A Man with Hidden Talents
84 years young, Tom is a resident of Docklands and is one of many volunteers at the Mission to Seafarers situated at 717 Flinders street Docklands. The Mission to Seafarers is very lucky to have Tom look after the venue’s beautiful garden, a secret little green oasis right in the heart of the city. In his spare time, Tom enjoys rock and roll dancing – and is also a great tap dancer!
Tom has been tap dancing since he was a child. He first learnt how to tap dance in London, where he lived before moving to Australia with his family. After continuously getting into fights as a child, he and a friend were punished with Tap-dancing classes , which they took for a year. Eventually Tom told his teacher that he wouldn’t be continuing classes because he wanted to take up soccer. “I went to my teacher I wanted to stop and she said ,’no Tom , you can’t leave . You’ve got something special in your feet that people would die for’ Tom says.
While he didn’t continue to take classes , Tom did take up Tap-dancing as an adult and the friend who took classes with him went on to become a professional tap dancer. After spending the day working in the Mission garden, Tom slips on his tap shoes and practices his moves in the unique Norla Dome Gallery at the Mission to Seafarers.