ASK any local sports enthusiast who from Leeton has played Test Cricket for Australia and you will get a quick reply in the form of Mark Taylor.
However, one of Whitton's current residents, Patricia Thomson, can claim fame to be the first Leeton shire cricketer to don the Baggy Green.
Patricia, or "Pat" or "Thommo", depending on how well you know her, represented her country on the 1961 tour of New Zealand and the 1963 tour of England.
Patricia has some significant historical links to Leeton and was born in 1937 at the Allynbrook Private Hospital which was situated on land which now houses the Leeton Soldier's Club.
Her parents were Ronald Thomson and Mary Black.
Her grandfather, Reginal Lindsay Black was a notable Leeton resident and is credited with establishing the Leeton and District Bowling Club.
In the 1950s, Mr Black was the president of the Riverina District Bowling Association and he successfully lobbied the Leeton Shire Council to approve the construction of the L&D to allow the game of lawn bowls to accessible to all.
He was also known for his efforts in establishing parks and gardens in Leeton and Black Park in Myrtle Street Leeton is named after him.
Her father Ron was the projectionist at the Roxy Theatre Leeton for a number of years, but in 1940, when Patricia was only three-years-old, he received an offer he couldn't refuse from the Embassy Theatre in Sydney.
He packed the family up and made the long and slow trip to Sydney by train, eventually settling in Charles Street Harbord.
That became home and was where Patricia developed and honed her athletic ability.
Remarkably, that one street would be the home of three future Australian Sportspersons.
Apart from Patricia, Gordon Simpson was a surf champion, who represented Australia at the International Surfing Championships in Hawaii in 1961 and was a friend of hers.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Ray Ritchie, who played rugby league for Australia in the 1957 World Cup and coached Manly Warringah from 1981 to 1982, lived in that same street and was also a close friend.
Patricia spent most of her youth playing different sports, but it was cricket in which she excelled and she weas selected for NSW in 1958.
Then in 1961 she was chosen for the Australian tour of New Zealand and then in 1963 she was again selected for the tour of England.
Chosen as an all-rounder, Patricia had a very successful tour making runs and taking wickets.
Probably her best day on tour was June 23, 1963 when she took an amazing 6 for 16 playing against Yorkshire.
That was of course, apart from the day she met the Queen, but that's a story for another day.
Patricia, who has resided back in the shire at Whitton for the past 20 years, will be honoured later this year when she is inducted into the Leeton Shire Sporting Walk of Fame.
- The Murrumbidgee Irrigator
- A Brief History of Leeton - A.E. Bowmaker
- State Library of New South Wales - Scrapbook of the Australian Women's Cricket Tour of England 1963
- Interview - Patricia Thomson (2020) at Whitton. Interviewer Tony Reneker
- Wendy Senti
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