The opening of Dave Sands Lane that took place on Sunday 26 July. The lane, which is at the rear of 17-31 Phillip St, is the third lane that the Society has had a hand in naming, with Bernard Lane and Melina Lane preceding this one. The lane was officially opened by Robyn Kemmis, Deputy Lord Mayor. Below is an extract from Robyn’s speech:
This is a great day, and it’s wonderful to see you all here. Welcome to everyone and to the official naming of this Lane – in recognition of Dave Sands and his significant contribution to the Glebe community. It’s great to be here – to honour the achievements of a local Aboriginal sportsman.
Many of you well know Dave Sand’s story, but it’s good to have the opportunity to remember Dave, and to take pride in his extraordinary achievements.
Dave Sands was a Dhungutti man, born near Kempsey on the NSW North coast into a family of boxers – ‘The Fighting Sands Brothers’.
When in Sydney, Dave trained just around the corner, at ‘Tom Laming’s Golden Gloves Gymnasium’ – 49 Glebe Point Rd (which is now Gleebooks bookshop). A well-known and loved member of the Glebe community – his training sessions at the gym, and in nearby Victoria Park, attracted large crowds of admiring fans.
He was the first Australian boxer to achieve success overseas; returning from the United Kingdom with the Middleweight Championship of the British Empire. In his short career, he simultaneously held the Australian Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight titles.
The man the Americans called the ‘boxer with the educated left hand’ was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998 at a ceremony held in Los Angeles. He is one of only a handful of Australians to achieve this.
The contribution of Dave Sands to this community is well recognised. A plaque celebrating Dave Sands’ life and achievements was erected in 1952 by his friend and ex-opponent Tom Laming Snr on the corner of Glebe Point Rd and Parramatta Rd. The plaque was upgraded and a memorial ceremony was held in 2006. The General Manager of Gadigal Information Services and co-presenter of the ‘Sweet Science Radio Show’, Brad Cooke said: ‘Led by Dave Sands, Aboriginal Australia has contributed and continues to contribute to the success of Australian boxing on the world stage.’ The unveiling today was an opportunity to remember one of the sport’s greats. As the plaque reads: ‘a great Australian and gentlemen – one of nature’s greatest.’ … So it is with particular pleasure that I ask members of his family to unveil our new Dave Sands Lane.