Tommy Hannon was face of Ocean Shores
Tommy Hannon was born in Ireland on May 10, 1947. He was the second eldest of five boys of Stephen (dec) and Kathleen Hannon and left school at the age of 14, starting a carpentry apprenticeship with his uncle.
During his childhood, Tommy was very passionate about everything to do with horses.
He was one of Ireland's promising equestrian Olympic hopefuls and he trained relentlessly to perfect his skills in order to be selected to represent Ireland.
Among his other interests was motorcycles, which eventually was to his detriment. When Tommy was 16 he was involved in a serious accident which smashed his kneecap and resulted in him spending many months in hospital. The doctors advised his mother that in their opinion, due to the severity of Tommy's injuries, his right leg would require amputation.
His mother was adamant that Tommy's leg was not going to be amputated and asked for a second opinion. This entailed Tommy going to England for further operations.
The operation went reasonably well considering the Irish doctors were calling for much more drastic measures. So Tommy still had his leg but could not bend his knee.
In England Tommy met and his future wife, Jane, and was advised at that time that there were Australian doctors who were performing wonderful procedures with knee injuries.
Tommy, with Jane, came to Australia in 1969 and after many leg operations there was eventually success. Tommy was back working in the building industry.
In 1982, Tommy, Jane and their two children, Kim and David, relocated to Ocean Shores and lived there ever since.
Tommy Hannon could definitely be considered one of Ocean Shores' most recognisable identities. Apart from his Irish accent, he had a one-of-a-kind laugh. He was a larger-than-life character with a huge smile and a very friendly disposition.
He was extremely well-known and considered to be Ocean Shores' leading builder for many years, having built about 150 houses in the Ocean Shores area, with one of his most recognisable achievements building the Ocean Shores Tavern and surrounding shops.
If you didn't know Tommy for building many houses and commercial buildings, you might have had a game of golf with him over the years.
Tommy was an A-grade pennant golfer in Sydney before coming to Ocean Shores. He had a hole-in-one at the Ocean Shores Golf Course, which is still considered to be one of the hardest golf courses to play in NSW, and also represented Ocean Shores as an A-grade pennant player.
He also took the junior golfers under his wing and encouraged them to practice. Tommy would often be seen helping the juniors with their golfing techniques.
Tommy was a great supporter and sponsor of many golfing events over the years.
Apart from building and golf, Tommy loved spending time with his grandchildren, Emily and Matthew, and his constant companion, his beloved 13-year-old schnauzer, Ziggy.
The Hannon and Plater families, friends, workmates, fellow golfers and the Ocean Shores community were greatly saddened with his sudden passing on January 26 after a short battle with inoperable cancer.
His funeral took place at a packed St John's Church Mullumbimby on January 30 followed by at a graveside service at Mullumbimby cemetery.