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Vale Phil O’Sullivan

By Kieran Blake on October 2, 2020 in News

A life of service to the community. Photo: Kieran Blake

Phil O’Sullivan almost scored a century. He passed away at age 97 after a life spent in service of the Eastern Suburbs community. Phil is best known for managing the garage in Queens Park and for his commitment to the Waverley District Cricket Club, RSL, Red Cross, ATC, Waverley Historical Society and many other associations. Just about everyone loved ‘Old Phil’ and there was never a bad word said about him.

O’Sullivan’s garage has served the surrounding community since 1926, and Phil took over the business from his father Eugene in 1962. Anyone who has tried to book a car in for repairs knows of the garage’s popularity. This is a reputation Phil and wife Joan created through consistent honesty, dedication, expertise and service, delivered with Phil’s trademark smile and humour. Phil’s legacy continues under the direction of his grandson, Phil Jr.

The garage also served the vehicles of Walter Carter Funerals, and Phil knew the drivers well. When the cars passed the garage, Phil would yell, “Keep on goin’ – not ready yet!”
In recognition of his service, Waverley Oval houses the Phil O’Sullivan Bob Horsell Grandstand. Official recognition also came in the form of a Queen’s Birthday Honours Order of Australia Medal for founding junior cricket at Waverley District Cricket Club and for coaching young cricketers for 30 years. Phil’s dedication to the juniors earned him the nickname ‘Mr Cricket’.

International cricketers also remember Phil. He played a large part in attracting players such as Tony Greig to Australia, and he initiated the Australia-China Friendship Cricket Tour in 1998.
The next time you’re at Bronte Beach, keep an eye out for the plaque honouring Phil. You’ll find it on the promenade at the south end near the Bogey Hole.

An old boy of Waverley College, Phil could often be seen attending the May Procession, Cadet Unit parades, cricket games, and events involving his son Chris and his grandsons, who also attended Waverley College. Phil is survived by his wife Joan, son Chris, daughter in law Patricia, grandsons Phillip, Paul, Christopher, and Stephen and their families, including great-grandchildren Michael, Megan, Penelope, Lexi, and Harrison.
Vale Phil O’Sullivan.