Dawkins Family

This page is dedicated to the Dawkins family

Jill Dawkins has just returned from a trip to Kashmir and tells of the enjoyment she had, Thanks Jill for sharing

April 26 2014

We have just returned from another wonderful holiday in India this time venturing to Kashmir .

I have always wanted to visit this magical place but when we lived in Assam our only holidays were to Darjeeling ,Shillong and Calcutta and until recent times Kashmir was not considered a safe tourist destination.It was all I had ever dreamt about and more.The snow capped Himalayas,idyllic lakes and cherry blossom in bloom were breath taking and the warmth and hospitality of the people made the whole experience memorable .Srinagar is an interesting city and we stayed on Lake Nageen on a wonderful old houseboat called Lily Of Nageen .The family who run it are exceptional  and each day we did trips to surrounding areas .One morning we got up at 4am and went to the Floating Markets by shikara [small  decorative water taxis ] It was the most amazing sight .We were completely ignored whist the local people bartered and sold beautiful produce from their primitive dug out craft .
The food was special  and we became very fond of the Kashmiri tea too !They add saffron ,cardamon and cinnamon  .
We also spent some time in Delhi and my family have become involved with some schools there and we hope to return prior to Xmas and help with with the preparations for the new school year .

Mumbai is buzzing and the Taj Gateway still a most beautiful hotel .The Sea Lounge still serves 2nd flush tea and the gin and tonics are pretty good too.

All in all a fabulous experience.

Almost forgot to mention we went to Mysore and stayed at The Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre for a 4 day make over !!!! Lots of fun and serious massage and swimming .Purely vegetarian and no alcohol allowed .Now think I know how to manage stress but may need a refresher course before long

All good wishes

Jill Dawkins

 May 2 2013
The Editor is privileged to receive this very informative and enjoyable letter from Jill Dawkins of her very recent visit to Assam.

Dear David
We did have a wonderful time in Assam in February and I will try to fill you in on a few highlights .

Getting there is not always easy and late at night on the eve of our departure we were informed the plane to Tezpur had been cancelled as the Airforce required the airport for special operations but had not informed Indian Airlines !!
We did manage to get a flight to Gauhati and drove the four hours to Wild Masheer and all was well

Wild Masheer is a wonderful place to stay .An old superintendent's bungalow beautifully restored and the hospitality and facilities are excellent .it is attached to Addabarrie Tea Estate so one is able to explore the tea garden and factory. All the gardens and factories we visited were in excellent order and a great credit to the planters working there now .So much of the life I remember still happens and the tea community remain a warm and welcoming family.Of course there are security issues and the club life is different but still a wonderful nostalgic experience .

We visited Kazaranga and saw the white rhino at dawn.That picture will remain with me forever   - not sure about me sitting astride a large elephant at the age of 75 !!!!

Also saw the dolphins on the Brahmaputra from a country boat .Lots of fun .
Visited the Church in Tezpur where Mike and I were married and was able to see the registry and our signatures also our daughter's baptism record The minister was so kind and interested. I had crossed out the name Elizabeth on the record when we were signing the record .Mike had made the name up as he was too embarrassed to tell Padre Picton he didn't know my second name  !!!! I don't happen to have one .

Had a wonderful time at The Kolkata Cricket and Football Club with our dear friends Ali and Shireen Zaman .
Ali was  a young assistant with us on Borengajuli and lived next door.Also saw Lesley and Mahmood Sultan who are very special to me .Lesley was a little girl when I went to Mangaldai and her parents Joan and Tim Healey helped me so much when I first arrived from Sydney and hadn't a clue about life in tea .
We stayed at The Tollygunge Club  in Kolkata .Arranged a historical walk ,had a ferry ride on the Hooghly and also walked across the bridge which was fascinating.

I could not fault the warmth and hospitality extended to us in Assam .The mountains are still wonderful and the sudden nightfall and smell of the tea and sounds early in the morning as work begins is exactly as so many of us will remember.

 November 5 2011
Jill Dawkins has just returned from a trip to Assam and Kolkata
and describes the wonderful hospitality and welcome she received

Our trip to Assam was magical and something I will remember always .
We flew out of Kolkata to Tezpur and it was fun to see the propellers
on the plane and the stopover at Silchar was interesting !
On arrival in Tezpur we were met by Bikram who is the manager at
Wild Mahseer and driven to Addabarie Tea Estate.
I have never experienced such warmth and hospitality and the set
up is just amazing .So many memories came flooding back and life
seems very much the same as when I lived there in the 60s .
To be able to visit Borengajuli where I went as a young bride and
see the garden where our daughter had played with her ayah was
superb The tea looked amazing and the factories so well run .A
great compliment to former tea planters and those carrying on
the tradition now .I was particularly impressed with the Bobo
Handloom Scheme run by Annie Bordalai who is the wife of
the present manager Dwipen Bordalai .
Of course we were feted everywhere we went and ate some
truly sensational food not to mention 2nd flush Assam all the way !
We were given tea to bring home and it is superb .
We also had lunch at with Ritu and Pritu Kohli at Harchurah .It
was lovely to see some of Ritu's paintings and meet their sweet
daughter Arshiya who attends the Assam Valley School .This
school is amazing and Williamson Magor have supported it  and
provided funds for it's continuing excellence .
I also saw the Church where I was married in Tezpur and The
Paneery/Mangaldai Club where many a wild night was experienced!
We caught up with Ali and Shareen Zaman and Lesley Sultan  in
Kolkata .Lesley is the daughter of my dear friends Joan and Tim
Healey who were at Corramore when we were on Borengajuli .
None of this would have been possible without the assistance
of Richard Leitch and his partner Rangit  Barthakur who are
responsible for the wonderful Wild Mahseer .
Rangit's wife has decorated The Heritage Bungalow as it was
when she lived there as a child. And it is spectacular.
We can't wait to return and do some fishing planning January 2013 .
If anyone wants any more info I would be more than happy to be
in touch.
It really was life changing and Assam is so green and peaceful
and another side of India I feel privileged to have experienced

Jill Dawkins



November 7 2010
The following photographs are from the family album of Jill Dawkins
who is the widow of Mike Dawkins.  Sadly Mike died in Mount Hagen
Papua New Guinea in 1973 following a car accident.

Mike's parents were Aubert and Betty Dawkins who were at
Dufflating on the South Bank of Assam in the Titabar District.

The editor feels sure that some viewers will recognize people
shown in the photographs.

This first group of photographs relates to life at Dufflating with Mike's parents
Aubert and Betty Dawkins


1.      Aubert and Betty Dawkins and Dufflating Factory Staff, Jorhat, 1960

Aubert Dawkins  Dufflating Burra Bungalow

Aubert Dawkins 1960

A new tractor Dufflating 1959

Duflating Burra Bungalow Amazing Thatch Roof

Michael Dawkins Christening February 1937 Betty Dawkins and Padre Wylde

Michael Dawkins 3rd Birthday Party Dufflating 1939

Michael Dawkins Christening Dufflating February 1937

Tea on the Lawn Dufflating  1937

This next set of Photographs records the marriage
of Jill and Michael in 1962 at Tezpur

Jill and Mike Dawkins Wedding Tezpur November 1961


     Harry Fraser  and Jill Dawkins  arriving Anglican Church Tezpur November 1961

Another view of Harry Fraser  and Jill Dawkins  arriving Anglican Church Tezpur November 1961

Jill and Mike Dawkins Wedding Reception Tezpur Geoff Clarke in background ? other guests


     Peter Swere and ?  Dawkins Wedding November 1961 Tezpur

Janet Vauqulin and Joy Hingston

 ? , John Leitch and Babs McCarthy

Sheila Morice and Jean Fraser Dawkins Wedding

The Memsahibs at Jill and Mike Dawkins Wedding !!!!! 1961 Tezpur

Jill and Mike Dawkins Wedding Reception 1961 Tezpur

This collection gives some idea of their life after Jill and Mike were married

Woodlands Nursing Home Calcutta Maternity List 1962

Peter Swer and Heloise Swer's Wedding Day

Amanda Dawkins and ayah 1963 Borengajuli

Peter Swer and Mike Dawkins


    Amanda Dawkins and ayah Borengajuli  1963

Borengajuli Chota Bungalow


     Mike Dawkins and Staff Borengajuli Tea Estate 1961

Xmas Dimakusi Burra Bungalow 1963 Joan,young Lesley, and Tim Healey Joan Owens
and Mike and Amanda Dawkins

Dimakusi Burra Bungalow

If anyone wishes to contact Jill her e-mail is jilldawkins@dodo.com.au

and lastly a crashed aircraft belonging to Kalinga--does anyone know
where and when this happened ? 
if you do please contact jilldawkins@dodo.com.au or editorkoihai@aol.com