Crumbs from Council

Shire Council of 1911. Photo from the Pictorial Forbes collection.
Shire Council of 1911. Photo from the Pictorial Forbes collection.

Notice of censure motion against mayor. Hot words in Council. Alderman wants to fight Mayor.

Well, that got your attention didn’t it? All of this happened in 1918 and was reported in the Advocate.

We have had a bit of action in Forbes over the past few months with different perspectives on what our Council are doing or, according to some, what they should be doing in regard to elements of their expenditure. 

Lack of communication between various government organisations has been commented on for generations. I recently passed on an article from the Advocate in 1939 entitled “THE COUNCIL AND THE PUBLIC” to our editor, Renee. I hope she has the chance to run it. 

I will hop off my soapbox. I found this column from the 1920s entitled ‘Council Crumbs’ in which our intrepid local journalist gave reports on the fortnightly meetings of the then Forbes Municipal Council and there are some gems.

At the last Council meeting attention was drawn to the fact that revenue was being lost by not leasing South Circle Park for the agistment of large stock as the state of the fence was such that stock was continually getting in to the area reserved as a playground for children. It was further decided to make an application to the Council for the fencing off of the Lagoon as stock swam across the water and damaged improvements on the reserve.

These were the days of gas lights, the lamplighter did his rounds every evening.

A roar of laughter arose when Ald Sam asked why the lamp in Victoria Park had not been lit for the past couple of days, he wanted to know if some of the girls had given instructions for the lamp not to be lit.

Finally, our parking problem as solved in the 1920s.

In accordance with the Police ruling on the subject, the Council has decided that parking in Rankin Street on the East side only will in future be allowed.

Please Advocate, bring back the Council Crumbs.

I’m often labelled a ‘historian’ but sometimes have difficulty with that title. Sure, I work with a national institution in the area of social history and folklore but my passion is to note comparisons between the past and the present, observing if things have changed and if we have learnt any lessons.

Here is my question: Is social media sometimes the modern equivalent of when people once gossiped over the back fence? The stories told were often elaborated, altered to someone’s personal perspective or gripe. Just a passing thought.

I throw my full support behind our local paper, its journalists and those community members who provide columns, sport and social information on a voluntary basis. I am proud to be one of this group.