TLS - Trevor Langford Smith - a fine academic and passionate geographer. I travelled with Trevor in August 1978 to Tibooburra - a memorable trip for all. Vale Trevor. Robert Mills Geography 3rd Year 1978
My memory and knowledge of Professor Langford-Smith began in year 11- 1971 at NSGH in Sydney when my geography teacher recalled her days at university under the instruction of her favourite lecturer, Trevor Langford-Smith. I think she loved him because every time she showed us slides of rock profiles and Trevor's geological hammer on the layers, her face always lit up & she told us the stories about what they learned & where they went at uni. She spoke about him in terms that can be described as awe. I graduated in 1972 and went to Sydney Uni to major in Geomorphology. By 3rd year we had the annual pilgrimage to Tibooburra to study silcrete in SA with Trevor, over the border. It was the most fantastic excursion, burned into our memories forever- especially the Wednesday night when he told us earlier in the day we had to put on a show for the children in care in Tibooburra who were away from home. It was hilarious & fun to devise shows during the day & put the show on that night. Such was his ability to inspire us while giving to others. I found this site looking for photo's of Trevor to add to my photo album, as he still stands out as my favorite lecturer and one of two that I remember with fondness. Sorry to hear of his loss, thrilled that he achieved such an age and hope that many more memories are dug out.
As both a distant cousin and colleague I would like to add a tribute to Trevor. I first met Trevor in 1966 at an Institute of Australian Geographers’ conference where Trevor was generous in introducing me as a very junior academic to a number of his senior colleagues. More recently with my wife and children I got to know Merle (and Lyn and John; we met Robyn later) when we stayed with them on several occasions. At that time Trevor had become Head of the Geography Department at the University of Sydney after a period of some turmoil, not I think a job he always enjoyed because it left a naturally reticent man somewhat remote from his colleagues. However he built his Department to a strength which undoubtedly underlies that of today’s School of Geosciences. As an academic Trevor was modest and these were not things we talked about much but he was justifiably proud of his achievements which included perhaps above all the book ‘Silcrete in Australia’. He published widely including collaborations with John Rutherford (agricultural geographer) and David Branagan (a geologist) which are testimony to the breadth as well as depth of Trevor as a geographer. Trevor also served on the councils of both the Institute of Australia Geographers and the Geographical Society of New South Wales and his contributions to geography have been acknowledged by both. However, Trevor lived for more than his career. His family was very important to him and it was this in which he took his greatest pride (with an ongoing curiosity about some transported ancestors, one of whom remains an enigma to this day). In his retirement he remained remarkably active, undertaking adventures which ranged from trekking in the Himalayas to cutting down tall trees at the family's McMasters Beach cottage.So: a kind, generous, modest, reticent family man with twinkling blue eyes. He will be greatly missed. Vale Trevor.
As an undergraduate student in Geography and later a teaching fellow in the Geography Department at Sydney University I look back very fondly on my memories of Trevor, particularly those from field trips to Broken Hill and Tibooburra. Trevor was a very good and enthusiastic lecturer and tremendous company in the field. Ken Page (now Adjunct Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University)