Kiama councillors geared for yesteryear

NSW Governor Marie Bashir met the choir and volunteers.
Nanjing Night Net

Kiama Mayor Sandra McCarthy (centre), with (from left) Lexie Wheeler, Neil Reilly, Monique Dare-Ward, Peter Bowman, Trevor Fredericks, Brian Petschler, Deputy Mayor Ben van der Wijngaart and Warren Steele. Pictures: GREG TOTMAN

Kiama Municipal Council’s 150th birthday celebrations continued yesterday with NSW Governor Marie Bashir officially opening the redeveloped Kiama Showground Pavilion.Professor Bashir and her husband, Sir Nicholas Shehadie, were guests of honour at the function, which celebrated the volunteers of the Kiama municipality.Entertainment was provided by the BlueScope Youth Orchestra, the Kiama Men’s Probus Choir and Kiama Primary School.Prof Bashir paid tribute to the youth orchestra’s performance, which she said had brought tears to her eyes.However, it was the unscripted performance of the building’s evacuation alarm that almost brought tears to the eyes of some proud councillors and council staff.The resilience of the orchestra during the alarm was rewarded with a standing ovation.Kiama Mayor Sandra McCarthy said the municipality was fortunate to have 60 volunteers groups and another 30 organisations that functioned on the goodwill of volunteers.”It is the most selfless contribution a person can make to the community,” Cr McCarthy said.Prof Bashir, who grew up in the Riverina and holidayed at Kiama, said the town’s volunteers had helped make the municipality a model for all Australia to emulate.She said the council’s motto adopted by the municipality’s first mayor James Colley – “we shall work, we shall live” – was still inspiring 150 years later.The new $5.4 million pavilion, positioned on the headland overlooking Surf Beach, seats up to 330 people in the facility’s main room and conference rooms. Last night Kiama council held a commemorative meeting to mark the 150th anniversary.Councillors and senior staff dressed in period costume for the occasion and a carved commemorative cedar plaque was presented to the council.Cr McCarthy said it was a privilege to be mayor of the municipality in its 150th year.”Council has come a long way from its traditional responsibilities of roads, rates and rubbish,” she said.

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