Copas Park was named after Tom Copas, a local horticulturalist who planted a beautiful garden here in the 1950s.
This land became a reserve when Mrs Fox, who owed rates to the Council, donated the land as a park and play area for the Noble Park community in 1947.
Tom Copas lived next door to Mrs Fox and worked at the Springvale Crematorium as a rose grower. He took an early and keen interest in the park – helping with planting and planning. Tom came from a family of horticulturalists.
He was born in South Australia in 1892, to Henry and Eliza Copas, pioneer fruit growers and gardeners in South Australia who planted roses at Adelaide Oval. Tom’s brother Keith claimed to have grown over one million rose bushes. Tom’s grandfather was also a ‘well known nurseryman’. Tom experimented with new breeds of roses creating several new varieties.His great-niece, Susan Gaffney, remembers watching Tom grafting roses when she was a child. It was methodical and tricky work, but he was ‘always very fast’ when tying the rose buds on.
Tom actively contributed to the Noble Park community in many ways. He was a trustee of the Noble Park Public Hall for 25 years, and was the Master of Ceremonies at many dances and responsible for introducing local teenagers to the art of ballroom dancing. He also volunteered for local youth groups and helped create the Noble Park Horticultural Society in 1954.
“When I was a small child, I would often sit on a little stool next to him while he budded his roses in the block of land next to their house where he grew and developed his roses. They were lovely quiet times…we shared.” Susan Gaffney, Tom Copas’s great-niece, 2020.