Leslie (Les) Patrick Dickinson (SPC 1955-58)
October 26, 2021
We celebrate the life of Old Collegian Leslie (Les) Patrick Dickinson (SPC 1955-58) who sadly passed away peacefully at home on September 18, 2021 after succumbing to brain cancer, aged 79 years.
We extend our deepest condolences to Trudie, his wife for 54 years, and six children and extended family including Les (SPC 1980-83, PY1985) and Larissa, Eugene (SPC 1982-85, PY1987) and Melissa, Louisa and Ross, Juliana and Mike, Paul (SPC 1989-91, PY1994), and Christina and his 10 grandchildren.
A funeral service for Les was livestreamed on September 29 due to the ongoing COVID restrictions.
We remember Les, who was a behemoth of Ballarat business, and a man with a fierce work ethic who helped change the face of retail in the city.
We were fortunate to record a podcast with Les in late 2000, where he talked extensively about his wondrous life and some of the secrets of his success. He spoke about his commitment to the pharmacy profession and how at one stage he worked 500 days straight. To listen to this podcast, please click on this link here
In flowing tributes following his passing, Les was described as “perhaps the smartest guy in the room, certainly the most sociable” and would be “sorely missed” as well as being a “Ballarat retail pioneer … who will be remembered for changing the face of pharmacy in (Ballarat)”. A wonderful news tribute attests to this and can be read at this link here
Les was proud to be among three generations of the Dickinson family to have attended St Patrick’s College, following in his father Leslie’s footsteps, who attended in 1930-32 and then, together with wife Trudie, sending their own sons to the College in the 1980s.
Les began his studies at SPC in 1955 and was as active student and involved in many facets of College life.
He was a member of Our Lady’s Sodality, St Vincent de Paul and involved in the Literary Society, theatre and sports.
He was a member of the Tracey House cricket premiership team in the Hill competition as well as the Nunan House football premiership team in the Oval competition.
Les was a bright student and awarded a number of scholarships and scholastic prizes during his school years, culminating with his matriculation in 1958 with the awarding of a Commonwealth scholarship.
After graduating from SPC when he was just 16, Les later became the owner of the Bridge Street pharmacy and pioneered the opening of the first 9am-9pm pharmacy operation in Ballarat, previously unheard of in the city in the late 1970s. It opened up an important healthcare service in the city and was one of the city’s most well-known businesses.
Les was also active in the local community, and held roles as president of Apex Ballarat, board member of Centacare and the McCallum Foundation and was also a life member of Ballarat Wine and Food.
Les’ daughter Juliana described her father as a “larger-than-life character” who “lived a really full life”. Rest in peace Les.