On Sunday 26 July a large number of people gathered at 27 Broughton St, Glebe for a ceremony to celebrate a well-known Australian sportsman. The champion boxer, Dave Sands was honoured when the nearby lane was named in his memory.
Dave Sands, whose original family name was Ritchie, was born on 4 February 1926 at Burntbridge, Kempsey. He was the fifth child of George Ritchie, a timber cutter and rodeo rider of mixed Aboriginal and European descent, and his Aboriginal wife Mabel, née Russell. He and his five brothers all became boxers, following in the footsteps of their father and their maternal great uncle, Bailey Russell, a noted bare-knuckle fighter.
Dave was a very successful boxer, becoming the Empire Middleweight Champion. He moved to Sydney to further his career and spent considerable time in Glebe, training at the Golden Gloves Gym (Lamings Gymnasium) located on Glebe Point Rd. A plaque, erected on the 80th anniversary of his birth on the corner of Glebe Point Rd and Parramatta Rd is easily located.
Unfortunately Dave Sands was killed in an automobile accident in 1952 and didn’t get the opportunity to contest the Olympic title. If you would like further information on this great Australian please use these links: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sands-david-dave-11611; http://www.deadlyvibe.com.au/2007/11/david-sands/.
His grandson Chad Ritchie, together with Fiona Smith, the NAIDOC chairperson, was largely instrumental in organising the lane naming event, at which Dave’s three children, Lillian Manton, Dave Ritchie and Donna Hickey were in attendance. A smoking ceremony was an integral part of the event, and amongst the speakers who eulogised Dave Sands and his contribution to Glebe was well known Glebe resident and Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, Robyn Kemmis. It was a fitting tribute to Sands and his importance to the whole Glebe community.