We lost one of the Hawkesbury Community’s greats recently with the passing of Dick Petrikas from Tennyson, at the age of 83.

Dick ran his business on Tennyson Road selling all manner of farm equipment for over 50 years. He spent 43 years as Captain of the Tennyson RFS from 1976 to 2001 and further 14 years as Deputy until semi-retirement in 2015.

Dick, his mother and sisters fled their ancestral home in Lithuania towards the end of WW2.

Travelling by rowboat, they were intercepted by fisherman and ended up interned in a migrant camp that was eventually liberated by the British.

The family decision to emigrate to Australia instead of Britain was apparently sealed by the impression the family gained of Australia from watching Chips Rafferty movies.

They arrived at the Migrant Hostel in what is now Scheyville National Park, just up the road from where I live, in 1948 and the rest is history.

Dick and his family have been fixtures in the Hawkesbury Community ever since. Dick’s business traded with Colo Shire Council and Hawkesbury Shire Council.

He was awarded the National Medal in 1993 and had since added two clasps for his extraordinarily long service.

Dick could be proud that his whole family went on to become contributors to the Hawkesbury community in their own right in the RFS, SES and elsewhere.

I acknowledge Dick’s wife Julia, and their children Chris, David, Merien, Greg and Steve.

I enjoyed speaking with Chris, who is himself decorated with the Australian Fire Service Medal to put together these notes.

Dick left behind 11 grandchildren, 8 great grand-children and more are on the way.

We’ve lost too many of our local greats recently, with the passing of Aub Voller, then Albert Newton, Peter Speet, Lionel Smith and now Dick Petrikas.

I invited my fellow Councillors to join me in a moment’s silence to mark Dick’s passing.

This video also shows the remarks made by my colleagues Councillor Les Sheather and Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett.

 

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