Tribute to Tony O’Shea from Denis Strangman

Death of Anthony (Tony) O’Shea. An Internet message from fellow local historian and researcher Anne Young alerted me to the fact that Tony O’Shea died last weekend.

Tony had been President of the Avoca and District Historical Society for 16 years, a Director of the local Co-Operative for 22 years and a Director of Co-operatives Victoria for 18 years.

His funeral at St Kevin’s Catholic Church, Avoca, had been scheduled for last Thursday.

I had got to know Tony while being webmaster of the Society’s website for about 18 years and later while sorting my political collection for transfer to the National Library I transferred my local history collection to Tony and the Society.

In 2019 Tony married Dorothy from the Society and the couple devoted much time to answering queries and maintaining a presence for the Society in the former Court House building.

Despite our political differences Melbourne Greens Councillor Helen Harris OAM was the person who got me involved in the Society when I was working at Old Parliament House in Canberra. The Parliamentary Library was digitising its collection and they were throwing out the old Library cards. Helen had a loyal band of people in Avoca transcribing historical names to cards (now numbering about 80,000) so I would collect the discarded cards and transfer them to Helen.

My local history interest was in Lamplough, a few kilometres from Avoca and about which I had written a short history of its gold rush in 1859 for the Victorian Historical Journal. My great-grandfather and his siblings had been born in Lamplough.

Tony and I met up a couple of times, particularly during one of the anniversaries of the Society and he was President when I was named as a Life Member of the Society.

Tony had a deep involvement with the Co-operatives movement and he will be sorely missed from the Historical Society and the Co-operatives movement.


30th anniversary celebrations in 2014 L to R: Beryl Maidment, Tony O’Shea, Cr. Ron Eason, Dorothy Robinson, Denis Strangman, Vicki Burge, Margaret Oulton, Jill Hunter, Helen Harris OAM, Graeme Mills, Mary Dridan, Sue Slater, Edna Jarvis, Cr. Robert Vance (Mayor, Pyrenees Shire).

One thought on “Tribute to Tony O’Shea from Denis Strangman”

  1. I only new Tony for a limited time , through a need for some information from the Avoca Mail . Tony researched and found the information i required . Then this February i needed further assistance on another matter again he delivered . We exchanged e mails about his health and his desire to get home .
    I only new Tony for a short time and was struck by his passion for my birth place and am truly sorry to here of his passing . God bless Tony .

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