- 1920-1972 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
33.86m; 238 containers of various sizes.
Name of creator
Wagga and the Riverina fifty years ago was captured through the lens of Tom Lennon, talented photographer, artist, inventor and one of the city’s most recognizable characters in the 1950s-60s-70s. As a photographer with The Daily Advertiser for nearly 20 years, he left a black and white legacy of photographs which celebrate historical events and the everyday life of the period.
As a press photographer he was technically excellent and artistic. Added to this were his skills in painting, sculpture and the occasional cartoon of sport, politics and culture in the area. Many of his photographs are augmented by 16mm film he took while juggling cameras on his press jobs.
Tom was a unique personality, compassionate and sometimes difficult with colleagues. A photograph of him leaning against a One Way sign is an indicator of his attitude to his work – ‘one way, my way’. More than this, Tom Lennon fits within a quotation he wrote beside a photograph of himself in pensive mood – ‘That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of our time.’ (John Stuart Mill 1869)
Thomas Trembath Lennon Junior was born in Sydney in 1908 and grew up in the suburb of Drummoyne where his father was a greengrocer and wine merchant. He studied art in Sydney and also built up a detailed knowledge of photographic techniques and photo engraving. During World War Two he worked with AWA as a machinist and began his career in newspapers with The Daily Telegraph.
In 1955 Tom Lennon arrived in Wagga to work as a photo engraver with the short-lived Evening News. In 1955 he moved to The Daily Advertiser as its chief and originally, only photographer, and visually chronicled Wagga and the Riverina until the early 1970s.
Much of his spare time was spent with animals, including a troop of performing dogs which gave performances for children and charities. The collection includes still photographs and films of him training the dogs. One of his trained goats had a ‘starring’ role in a performance at the 1963 opening of the Wagga Civic Theatre, and Tom made guards uniforms and wooden rifles for boys from the Henschke Primary School for an event in the 1950s.
After leaving The Daily Advertiser, Tom Lennon worked as a handyman at Romano’s Hotel and then retired to his home in Kincaid Street. In 1988 he was admitted to the Forrest Centre and died there in October 1992.
Compiled by: Dr Nancy Blacklow.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Photographs and negatives taken by Tom Lennon during his employment at The Daily Advertiser. Also a small amount of other photographs, negatives, films, audio tapes, work books and ephemera belonging to Tom Lennon.
System of arrangement
This collection was donated to the Charles Sturt University Regional Archives in an advanced state of disorganisation. Thus, most images have been sorted into categories according to their most obvious subject and most cannot be given a date closer than the 1955-1972 dates of Tom Lennon's employment with The Daily Advertiser.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
OPEN to public access.
Conditions governing reproduction
The majority of Items in this collection are protected by copyright. The Daily Advertiser is the current copyright holder. Any reproductions of images belonging to The Daily Advertiser must be carried out with the express approval of the Editor of The Daily Advertiser.
Please contact the Reference Archivist for more information.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
An accession list is available. Click on 'Download Accession List' above to view.