Our Honorary Life Vice President Trevor Dawson passed away in the early hours of 14th July 2017 at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, aged 82 years, having never recovered from the stroke he suffered some weeks before. It was a sad ending to an active life; Trevor, who had never fully retired from his firm, had always wanted to go 'in harness' so to speak. Until a short time before his death he had still been attending 'at the office' as he put it, on a regular basis.
William John Trevor Dawson was born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire but moved with his family to Lancashire at an early age. He became interested in magic after assisting a conjuror on stage as a twelve year old. He became a member of the Boy Magicians Club, receiving the monthly 'Trixy' magazine. He put together a stage show and performed at local churches and other venues. He was a keen member of the Haslingden Youth Club and the Scouts. In 1953 Jesse Demaline introduced him to The Modern Mystic League, where he became Honorary Secretary in 1960.
In 1953 Trevor also attended his first British Ring Convention in Edinburgh. It was a memorable occasion as he saw Johnny Ramsay, Alex Elmsley and Johnny Platt, the latter performing his outstanding cups and balls routine. In 1957 he saw Rezvani perform at a Harry Stanley show in London and was impressed by his tomato trick, which Trevor performed ever since.
It was whilst attending courses in London training to become a Chartered Surveyor that Trevor met Susan in the street when she was asking for directions. Sue came from Windsor, so Trevor had a long commute whilst courting. They were married for 56 years and had three children and three grandchildren.
He always worked very hard and established his own business, the commercial property consultants Trevor Dawson, in 1989. Their signs can be seen all over East Lancashire. It is now an established company, headed by Trevor's elder daughter Caroline. Trevor became quite an expert at rating appeals and at valuing commercial premises. His early experience as an auctioneer at house sales came in very useful at MML magic auctions which he made into fun events, usually buying most of the lots himself!
I first met Trevor nearly fifty years ago in 1970, when I wrote to him about joining The Modern Mystic League. My father had known Trevor through playing cricket for the Haslingden Cricket Club in the Lancashire League. Trevor kindly invited me to his home for a chat about magic. He showed me some good tricks and his extensive library of magic books, and gave me encouraging advice about how to further my own interests in magic. Trevor was busy with his business at that time but suggested I contacted Jesse Demaline, which I did. I went to see Jesse and visited him and Doris regularly then for many years. Just as Jesse had helped Trevor when he was a teenager, he then helped me.
In 1971 I visited Trevor's home again and he gave constructive criticism of some of my magic at that time. After my university studies I became a member of The Modern Mystic League in 1975, and shortly after The Cavendish Knights of Close Up Magic, so I saw Trevor on a regular basis at the meetings and events of these Societies over many years. We also saw each other regularly at magic conventions and travelled together to The Magic Circle in London on several occasions. A particularly memorable time was when Trevor, Mo Howarth and I went together to The Magic Circle Centenary celebrations in 2005.