Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy 150th

TODAY was the Derwent Valley Council's 150th birthday. The date marks the anniversary of the first election and first meeting of the then Rural Municipality of New Norfolk, both of which were held on March 18, 1863.

Events like this remind me again of the rich history of our part of the world and how much has been achieved in the 205 years since the first European settlers made their way up the River Derwent to what is now New Norfolk. Our council is not perfect but it is ours, and we have the people of 1863 to thank for that.

By sheer coincidence, today's anniversary coincided with a special council meeting for the purpose of determining the council's position on the agenda items for the next meeting of the Local Government Association of Tasmania. This in itself is one of the improvements made by the present council. Three years ago the mayor of the day decided on these matters himself.

Special meetings have a fixed agenda that do not provide much scope for events like a council's 150th anniversary, but with councillors' support I moved to suspend so much of standing orders as was necessary to permit the mayor to acknowledge the day's special significance. A cake was cut and shared with the public gallery, photos were taken and then it was down to business.

Cr James Graham, general manager Stephen Mackey, Deputy Mayor Barry Lathey, Cr Wayne Shoobridge, Cr Tony Nicholson, Cr Chris Lester, Mayor Martyn Evans and yours truly at tonight's 150th anniversary council meeting.

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