Tom arrived in Victoria in 1935, from Barrington, Tasmania, which is quite close to Nowhere Else, Tasmania (true, look it up). Initially he lived and played in Kinglake. There he played in a "rep" side against a WOMEN'S "rep" side which was the first Australian Women's Team sent to play in England.
Tom married Betty in 1940, and they came to live in Tunstall. Tom joined that Club for season 1940/41 in it’s last year known as Tunstall. This was after spending the 1939/40 season with Mitcham. Other players from these early years include Ken Fitzgerald, Jack Wilde and Bob Street.
Imagine the "heartbreak streets" of that period, and picture Tom biking it around the district to tell those who'd left training before the teams were finalised where or if they were playing the following Saturday. Tom also recalled accosting a teenage Brian Dixon and his Mum near the railway station late on a Saturday morning and asking the lad if he'd like a game of cricket 90 minutes 'from now’. Brian accepted and sprinted home to get his gear.
In the early 50s, the by now named "Nunawading" club found itself short of adequate funds to meet Association annual fees. Tom recalled leading a squad of blokes to approach the local feed-and-grain merchant to "cadge" the required £ 25 to keep our Club afloat. It worked, of course.
Having begun with "us" in 1940/41 (just married, no children), Tom finished his career in 1962/63 with8 children!. He'd actually begun to retire a couple of years earlier as younger fellows began to emerge, but stayed on to help staff the "twos".
Tom Reeves had plenty of highlights in his career.
He took 14 wickets (9 + 5) in one match against Vermont, and yet another 14 wicket haul in another season against the SAME club!! One season yielded 71 WICKETS, which is a 5-year half-career for some!!
Then there was a memorable two-day Final against East Burwood at Blackburn. The first day was mostly washed out. Day two saw East Burwood 5/161 at Tea but all-out 173 with Tommy taking 5 for 9 after tea! There were only 114 minutes left in the match, but Nuna scored 3/174 after 104 minutes. Flag time !
In a 1954 Final at Blackburn against Mitcham, Captain Reeves and Artie Walker opened the batting as night-watchmen for a 40-minute watch and rattled up 57. Tom ran himself out on day two for 97, probably to give the batsmen a go at it! Needless to say, Nuna won.
Tom Reeves served Nunawading as player, committeeman and President, as well as becoming Association President for a number of years. Not satisfied with that, he came back and served as President of the Nunawading City Cricket&Soccer Club for 4 years. Like all of our other multi-servers, it wasn't because there was nothing else to do. It just needed doing !
Tom was made a Life Member of Nunawading in 1955 and served as President from 1957-58 to 1961-62 and 1966-67 to 1967-68. He was BHRDCA Vice President from 1958-59 to 1960-61 and President from 1961-62 to 1966-67 and 1971-72 to 1975-76, a total of ten years as Association President. Tom was the first Nunawading representative to be made a Life Member of the Association when he was presented his medallion at the AGM of 1964.
Tom was the first Nunawading player to take 100 wickets for the Club. In one season, Tom took 27 wickets in two games, against Vermont and Doncaster
Toms’ record : a total of 22 seasons, playing 250+ games.
T. A Reeves Trophy
In November 1965 an anonymous donor donated a trophy to be called the Tom Reeves Perpetual Trophy. The committee accepted the offer and asked Tom what he would like the trophy to be awarded for. Tom asked that it be awarded to the Club Champion, arrived at by a points system awarded by the Captain and Vice Captain of each team, on a 4,3,2,1, basis for each of the club’s 4 teams. This motion was put to a committee meeting by Ken Rout and George Thatcher but lost. There was much discussion at committee level about how the award would be decided and they eventually agreed that a sub-committee of 5 players, George Dolan, Mick McLachlan, Doug Bosworth, Tom Reeves and Alex Culvenor would select the winner, to be from A Grade players only.
Tom stepped down as President in 1967-68, after several years in two spells.
Tom was the Nunawading Cricket Club. Indeed, the Nunawading Cricket Club is Tom Reeves’s club. The work Tom performed for this club both on our committee and on the Association Executive spans more years that many people’s life-times. For one man to play such an important role is truly unique. Tom was the patron of our Club, our second ever Life Member and was a regular honoured guest. His speeches at Presentation Nights and T.A Reeves Trophy Nights were unforgettable.
We salute Tom Reeves. Tom passed away in 2005.