Posthumous gifts seen as 'heaven-sent'

Geoffrey Scharer died almost two years ago, but he is still a benefactor of the Picton community.

Mr Scharer, who owned the George IV Inn, died on May 9, 2012, aged 72.

The executor of George Scharer's estate has donated the land left by him to the St Anthony's Primary School for extra play ground space. Executor Sally Lindsay with captains Isaac Taylor and Nicola Sherwood, real estate agent who also organised sale Mick Wyeth, principal Don O'Brien, Parish Priest Father John Ho and Graeme Maynard from the Catholic Diocese. Picture: Jonathan Ng

The executor of George Scharer's estate has donated the land left by him to the St Anthony's Primary School for extra play ground space. Executor Sally Lindsay with captains Isaac Taylor and Nicola Sherwood, real estate agent who also organised sale Mick Wyeth, principal Don O'Brien, Parish Priest Father John Ho and Graeme Maynard from the Catholic Diocese. Picture: Jonathan Ng

His friend Dick Cole said Mr Scharer had left half of his estate to charity and had written about 35 people into his will.

St Anthony's School may not have been mentioned in the original will, but a donation last year on behalf of Mr Scharer has resulted in the school becoming the beneficiary of what Century 21 Picton real estate agent Mick Wyeth says is land valued at about $600,000.

The land — five lots totalling almost 1.6 hectares at the rear of the George IV Inn — will provide the neighbouring school of about 400 students with more room for playing fields.

The executor of the will, Sally Lindsay, said Mr Scharer, had he still been alive, would have supported the decision to give the land to the school.

"He'd be delighted he was able to help the Picton community and Picton children," she said.

"He spent most of his life here and this is his legacy to the community."

Picton-Tahmoor parish priest John Ho said the gift was welcome but unexpected.

"I was very surprised," Father Ho said. "At the school we don't have a very big playground, so we are very grateful."

St Anthony's School principal Don O'Brien said a footbridge would have to be built over the creek separating the school and the vacant land. Once complete, the land would be able to be used for sport carnivals, obviating the need for travelling off site for sports events.

"At the moment we go to Tahmoor for the athletics carnival and Hume Oval in Picton for the cross-country," Mr O'Brien said.

"It is going to be well utilised by the school. It was something that was heaven-sent."

For 40 years up until 2006, Mr Scharer ran the pub that his father had bought in 1946.

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