Avid community man Jim Stirling OAM was remembered on Sunday when the official renaming of South Kempsey Oval, to the Jim Stirling Oval, was announced at the Macleay Valley Cricket Association annual presentation.
Mr Stirling, who moved to the Macleay Valley after completing his teacher training at Sydney Teachers College in 1951, became the first Indigenous principal of a school in NSW when he was appointed to the position at Crescent Head Public School.
Mr Stirling served in the position for 17 years before he retired in 1988.
Mr Stirling, who was born near Alice Springs in 1929, taught at various schools in the Macleay before taking up the principal role at Crescent Head.
The dedicated teacher regarded sport as a vital part of children's education and he coached many junior teams in the Macleay, including rugby league, cricket and hockey.
Mr Stirling was a life member of the Macleay Valley Cricket Association, Kempsey RSL Cricket Club, Crescent Head Cricket Club, Macleay Hockey Association, North Coast Region PSSA and Kempsey Apex Club.
Mr Stirling was also honoured with Cricket Australia's Alan Border Medal night for his 50 years of service to cricket.
Mr Stirling was also awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2005, for his service to primary education, sporting groups and Indigenous health.
Mr Stirling lived from 1929 to 2011.
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