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Guide to Tocal

Edward Alan Hunt

Photo of EA Hunt

EA Hunt is credited with bringing the dream of CB Alexander to reality. He was the first to understand the importance of what could be achieved at Tocal and worked tirelessly to interpret CB Alexander’s will and then to establish the CB Alexander Agricultural College, Tocal.

Hunt’s affection for Tocal grew from his childhood fishing trips along the Paterson and the times that his schoolmaster father would rest their horses on the side of the Paterson road and talk about the fine points of the Homestead and the history of the site.

In his book ‘The Tocal Story’, Edward Hunt remembers catching a ride to his favourite fishing spots on cream boats that collected cream from properties along the Paterson River. In Hunt’s opinion the best spot along this stretch of the river was on Tocal where the College pumping station stands and he would sneak onto the property whenever he could.

He also relates the difficulties encountered by the Trustees of CB Alexander’s estate and those interested in taking up the bequest. Alexander was very specific in what he wanted to achieve and it took 16 years to find a solution that met all the conditions of his will.

In the end a proposal by the Presbyterian Church to use the bequest to establish an agricultural college here at Tocal and a boy’s school at Leppington (north of Camden) was approved by the trustees. By involving Leppington the Church met the requirement that the bequest be used to help destitute children.