PHOTO: Anne Cullen at what is soon to be known as ‘Tom Cullen OAM Bridge’
It’s been five years since the passing of one of Coonamble’s most dedicated community members, and to commemorate his service to the shire, the Warrena Creek Bridge will be known as the Tom Cullen OAM Bridge.
Quite fitting in fact considering Tom was known to cross the bridge numerous times daily to get to and from the various committee meetings of which he was a member.
Most notably, Tom was the longest serving Coonamble Shire Councillor of thirty six years, which included two stints as Mayor and two as Deputy Mayor.
Tom’s wife, Anne Cullen says she welcomes this recognition of Tom’s efforts.
“It’s been five years since Tom passed away, the Mayor and I had been speaking about how council could acknowledge him,” said Anne.
“You go around to parks and gardens in different towns and there’s always something commemorating their longest-serving councillor.”
A list of suggestions were compiled which were tabled at the October council meeting.
Councillors discussed the topic and voted for the bridge over the Warrena Creek, an idea that Mrs Cullen says the family are pleased with.
“He would cross it maybe three times a day going back and forth from home to go into town for meetings or to see someone.”
Brother and Coonamble Shire Councillor, Pat Cullen also say he can’t think of a better place for Tom to be commemorated.
“The Warrena Creek bridge is the most suitable for recognition of what Tom’s done for the district,” said Pat.
“It’s a great honour to be able to recognise my brother.”
Coonamble Shire Mayor Tim Horan reflected on his memories with Tom in Council.
“It was a pleasure working with him, I learnt a lot from him,” said Tim. “He was on top of everything.”
“His contribution was overwhelming, thirty six years straight and a few years as mayor, not many councils can say they’ve had that.”
The next steps will be notifying Transport NSW and the Geographical names board to have the change approved.