Councillor John Nell to have the Tomaree No, 1 match field named in his honour

HONOURED: Cr John Nell will have the Tomaree No. 1 match field renamed in his honour. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
HONOURED: Cr John Nell will have the Tomaree No. 1 match field renamed in his honour. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Retiring east ward councillor John Nell says he is proud to be recognised by his peers with the naming of the Tomaree match field in his honour.

At the meeting of Port Stephens Council held on May 12, councillors voted unanimously to have the main field at the Tomaree Sports Complex renamed the 'John Nell Match Field'.

"It was totally unexpected ... but on reflection I do appreciate the thought [behind the notice of motion put forward by mayor Ryan Palmer] and supported by my colleagues," a humbled Cr Nell said.

"I have spent more than 30 years on the Tomaree Sports Council and I have always tried to assist the sporting community in any way possible. I would also like to pay tribute to the contribution made to sporting facilities on the Tomaree peninsula of (the late) Don Waring."

Cr Nell was first elected to Port Stephens Council from 1983-1987 and has spent 33 years as a councillor. He will be retiring from public office at the 2021 local government elections.

"While I don't profess to be a sportsman of any note, I do admire the talents of our sporting community. I also believe in living a healthy lifestyle with plenty of outdoor activity and exercise," the 72-year-old said.

John Nell at Tomaree Sports Complex No. 1 field, which will be renamed in his honour.

John Nell at Tomaree Sports Complex No. 1 field, which will be renamed in his honour.

Mayor Palmer said that "Cr Nell was passionate about community sport and has shown dedication and commitment to its management across Port Stephens through his active role on the Tomaree Sports Council".

Long-time Tomaree Sports Council president Bruce Scott, who has served with Cr Nell on the committee for 30-plus years, gave a ringing endorsement of the council decision.

"John has been a valued supporter of sport through his involvement on council and has been able to guide us through many political minefields over the years. This is a well deserved recognition on a field that he [along with Don and Elizabeth Waring] was instrumental in establishing. His legacy will live on."

Cr Nell said that he was looking forward to attending future sporting fixtures at the match field, and "share a sausage sandwich and drink with supporters on the sidelines once" once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted and sporting contests can return on the Port's paddocks.