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Tiller Thomas Charles

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1914
Place of birth Grace Plains
Principal occupation Farming
Date of death 2000

Eulogy presented by Mrs Anne Arbon (nee Tiller - niece of above)

14/9/1914 - 26/9/2000 Thomas Charles Tiller was born at the family home 'Tilleven' formerly 'Grace House' at Grace Plains on the l4/9/l4. He was the second born of twin boys to Charles Frederlck and Muriel Tiller 'Charles' was his second name presumably after his father, although we almost believed he was Thomas 'Cuthbert' - such was Uncle Toms humour! He could tell a good yarn - laughing loudly, then walking away leaving us to ponder.

Tom and twin brother Dick attended Grace Plains School for four years. Pinery Primary for two years where he was awarded Dux of the school. They then attended Prince Alfred College for one year only as their secondary education. During this time Tom achieved such good academic results, he was awarded "Top of the Form". Tom attended church and Sunday School at Grace Plains Methodist where be fullfilled the duties of steward.

Tom farmed the Grace Plains land all through his working life, a large framed man with a good height and weather beaten skin. It was a common site in the district in his old brown Austin A70 ute with a piece of dangling wire under the dashboard for the 'stopper'. This ute was later superseded by the Ford F100, complete with a variety dogs.

Tom played cricket for Grace Plains and football for Grace Plains, Mallala and Owen. He made a tour lasting nine months to England in 1954, playing cricket with the Country Touring Cricket Team. He finished his cricket innings playing for Pinery Plains. It took a long time to "retire", not worth buying a new pair of "creams" for the last few seasons - patches on patches was the order of the day. Every summer from the mid thirties Tom played cricket for the South Australian Country Cricket Carnival ...... till the creams wore out. He also played at the South Australian Cricket Association Carnival. Such was his talent. His specialty was leg spin bowlinq, with a mean wrong-un. When batting he used to hit the ball straight over the bowlers head for four, he liked doing that!

Worn out adornments were Tom's passion. His felt hats were works of arts - colour was no complication, any would do. The summer time outfit was khaki shorts, no shirt and boots - no socke, - they just attracted grass seeds. Tom's life revolved around the farm and very importantly his beloved garden. We all sampled his produce. Tom grew tomatoes: ·every one should grow tomatoes! He grew beautiful Gladiola, which were brought inside for all to admire. When there were no flowers to adorn the table, a thistle or weed might be brought in.

Tom was loud and could call his dog from across the paddock and whistle - tune or no tune to compliment. Each of his dogs obeyed and respected him, even sat in a puddle if that was his command.

He was usually late, the last to be ready and the most ill prepared: in short he was most uncomplicated. Children were drawn to him like magnets. All children of the district knew him as uncle. We got to ride in his ute (a hair raising experience going round the sheep with Uncle Tom), roll his smokes, ride on his shoulders, chew his lollies and sit on his knees for hours on end looking at pictures. When play became too rough we copped a 'cuff round the ears' and he would walk away. It was never long and we would be back. We hear stories about how he befriended kids in general. A hospital stay many years ago drew children from their sick beds, the entire length of the corridor. Such was his happy disposition and his ability to connect with children.

Tom spent his entire eighty-six years 'down home' on the farm. A serious accident where he was pinned under a grain bin in the late sixties left him with a leg injury, which caused long term discomfort. Manual work from this time on became difficult. A man of simple means, he was happy in his own company. With his television, smokes (which he gave up later in life), newspaper, playing cards, crossword puzzles, dictionary and ever present pencil, (which doodled across each page) and his dogs. Life was good. Good decent tucker was a must. Not that stuff without any meat in it (except for the few meals he got himself - six eggs in a pan). All stood Tom well until his eighty-sixth year.

Tom was held in high regard, sporting and otherwise. Even in his last days, staff at the hospital spoke warmly of him. We are proud to recall tributes from around the district, which regard him as a "True Gentleman".

Personal possessions in Tom's life were few and could be assembled on his mantlepiece. His 'wealth' lay in friendships, good times, laughs and his simple way of life. We affectionately remember the time and attention, lovingly given to us as Uncle Tom by Allan, John, Helen, Anne.


Article condensed in "The Plains Producer"

Thomas Charles Tiller 14/9/1914 - 26/9/2000

On Thursday 28th of September at the Grace Plains Cemetery, a private family funeral celebrated the life of the late Thomas Charles Tiller, who passed away at the Balaklava Soldiers Memorial Hospital on the 26/9/2000. The service was conducted by Rev. L. Kerley.

Thomas Charles Tiller was born at the family home 'Tillevan' formerly 'Grace House' at Grace Plains on 14/9/14. He was the second born of twin boys to Charles Frederick and Muriel Tiller and brother to Nell, May (dec), Dick (his twin, dec), Delph, Vera, Jack, Gladys (dec), and Gordon.

Tom attended Grace Plains school for four years and then Pinery Primary for two years where he was awarded Dux of the school. He then attended Prince Alfred College for one year only as his secondary education. During this time Tom achieved such good academic results, he was awarded 'Top of the Form'. Tom attended church and Sunday School at Grace Plains Methodist, where he fulfilled the duties of steward.

Tom farmed the Grace Plains land all through his working life. A serious accident where he was pinned under a grain bin in the late sixties, left him with a leg injury which caused long-term discomfort His life revolved around the farm and his beloved garden. He took pleasure in giving away his produce and he grew beautiful flowers.

Tom played cricket for Grace Plains and football for Grace Plains, Mallala and Owen. He made a tour lasting nine months to England in 1954, playing cricket with the Country Touring Cricket Team. He finished his cricket innings playing for Pinery Plains. Every summer from the mid thirties Tom played cricket for the South Australian Country Cricket Carnival. He also played at the South Australian Cricket Association Carnival. Such was his talent. His specialty was leg spin bowling, with a mean wrong-un. When batting 'he used to hit the ball straight over the bowlers head for four - he liked doing that'.

Children of the district were drawn to Tom like magnets, and all knew him as 'Uncle'. Such was his happy disposition and his ability to connect with children.

A man of simple means, he was also happy in his own company. His garden, TV, newspaper, cards, crosswords, ever present pencil and sheep dogs, all stood Tom well until his eighty-sixth year.

Tom was held in high regard - sporting or otherwise, and is remembered well for his laugh, his humor, and simple way of life.

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Sources

  • Mrs Anne Arbon ( niece of above) The Plains Producer



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