobi. It was produced by Norris (Woolly) Cheadle who taught English. He played the part of the Headmaster, and John Williams (quite the funniest boys at the School) was the Housemaster. Brian Hawkins and Stephen Henn were both cast to play the role of the Headmaster's very young and vivacious niece. For some reason, one of them couldn't play the part in the final production - something to do with one being unwell or in quarantine or even postponement of the show and an intervening breaking of voice.

    Anyway, I can remember both of them at rehearsals playing the niece with complete abandon - neither had any inhibitions at having to bounce noisily onto the stage, embrace Uncle Headmaster in an adoring hug and kiss him noisily on the cheek. (The Headmaster's words after this show of affection was " Mmm -- she's an adhesive little creature!"). For a boys' school' and the Prince of Wales at that, it required admirable courage from both players and they were equally well respected for it. I wish I could remember which one of them it was who actually played the part - I think it was Brian.

    Apropos, Cheadle's great cry at rehearsals was to SPEAK UP! It was more important that you be heard than that you acted well. At rehearsals in the Theatre Royal itself he would stand at the back of the stalls and shout "I've paid seven-fifty for my seat and I can't hear you and I want my money back!"