PROUD MOMENT: John Smith, with fellow former councillor Maurie Web, on hand at the Australia Day awards a few years ago to   carry the LSC flag.
PROUD MOMENT: John Smith, with fellow former councillor Maurie Web, on hand at the Australia Day awards a few years ago to carry the LSC flag. Trish Bowman

Former Yeppoon councillor remembered in special tribute

FORMER Livingstone Shire councillor John Smith, 71, came to the end of his journey last week when he passed away after a battle with brain cancer, which he gallantly fought for more than 12 months.

Remembered by many as a hard-working, community- spirited man and a gentleman, John will be remembered for his passion for the community and his down-to-earth approach that made everyone feel important in the scheme of things.

Daughter Trinette Murphy said the loss of her beloved father has been difficult for the entire family.

"Dad had been quite unwell for some time, we knew the diagnosis was not good but the reality of losing someone who was a huge part of our lives is difficult, nothing could have prepared us for such a loss,” she said.

"He had a long, hard journey and he fought all the way. His biggest concern, particularly towards the end of his journey, was how everyone else would cope.

An official photo of John Smith during his Livingstone Council days
An official photo of John Smith during his Livingstone Council days Contributed

"It was so very typical of the kind of man he was, always concerned for everyone else.

"We have spoken to so many people since he passed away and we see the amount of respect and love so many had for him, it is a lovely tribute to his memory.”

JOHN'S LIFE

  • Born in Brisbane in 1946
  • Grew up in Bundaberg
  • Left school one day before his 14th birthday
  • Started his first job at Wypers Store a day later
  • Married Jean in 1966 in Bundaberg
  • Worked for Mount Isa Mines in the lead smelter
  • Worked for TOFT Brothers, during which time he was instrumental in the development, trialling and operation of the company cane harvesters and prototype tea pickers
  • Purchased a cane harvester and owned and operated a cane harvesting business
  • Purchased a sawmill and built Marlborough Sawmills from the ground up into a successful small business
  • Mine manager for a chromite mine based in Marlborough
  • Elected to Livingstone Shire Council in 1988 until 2008
  • Purchased the Marlborough Post Office in 1991 and remained in this business, along with acquiring the mail contracts, until retirement in late 2015

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said the news of John's passing was very sad.

RIGHT: LSC Mayor Bill Ludwig and State Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas signed the $26 million Yeppoon Western Bypass Agreement before LSC Works and Infrastructure chair John Smith (right) and Member for Keppel Paul Hollihan (left).
RIGHT: LSC Mayor Bill Ludwig and State Transport and Main Roads Minister Paul Lucas signed the $26 million Yeppoon Western Bypass Agreement before LSC Works and Infrastructure chair John Smith (right) and Member for Keppel Paul Hollihan (left). Contributed

"John Smith was without doubt a community champion, a gentleman and a great friend to many,” Cr Ludwig said.

"He made some outstanding contributions to the Livingstone Shire community both during his time as a councillor and in his everyday life.

"Having run the Marlborough store and post office for many years, John was passionate about his part of the world and was a champion for that region, determined to see all residents in the Livingstone Shire enjoy the same privileges.”

John Smith at the official opening of Tilpal Bridge on Stanage Bay Rd.
John Smith at the official opening of Tilpal Bridge on Stanage Bay Rd.

JOHN'S ACHIEVEMENTS

  • John was the coxswain in the team that won the state championship for rowing in his late teens
  • Served for six years in the CMF (reserves) and achieved the highest mark in the course for film projectionist and received a shield for the award of top recruit
  • During his 20 consecutive years as a councillor he was involved in a variety of major infrastructure projects, including the Marlborough pool, sealing of sections of Stanage Bay Rd, bridge replacement program across the Shire, Western Bypass, water pipeline, Yeppoon foreshore development and Austadium opening
  • One of the founders of the Marlborough Memorial Helipad Committee, securing a large donation to ensure the helipad was built, which it was in about 2001
  • Vice-president then president of the Rockhampton District Saleyards Board
  • Regular contributor to the ABC weather program as the weekly weather spotter for the Marlborough area
  • Secured the chrysoprase rock placed in the Lions Park in Marlborough to stimulate tourism into the township. The rock was donated by Candala Mining
  • In 2009 the John Smith Bridge was officially opened
  • Involved in and supported the de-amalgamation movement from RRC back to LSC. He was very proud of LSC and advocated for it remaining in its own right

Cr John Smith at the bypass opening
Cr John Smith at the bypass opening

A service was held in Bundaberg on Monday.



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