Lifestyle

Former Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber battling cancer

Historic: Politicians Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber. Photo: Morning Bulletin Archives
Historic: Politicians Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber. Photo: Morning Bulletin Archives Morning Bulletin Archives

JIM Webber has a fight on his hands.

And fight is exactly what the Rockhampton statesman intends to do after last week being diagnosed with lymphoma on the brain.

The former mayor of Rockhampton is in the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital in Brisbane, waiting to undergo his first round of chemotherapy.

But tolerating the treatment will be a battle in itself.

Jim, 73, has an enlarged heart, which means it is functioning at only 30%.

His son Doug yesterday explained that the chemo could have drastic consequences but his father was determined to try everything possible.

"He and mum had the round table meeting and dad wants to fight it," Doug said.

"He's been told all the worst case scenarios and the side effects but he is still choosing to fight. That is exactly what I would expect dad to do.

"He will always go the extra mile. He has always been like that."

And that is something to which the Rockhampton community can attest.

A long-serving alderman and mayor, he fought for the rights of his constituents, establishing a reputation as a fair and honest politician.

The same traits saw Webbers become a household name as the electrical retail store he opened in 1968 with his brother Col thrived and continues today as one of the region's business success stories.

Doug said his father was passionate about Rockhampton and he would love the community to rally around Jim in his hour of need.

"Dad loves Rockhampton, he loves the people of Rockhampton.

"I would love to be able to take some messages of support down to him and say, 'Hey dad, Rocky is backing you, the people are behind you'."

Doug said support from the city he held so dear would help bolster Jim as he dug in for the fight of his life.

Jim served three terms as mayor and more than 20 years as alderman/councillor. He stepped down from local government representation in 2008.

During his mayoral reign, he oversaw the creation of Kershaw Gardens and the opening of the million-dollar Music Bowl.

He was serving as a councillor when he had his first brush with cancer in 1998. A cancerous lymph node on his bowel was surgically removed.

Six months of chemotherapy saw him lose all his hair.

Doug fondly remembers how his dad looked like television star Kojak, played by Telly Savalas.

He also remembers how Jim's hair grew back, striking silver-white.

Jim went on to enjoy years of good health up until January this year when things took a downward turn.

He had remained actively involved in the business and was still doing deliveries at Christmas last year.

Doug said symptoms started to appear that the family soon realised were something sinister.

"His whole body hasn't got an ounce of cancer in it but apparently it has been lying dormant in his brain since that first diagnosis," he said.

"The doctors have said it is very rare but it also responds well to treatment. We are just praying that his heart can hold up."

If a positive attitude is half the battle, then Doug is confident his father will see positive results.

He is impressing his treating specialists with his determination and drive.

When the physiotherapist asks Jim to do 10 leg raises, he'll do 15.

Doug will head to Brisbane again on Sunday to see his dad.

Stella, Jim's wife of 52 years, has been by his side since he arrived in Brisbane.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

1961: Moved to Rockhampton from Mackay

1962: Married his sweetheart Stella Gray and had four children - Roxanne, Narelle and twins Doug and Helen

1968: With brother Col, opened electrical retail store Webbers in North Rockhampton

1970: Elected alderman on Rockhampton council, aged 29

1982: Led the Australian Labor Party to victory in the local government elections. Won the mayoralty in a landslide from Rex Pilbeam, who had been mayor for 30 years

1991: Served final year as Rockhampton mayor

1997: Served another 11 years as councillor, the last four to 2008 as deputy mayor

1992: Made son Doug part-owner in Webbers Retravision

1998: Cancerous lymph node surgically removed from bowel; six months of chemotherapy

2014: Diagnosed with lymphoma on the brain

Topics:  brain cancer jim webber lymphoma rockhampton regional council



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Confidence returning to Rocky's property market

1 Scully St

Kas Woch says he is seeing "green shoots” in the local market.

Teenager charged after Stockland Rockhampton fight

Initial reports indicated up to 10 people were involved in the fight

Midgee motorbike still missing

5.15PM: Victim lost sight of thieves despite best efforts

Local Partners

Midgee motorbike still missing

5.15PM: Despite the victim's best efforts, they lost sight of the thieves


ACROSS THE REGION

CHRISTMAS SONGS: It's Carols by Candlelight in Emu Park this weekend.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

72 HOURS ACROSS THE REGION

Rock Force at the Great Western Hotel tonight. Performing all your favourite covers from all your favourite bands.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

New book to document history of Livingstone Shire

St Faiths School, Yeppoon.

Book includes previously unseen photographs of historical sites

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

SALES SPOTLIGHT: Five recent Frenchville house sales

200 Houlihan Street.

We take a look at recent sales in this North Rockhampton suburb

Confidence returning to Rocky's property market

1 Scully St

Kas Woch says he is seeing "green shoots” in the local market.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!