When Galston High School opened in 1974, Tom Richmond was appointed Head Teacher for both English and History where he is fondly remembered by the students he taught throughout his seven years there.
During his early time at Galston HS, he was part of a group that took on the daunting project of restoring the dilapidated sandstone building (built c. 1866) that was located on the school grounds. It was named, Waddell Cottage, after the family that built and lived there for over 100 years. Today, thanks partly to Tom’s innovation, it stands impressively fully restored near the front of the school gates (although the roof currently needs some storm damage repairs).
Tom Richmond also utilized the restored Waddell Cottage as part of Galston High School students’ education and held different forms of history classes in the historic building.
While teaching at Galston Tom became known as a leader in the field of local history education and took part in curriculum development related to teaching local history. He spoke at both NSW and Australian History Teachers’ conferences and was a member of several committees, including the ABC Advisory Committee.
Tom Richmond’s work spread into the researching of the history of the Galston, Arcadia and Dural areas and a resource bank was constructed at the school, following extensive research in the State Archives. He was a hero to many locals and local families whose family histories he helped reconstruct and record in detail.
Tragically in May 2014 Galston High School’s library was completely gutted by fire. Eventually a wonderful new library building was opened in its place however, it had literally no books on local history.
In September 2021, Tom Richmond passed away. In retirement Tom had become Hornsby Shire’s most highly respected local historian who had an extensive collection of local history books in excellent condition, including books he authored himself. These were inherited by his friend and Hornsby Shire Councillor, Nathan Tilbury, who was aware of Galston High School’s lack of local history resources.
Last month Councillor Tilbury organized for a selection of Tom’s local history books, supplemented with additional books and documents from the Hornsby Shire Historical Society, Dural & District Historical Society and Hornsby Shire Council, to be presented to representatives of Galston High School, and added to the school’s library. This extensive pile of local history books, gratefully accepted by Galston High School librarian, Allison Yurkowski has been called “The Tom Richmond Collection”.