Saturday 29 October 2011

Former Mulgrave Mayor, Tom Pyne, has stroke

Tom Pyne, who became the Mayor of Cairns when the Shire of Mulgrave and the City of Cairns merged in 1995, has had a stroke.

His son, sitting Cairns Regional Councillor Rob Pyne, broke the news this afternoon.

"I just want to [tell] all my friends and friends of the Pyne family out there that dad has had a Stroke," Rob Pyne said. "We hope to know more soon, but please forgive my absence for a while. Thank you all for your understanding at this time."

Tom Pyne, now 76 years, was elected to the Mulgrave Shire Council in 1961 and served continuously until 2000, when he retired from public office having never been defeated at an election.

Following the amalgamation of Mulgrave with the City of Cairns, he was elected as Mayor for a five-year term in 1995.

Tom Pyne was the driving force behind the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon project and also the relocation the Council Offices from Abbott Street to Spence.

In March 2008, Tom launched his son's campaign in his bid for Cairns Regional Council. Rob Pyne said at the time, that while large Councils are said to deliver greater efficiencies and economies of scale, much is lost.

''I doubt the mega Council will ever have the respect and in some cases you can almost say ‘love’ that was held for the old Mulgrave Shire,'' Rob Pyne said. ''The of us who knew her, can understand the feeling of loss that residents of the former Douglas Shire have had in more recent years.''

Tom Pyne joined the Australian Labor Party at 18 years. In 1985 he was presented with Life Membership by the then Foreign Minister of Australia, and later Governor-General, Bill Hayden.

Here's Tom in a 1995 TV election advertisment...


Megan Bayliss is The Junk Wave said...

My thoughts go out to Rob and his family. Thanks for letting us all know in such a timely manner, Mike.

Terry Vance said...

Sorry to hear this. Tom is a legend in the Far North. I can well recall when he built the new Council offices in Spence Street and the shit stirring campaign run by, who else, Mackenzie and co. against it. I believe Mackenzie dubbed it "Pyne's mausoleum". Sound familiar?? He dragged up all the usual reasons against the new building, money would be better spent on roads, parks, rubbish, CBD, blah blah blah.

VickieF said...

Once Tom retired, places outside the Cairns city boundaries became unimportant - even though they were the original source of much of the wealth in Cairns. If I thought anyone out there could/would put Mulgrave back on the map, they'd have my vote in a heart beat.
I hope Tom has a speedy recovery and that his family know how fondly we think of him.

Cairns Local said...

Tom Pyne easily defeated Kev Byrne when both the Mulgrave Shire and Cairns City Councils amalgamated in 1995. Prior to amalgamation Pyne was Chairman of Mulgrave Shire and Byrne was Mayor of Cairns City. Mackenzie was already then close mates with Byrne who had previously stood unsuccessfully for the Liberal Party for the seat of Leichhardt. Following Byrne's defeat by Pyne in 1995, Mackenzie went on the offensive after Pyne at every opportunity, no doubt briefed by Byrne, who was for some time in New Guinea. Tom is a good bloke and I sincerely hope he recovers and is back home with the family for Xmas.

Richie said...

Tough and determined, but also warm and generous. Get well soon Tom...