Monday 24 December 2007

A real Mayor of Cairns

Some mayors leave office a legend, having achieved great visions for their population.

Others will leave office will be remembered for years environmental destruction and 35,000 apartments as their "gift" to the city.

John Grey, editor of the Courier Mail has kindly given permission to reprint an extract of Pioneers of land, air and sea....
  • Sir Charles Kingsford Smith . . . he was born in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton in 1897 and set many records with pioneering flights before disappearing in the Bay of Bengal in 1935.

    HE is revered as Australia's greatest aviator, and stories of his feats are included in our nation's history books.
    But long before Sir Charles Kingsford Smith made a name for himself in 1928 with his record-breaking crossing of the Pacific from California to Brisbane, his grandfather had ensured his own name would never be forgotten, at least by the people of Cairns.

    As well as being the first mayor of Cairns, Smithy's grandfather, Richard Ash Kingsford, also built a landmark that was to keep watch over the town for most of this century and ensure his memory lived on well after his death in 1902. Kingsford arrived in the frontier town of Cairns in 1883 after an eight-year stint as member for South Brisbane in the Legislative Assembly and a one-term Brisbane mayor in 1876.

    It was not politics that lured him north but the dream of buying a large block of land on the banks of the Barron River and settling down to grow sugar cane.
    Upon his arrival, he settled near Kuranda and grew fruit for a time but his love of politics soon proved too strong a force to resist and he was elected chairman of the Cairns Divisional Board in 1884.
    Cairns was proclaimed a municipality a year later and in the council's first meeting on July 22, 1885, Kingsford's fellow councillors unanimously elected him mayor.


Anonymous said...

A real mayor. Wouldn't that be great for Cairns? Someone that is 'in touch' with the community and gets in on a grassroots level. I've seen Ray Byrnes, mayor of Eacham shire with whipper-snipper in hand helping out at a community fundraiser. (Can anyone imagine KB doing that? Ha ha, yeah right.)

A great mayor would be a popular mayor, someone who is friendly and approachable, someone people look up to. Tom Pyne had these qualities. Always seemed to have a smile on his face, and was no doubt popular, they way he annihilated K.Byrne in the amalgamation election of 1995. KB may have won the last 2 elections, but both were only by very small margins, and that was from his dominant developer funder election campaign, where he had 8 times as many ads as Val Schier, and still he only got 52% of the vote.
A good, a real mayor would stand tall for their community, like Kieth Goodwin back in the late 80's. He was down there onthe esplanade, loudspeaker in hand, working up the crowd to say "NO!" to the proposed Trinity Point project. Imagine how different, and better, Cairns would look today if he was still mayor.

A good Cairns mayor would promote the distict far northern lifestyle, not try and turn us into a commercial, money-hungry, tie-wearing, air-conditioner loving, corporate zombies. Back to Keith Goodwin again. He had signs put up at the airport back in the late 80's, early 90's saying 'Cairns is a tie-free zone, please remove your ties'. Remember the photo from a few months ago for the latest amalgamation committee, bringing togethr Cairns and Douglas Shire. There was Mike Berwick is his smart casual attire, and there was Byrne and Terry James with their business shirts and ties on.

A real mayor is someone who deeply cares for his town. Not someone who is is just in the job for the power and stature. Cairns needs to be reminded that when KB was booted out in 95, he left town very quickly, only to return when he heard his nemisis Tom Pyne was retiring. He has even remarked since, that he would do it again if he were ever to lose office.
Is that someone who truly cares for Cairns?, or just someone looking after their own self-interest.

It is painstakingly obvious, Byrne does not deserve to be our mayor. We have a chance coming up in March to change things for the better around here. It is long overdue.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Captain Cairns, like Batman, is unable to reveal his/her real identity because of the Absolute Priority of his/her Mission to fight for Truth, Justice and the Cairns Way of Life?