Lifetime of volunteering

Lifetime of volunteering

Recognised in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List, Tom O’Halloran is humbled by his achievements. 

The Irishtown local was honoured in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his longstanding service to community. 

A familiar face around Irishtown Football Club, there is not a match Tom has missed as a Canary fan through and through. 

He is a former president, secretary and committee member to the club. He has held the roles of coach, match manager, timekeeper and trainer over the years, and continues to keep the footy ground in tip top condition as the groundsman of more than 30 years.

In 1974, Tom was recognised with a Life Membership to his beloved Canaries and 10 years on, wife Margaret received her own. 

Tom is a Life Member of the Circular Head Football Association, an honour he received in 1989, and in 2017 he received an AFL Tasmania Merit Award. 

An active member in the Irishtown Fire Brigade since 1963, he rose through the ranks as fourth officer from 2001 to ’04 and then second officer til ’09, to become captain. 

In 2008, he received the National Medal and later was recognised for half a century of service to Tasmania Fire Service in 2015.

“I love being around people,” says Tom. 

“I’ve made so many friends throughout my life by being associated with these organisations. I get such satisfaction from that.”

The local legend is also a founding member of the Irishtown Community Centre, and will next year mark four decades as a member of the Buffalo Lodge at Irishtown. 

In his younger years, Tom was an outgoing performer. He, Jimmy McCulloch and the late Val French made up a three-piece band, who would play old time music every fortnight at the local RSL. Their final performance saw in the new year of 1980, where the group received an appreciation award for 20 years of entertainment. 

Tom was also a member of the St Peter Chanel Catholic Church choir for a number of years. 

These days, he enjoys a leisurely game of bowls with son Rodney at the Smithton Bowls Club, where he has been a member for more than 20 years. 

“I’ve had a great life, I couldn’t wish for anything better,” says Tom. 

“My word, I’m very proud of the awards I have received. But you can’t receive these awards without the backing of your family, I couldn’t have done all these things without Margaret.” 

Next month Tom and Margaret share a special milestone, when they celebrate 60 years of marriage.

Thomas O’Halloran at the home of his beloved Irishtown Football Club. The Irishtown local was recently recognised in the General Division of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day 2019 Honours List. Picture: Ashleigh Force.