Thirlmere cemetery: here lies one of our popular mayors

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This is the final resting place for Paul Hawker, the popular Campbelltown mayor who passed away almost a year ago.

Paul and his wife Sigrid had not made any plans for burials and the like.

But she’s pretty confident that had he known he would have approved of such a serene setting.

It’s certainly a lovely spot to enjoy Paul’s favourite beer, XXXX – yes, he’s a Queenslander.

The site is almost perfectly flat, as you would expect, and there are both pine trees and eucalypts providing cooling shade.

Run by Wollondilly Council, the cemetery is located almost opposite the famous Thirlmere steam museum.


But the steam museum is not the only famous thing in Thirlmere, a 20 minute drive from Picton.

If you’re in Thirlmere for whatever reason, you just have to drop in to Loop-Line Pies.

When we did it was a bit early for a meat pie, but we did order coffee and pastries.

We also met the Khoa family serving behind the counter.

The family took over the famous pie shop from the Frenchman who started it all almost 20 years.

When he left to go home to France 15 years ago, the Khoa family decided to take the reins.

The family is originally from Vietnam, with the patriarch coming to Australia in one of the famous rickety refugee boats of the late 1970s.

We asked them if they lived in Thirlmere and were pleasantly surprised to hear them say, with a smile, no, we’re from Campbelltown!

Once we told them we were also from Campbelltown it kind of broke the ice and we had a good chat with this lovely family.

If you ever drop in say hello to these happy, welcoming people behind the counter.


All this reminded us of a few years ago when the South West Voice in Macarthur ran a little scoop about famous actor Jack Nicholson being spotted in a Thirlmere café around the corner from the pie shop.

The little item went viral after it was picked up by people all over the world, and from memory we got close to 20,000 views on one social media site.


No doubt Mr Nicholson would approve of the whisky tastings on offer at Enzos restaurant in Kellicar Lane.

We spotted the wonderful collection of single malt whiskies while lunching there the other day and made a mental note to check it out for a special occasion.


St Paul’s Catholic Church in Camden conducted more than 500 baptisms in 2022.

That’s about 10 a week, which is pretty good considering 2022 wasn’t exactly a “normal’’ year.


Back across at Campbelltown Hospital they welcomed 3,708 bundles of joy in 2022.

The busiest day in maternity was August 4 when no fewer than 18 babies were born.

Amelia and Noah were the top names for boys and girls born in Campbelltown Hospital, while there were 41 sets of twins born.

We’ll drink to that!

2 thoughts on “Thirlmere cemetery: here lies one of our popular mayors”

  1. Lovely story about Paul Hawker, a very thoughtful choice for his final resting place.
    Your article has many interesting topics, an enjoyable read.


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