By Nathan Tilbury
At their March General Meeting, Hornsby Shire Council unanimously supported a proposal from the community to rename the Old Dairy sports field in Brooklyn, to Tom Richmond Oval.
Tom passed away last year and he is greatly missed by many in the local community. Tom Richmond OAM was a respected expert on local history and some will remember him as a former high school teacher in the area.
Tom was an inspiring English and History teacher who taught at Galston High School from when it opened, in 1974, until 1980. He was also largely responsible for the restoration of the old sandstone house (built c. 1866), known as Waddell Cottage, which is still preserved on the grounds of the school today.
In addition, Tom Richmond did considerable work for a number of the rural area’s pioneer families by pulling together their often complex family histories, and he freely gave up his time to delivery hundreds of historical talks around Hornsby Shire, to audiences of all ages.
Naming a sports field in his honour is a fitting tribute to Tom Richmond as, aside from playing cricket for local clubs for many decades, he was very well-known as a superb cricket coach of schoolboys. His support enabled many of them to play the game at junior representative and grade level.
He coached for 50 consecutive summers and was particularly effective with Under 16 boys, having managed about 25 AW Green teams for Northern District Cricket Club and CS Watson Shield teams for Hornsby Ku-ring-gai & Hills District Cricket Association. He was later elected as a Life Member of both those bodies.
Tom’s family has a continuous connection to the Brooklyn district that goes back more than 160 years, and the land that the sports field is on, was once farmed by Tom’s great grandfather, Vincent Seymour. It was made available for sport after much agitation from Tom to turn a wasteland area into something useful.
When the sports ground was officially opened, in January 2016, Tom Richmond was invited to bowl the first ball in the inaugural cricket match played there. Now it will be renamed in his honour.