PRIVATE MEMBERS' STATEMENT: Maitland Community Leaders

I draw the attention of the House to a number of outstanding community leaders in Maitland who deserve our congratulations and thanks and to some of those we have lost.

Firstly I recognise Brad Adams, who has combined the old with the new to bring our community closer. Brad is a Neighbourhood Watch area coordinator who has designed a bespoke app called Gillieston Heights Connect.

It displays a wide variety of options for local services to help those who live, work or play at Gillieston Heights. The options range from ideas for where to eat or grab coffee right through to up-to-date information to help keep people safe during storms and other emergencies. There are also links to traffic, local amenities, fuel prices, inspection stations, childcare services, council services and a school finder and even advice about what to do if your wheelie bin's wheels fall off.

I love that there is a feedback section, which I used tonight to offer some suggestions. It is a fantastic app.

I commend Brad for the effort that he is putting into our community by providing an app that will make people feel much safer and more connected.

I recognise Kevin Short, who has clocked up an incredible 60 years and an estimated 2,500 games throughout his ongoing hockey career.

Kevin also deserves a nod for his sportsmanship and tenacity. He played the game for 50 years before he was part of a premiership‑winning game—that is a long commitment.

Kevin has been a player with the Maitland Rams since 1984, having previously graced the field in Taree and Newcastle competitions. In Maitland he now has the very great pleasure of playing alongside his eldest son, Andrew.

Kevin is pragmatic about the changes he has seen in the game throughout the past six decades. An article in the local newspaper, the Maitland Mercury, quoted him saying:

"I am 70 now and while the hands are still quick and the mind still operates, I have to say the legs do not always do what I tell them."

I look forward to watching Kevin go around again in 2020. He is not just an amazing hockey player but also a community leader, being a member of the Maitland and District Historical Society, Maitland Regional Museum, the Maitland Musical Society and Lodge Wallis Plains No. 4.

I inform the House that Pat Allen, OAM, passed away recently aged 77.

Pat was one of the first people I met after I was elected, as she was very keen to have me open the Maitland Friends of Palliative Care community walk at Tocal College in May 2015. That is what got her in the door, but really she just wanted help for the organisation.

She founded Maitland Friends of Palliative Care in 1985 and was president of the organisation for a very long time.

Pat was a pocket rocket full of energy, with a strong Irish Catholic faith and an even stronger resolve to do good in our community. Arriving in Maitland from Belfast in 1962, Pat certainly made a contribution by teaching religion and working for Maitland Cancer Appeal and her beloved Father Riley's Youth Off The Streets op shop, as well as being behind the city's first business advocacy group, High Street Promotions.

Pat left behind her loving husband of 57 years, David Sr, as well as five children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She received an Order of Australia Medal in 2014 and the Centenary of Federation Medal in 2000.

Vale Pat Allen, OAM; we will miss you.

My community also recently farewelled Ernest "Doug" Pyle, OAM.

Mr Pyle served as a code breaker in World War II and, on his return to Maitland, spent many more years serving at a community level.

In 2016 Doug was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for his involvement with and service to many community groups in Maitland, including 70-plus years of work with Maitland Repertory Theatre, where he acted on stage and worked behind the scenes.

He was also a founding member of the Australian Clothing and Textiles museum and was a period costume model for over 50 years.

After his military service, Doug had to wait 30 years before he could discuss his work with the Central Bureau Intelligence Corps. When that time period expired he published a book that detailed his war efforts.

This incredible man lived a full and vibrant 96 years and we, as a community, will miss him terribly.

Vale Doug Pyle.

I cherish the memory of Warren Trappel.

Warren was a formative member of the Western Suburbs District Cricket Club and is often referred to as a legend by members of the Plovers team.

The distinguished top‑grader was renowned as a ruthless player on the field while also being an incredible mentor and, when necessary, a brutally honest coach.

He played more than 100 first-grade matches in his time and rarely missed a game.

Although a fierce adversary on the field, he was a family man at heart. His wife of 42 years, Mary, his three sons and his grandchildren knew his softer side, as did his special companion, Lily the border collie.

In the words of his son Andrew, this "very hard but fair man" was an ideal father.

He taught his family that if they were passionate about something, they could achieve it.

Vale Warren. You will be forever loved by your family and remembered as a true Maitland legend.

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