Tribute to late Camden community stalwart Peter Watson

Long-term Camden resident Peter Watson has been fondly remembered as a great family man who was passionate about his community.

Mr Watson died on Wednesday, February 6 after a short battle with illness. He was 98.

Mr Watson remained in good health for most of his life, but was hospitalised late last year with an intestinal infection.

He was farewelled at a funeral service in Camden Civic Centre on Monday.

Mr Watson's granddaughter Naomi Watson said hundreds of people joined together to pay their respects.

"There was a big turnout and it was a beautiful tribute," she said.

"Peter was amazing and a great family man.

"He was all about his family and helping his community."

Born and raised in Camden, Mr Watson showed a strong work ethic from a tender age.

His jobs included selling confectioneries and peanuts at the local picture theatre, milking cows in Mount Hunter and helping to connect Camden's sewer pipes.

Mr Watson joined the Australian army in 1941. He was based in the north side of Sydney Harbour when the Japanese fired the first torpedoes into the harbour.

Mr Watson never saw frontline action in World War II, but served his country at various bases around Australia and Papua New Guinea.

His main role included helping to transport troops and supplies. He was discharged from the army in 1946.

After the war, Mr Watson returned to Macarthur and met Mavis Bevan at a dance in Mount Hunter.

They married on April 20, 1946 at Camden's St John's Church.

The couple had two children in the following years, Geoffrey and Robert. The Watsons also had two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren

Mr Watson undertook several jobs, including working in the mines and as a storeman.

However, he became well known around town for his community work.

Mr Watson was actively involved in many groups, including the Camden Show Society, the town's Masonic Lodge, St John's Anglican Church, Camden Athletics Club, Rotary, Camden Bowling Club and, most notably, Camden Fire Brigade.

He joined the brigade in 1955 and became Camden's longest-serving fireman.

After his retirement in 1982, Mr Watson dedicated most of his time to helping the Camden community.

He continued assisting his various community organisations and also joined Meals on Wheels and Camden Red Cross.

In 2011, Mr Watson received the Camden Council Senior Citizen of the Year Award for his dedicated volunteer work.

He lost his wife Mavis to illness two years later.

His two sons Robert and Geoffrey also died in 2009 and 2013.

RIP Peter Watson.