Local MP Anoulack Chanthivong agrees that Roy Watts was a great Australian who made a significant and lifelong contribution to agriculture in NSW as a scientist and educator.
But the Member for Macquarie Fields says that the Berejiklian Government has failed to notice the massive irony of naming the proposed new high school at Glenfield after an agricultural icon at the same time as it’s planning to get rid of any vestige of farming land around the historic Hurlstone Agricultural High School site.
At today’s assembly, the Hurlstone Agricultural High School family were told that the new school that will replace their current one in 2023 – three years short of its centenary in Campbelltown – will be called Roy Watts High School.
Watts is one of the great alumni of Hurlstone Agricultural High School and Mr Chanthivong hasn’t got a problem with that at all.
“Roy Watts made a tremendous contribution to agriculture and is held in high esteem for his dedication to research and his service to NSW,’’ he said this afternoon.
“I acknowledge his immense contributions to agriculture in our State and his strong ties with Hurlstone at Glenfield,” Mr Chanthivong said.
“In celebrating Roy Watts’s name and legacy we also celebrate other notable Australians that are products of the distinguished Hurlstone name and tradition at Glenfield, such as John Edmondson VC,
Sir William Keyes and world leading scientist, Professor Alan Trounson.
“It is the Hurlstone name and tradition at Glenfield that we value – that has provided opportunities for educational excellence for students from across South West Sydney and been an intrinsic part of our community’s heritage and identity for close to a century,’’ Mr Chanthivong said.
Roy Watts, began his studies at Hurlstone Agricultural High School in 1929.
By the late 1930s he was an officer with the Department of Agriculture, and from 1966 to 1980 was NSW Director-General of Agriculture.
One of Dr Watt’s great passions was the Royal Agricultural Society and he served as councillor to the society from 1968 until he passed away in 2001.
As a mark of respect, the road running past the school in Glenfield was named after him.
Now the new school that is set to replace Hurlstone will be named after him – unless the government sees the error of its ways or loses office at the next election in March 2019.
“My position is and always has been that Hurlstone Agricultural High School should remain at its rightful home in Glenfield,’’ says Mr Chanthivong.
“Its Farm should not be sold off to developers and local children should continue to have access to a school whose name is synonymous with excellence in education and agriculture.
“That name is Hurlstone.
“And the place is Glenfield.”