BOB NOTSON (1929-2019)
Former long term Lithgow resident Robert Edward 'Bob' Notson passed away peacefully at the age of 89 on March 6, 2019 at the Kanandah Nursing Home, Mudgee after a short illness.
Bob, the youngest son of Ernest Alexander and Sarah Angel Notson (nee Whitehead) was born in Shadwell, the site of the old dockyards in East London, England.
His early childhood was spent in Shadwell before being evacuated to the safety of the country side in Taunton, England to escape the German bombing of London during World War II.
After the war Bob became an apprentice electrician with the British Post Office where he worked on banking and insurance sites in the City of London re-installing damaged telephone exchanges. Afterwards, like all young men of his generation he was called up for National Service spending the two years as a Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft electrician and participating in the Berlin airlift.
Bob took the opportunity to immigrate to Australia in 1951 with the RAF during its operational exchanges with the Royal Australian Air Force.
Throughout the 1950's Bob worked as an aircraft electrician at the various Australian bases in Laverton (Vic), Amberley; Townsville (Qld), Woomera Rocket Range Complex (SA) and Richmond (NSW).
Whilst at Richmond, Bob met and married his wife of 57 years, Margaret. Upon leaving the RAF, Bob and Margaret settled in Lithgow with their two young children where Bob worked as an electrical fitter and instrumentation foreman at the Small Arms Factory from 1962 until his retirement in 1989.
A man with a keen sense of social justice, Bob was instrumental in establishing the SAFE Credit Union (now the Family First Credit Union) Lithgow in 1967. Throughout the coming decades Bob was an active Director and Chairman of the Board overseeing the expansion of services to its members and thus helping to transform the Credit Union into Lithgow's premier financial institution that still continues to well serve the greater Lithgow region.
A keen amateur radio enthusiast, Bob used his hobby to establish the Communication Brigade of the Lithgow Rural Fire Service training and mentoring many volunteers throughout the years to provide this vital service for the management of bush fire prevention and control within the susceptible Lithgow region.
Bob also had a long association with the Lithgow Kilwinning Freemason Lodge serving as Grand Master and District Inspector during his retirement and actively participating in the many fund raising committees whose work has greatly benefitted the Lithgow community.
An active member and past president of the Lithgow Combined Probus Club, Bob enjoyed attending the social activities of the club regularly meeting up with former work and lodge friends.
With an extensive knowledge of military firearms courtesy of having worked at the SAF, Bob was also a founding member and director of the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum and also enjoyed working as a guide welcoming visitors from around Australia and overseas and passing on his extensive knowledge to them.
He was proud to be a part of this this unique museum which not only represents the history of the SAF but also the people of Lithgow, their economic and social hardships as well as their aspirations and achievements.
Bob was also a keen St George Illawarra Dragons supporter. A naturalised Australian citizen, he was always grateful of having had the opportunity to come to what was in his words 'the best country in the world', meet his wife Margaret and raise his family in the friendly, close knit community of Lithgow.
Bob was pre-deceased by his wife Margaret in 2016 and is survived by his daughter Karen (London, UK), his son Mark (Mudgee) and five grandchildren.