Tom Davies, regional chair of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury for 16 years (1981-1997), had big ideas. He led the transformation of the community from mining town to regionalcapital of northeastern Ontario.
Davies, who was in the Village of Creighton Mine, entered local politics because he was concerned about changes in the law that would affect his business, the Keller Davies Garage in Lively. The popular Creighton Mine hockey and baseball player served as Walden’s mayor until 1981 when he was elected regional chair by members of regional council.
Sudbury was about to reinvent itself. The mining companies had cut their workforces drastically by 1981. The landscape was damaged. Davies led a coalition of community leaders from all sectors. Their mandate was to come up with ideas for economic development.
During the 1980s, new jobs were created at Science North and the federal taxation centre. The Sudbury Theatre Centre was built. Millions of trees were planted and Sudbury’s reputation for cleaning up its environment became world famous. In 1990 the regional cancer centre opened.
Davies considered the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory to be one of his greatest achievements.
Although many people pushed for the $70-million project, it was Davies, working behind the scenes, who made it a reality. Davies put together the jumbled pieces of the funding puzzle when it appeared potential backers were getting cold feet.
Davies was a good athlete and a big sports fan. He was a key member of championship Creighton Mine Athletic Association juvenile, junior and senior teams in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Davies also played hockey. He was on the 1949 Creighton Mine Athletic Association team when it captured the district junior championship in 1950.
Thomas Morgan Davies’ name and his work lives on in this community. When Davies died in December 1997 at the age of 63, his hometown was renamed Creighton-Davies Township in his honour. Shortly before his death, Civic Square, the place where he accomplished so much in 16 short years, was renamed Tom Davies Square. The Walden Community Centre was renamed the T.M Davies Community Centre.