Pete Dawkins was a dedicated and enthusiastic musician's musician. Besides teaching violin, he played in many operatic shows, leading the orchestra of the DERA Farnborough Operatic Society for over a decade. When required, Pete would also conduct the Pelly orchestra. The tetchy and gruff exterior was a well-rehearsed façade, according to John Avery, and inside he was a “generous, fun-loving softie”. He suffered a major stroke in 1999 and although he accompanied the orchestra as a friend on the trip to Oberursel, his health had deteriorated significantly and he died in 2001.