Bruce and Irene Dunshea say goodbye to Hawks Nest after 48 years

Bruce and Irene are off to travel after 48 years dedicated to the area.


HAWKS Nest locals, Bruce and Irene Dunshea are saying goodbye to the area.

After almost 48 years dedicated to Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and Pindimar, Bruce and Irene are looking forward to their next chapter.

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On 3 March 1974, Bruce Dunshea arrived in Hawks Nest for six weeks’ work with mining company Mineral Deposits, before he was offered a twelve-month contract.

It was at this point when Irene, Sheree and Paul joined Bruce in the area.

With no availability of houses to rent, Bruce and the family settled into Hawks Nest Caravan Park.

Bruce graded the mining road from the depot in Hawks Nest to the Seal Rocks turn off for the next eighteen years.

The family then built a home in Binda St, Hawks Nest where they lived for 28 years before moving to their Pindimar property where they lived for just under twenty years.

The population was only 630 people when the Dunshea family first arrived in Hawks Nest.

“You got to know everyone by first name; it was a very friendly village with not many shops but just enough,” Irene told News Of The Area.

Since then, there have been several large changes to the area: the opening of the Singing Bridge, new shopping centres, medical centres, service stations, clubs and council offices.

Bruce also worked for AMP putting in many airstrips for crop dusting, Great Lakes Council, many private clients and he also had his own ventures – land subdivisions at Limekilns, Tea Gardens Green and the Lakes Estate also known locally as ‘Dunshea’s estate’ by some and Wattly Hill Estate, north of Bulahdelah.

He worked on approximately 250 blocks in total.

“It was a big decision to leave the area, but whilst we have our health, we’ve decided to pack up the caravan and venture around Australia – when borders allow of course,” Irene said.

‘In the meantime, we will live at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast where we’ve owned a unit for twenty years.”

On 12 November 2021, Bruce and Irene celebrated 55 years of marriage with family and friends at Mumms Restaurant, Tea Gardens.

“We were very appreciative of such a beautiful evening organised by our son Paul and his wife Natalia.”

The following day they said farewell to many friends and family with a sausage sizzle at Providence Bay Park.

“On behalf of Bruce and myself, we want to say a big thank you to all the wonderful people we’ve met over the years.

“We will miss everyone – friendship is priceless,” Irene said.

Once the Pindimar home was sold, the couple stayed for a while where it all started – Hawks Nest Caravan Park – before heading north on their new adventures.

The Dunshea family hope to return from time to time and will never forget all the good times shared in the area.



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