After retiring from the building trade and serving many years as an official of the Building Worker’s Industrial union and later President of the Geelong Trades Hall Council, Jack O’Mara moved to Torquay in the 1970s. He and his wife spent much of their time caring for native birds. Backed by Torquay Improvement Association, Jack O’Mara (committee member 1974 – 76) suggested to the Trustees in March 1974, that a man-made pond be built to lure more species of birds. The Taylor family liked the idea of a memorial pool dedicated to the many family members who had been very active in the town and were prepared to donate funds and arrange construction. The pond was completed in 1976 with the help of some government funding and has become home to many varieties of birds as well as a source of enjoyment and relaxation to many over the years. Jack had become known as the ‘bird man’ and caught the attention of the national television program A Current Affair hosted by Jana Wendt with the work he was doing saving penguins.
Torquay Museum Without Walls LOCAL HISTORY EXPLORE OUR BEACHES AND PARKS Jack O'Mara – Bird Man of Torquay