A taste of the may­or­ship

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

ABI­GAIL Noli has of­fi­cially be­come the sec­ond mayor of the new Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil.

While mayor Ju­lia Leu is on leave, deputy mayor/coun­cil­lor Noli stepped up to the job, chair­ing coun­cil’s meet­ing on Tues­day.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, she an­nounced her own may­oral minute: “That coun­cil agrees to meet in a work­shop at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity with Mr Bob Nor­man, chair CHHHS, in re­gards to the Di­wan Health Clinic with the view to progress dis­cus­sions for the mu­tual ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity and all par­ties and also with the view to sched­ul­ing a spe­cial meet­ing in the very near fu­ture to con­firm terms for a lease for the new fa­cil­ity.”

Ms Noli said she made the mo­tion to show coun­cil’s support for the de­vel­op­ment of a new pur­pose­built health care fa­cil­ity north of the Dain­tree River. “I wanted to re­it­er­ate coun­cil’s en­thu­si­asm and the im­por­tance of try­ing to achieve this good out­come for the up­grade of the clinic. We will do the best we can to se­cure that,” she said.

Over­all, be­ing the act­ing-mayor Ms Noli said has been fun and very busy, and in the last cou­ple of weeks she has learnt more than in the last eight months of be­ing a coun­cil­lor: “And I learnt a lot in eight months!”

“It is so re­ward­ing, the whole idea of why I wanted to be­come a coun­cil­lor in the first place is be­cause I love the area and want to see the best pos­si­ble for the area,” she said.

“As a coun­cil­lor, to be an act­ing-mayor is one step closer to do­ing the best I can. It’s very strange be­ing this in­flu­en­tial, although I am the most pow­er­ful per­son in the Shire, I ac­tu­ally feel the op­po­site ‒ I am the ser­vant of the peo­ple.”

Ms Noli said that with the top job comes more re­spon­si­bil­ity and more of a work­load. “Even though I have thor­oughly en­joyed my­self, when Ju­lia comes back I will be happy to hand back the reins!”

IN the same week that Wonga Beach got its name of­fi­cially recog­nised, the lit­tle town lost one of its most val­ued names ‒ Kathy, the owner of the Wonga Beach Servo.

Mrs Jordi­son and her hus­band Ron have sold the ser­vice sta­tion on the Dain­tree-Moss­man Rd and after they sell their other servo at South Moss­man they plan to re­tire.

No one be­grudges the hard work­ing Kathy a bit of a break after 22 years of run­ning the servo and shop which since the demise of the Cross­roads eatery nearer the river has be­come even more of a pre­cious fuel and food stop.

She’ll be missed, as the cou­ple of dozen lo­cals who turned out for her sur­prise farewell gath­er­ing on Satur­day tes­ti­fied.

In Kathy’s hands the Servo was a bit of a sanc­tu­ary. Ever mod­est and the last to want the spot­light on her­self, nev­er­the­less the acts of kind­ness and care to­ward the com­mu­nity over so many years mean there are plenty of peo­ple ready to pay trib­ute.

They know that dur­ing the cou­ple of cy­clones, most re­cently Ita, that have threat­ened the area in re­cent years Kathy kept the servo open.

“How she did it, I don’t know,” one of her staff told the Gazette.

For some she’s been the last port in a storm, putting in a few bob of her own money when they didn’t have enough.

Or, when in the af­ter­math of Ita, for ex­am­ple, she qui­etly fed the work­ers from Er­gon and the oth­ers, ev­ery day for weeks, send­ing them food up to the Dain­tree from her shop. Not that she told any­body about that, like so many things.

Kathy and Ron have just bought a house at Rocky Point.

“I can’t get away from the area,” she said. “I like it too much. The com­mu­nity around here is just fan­tas­tic, ev­ery­one re­ally looks after one another.

“Ron­ald and my­self would like to thank very much the won­der­ful cus­tomers that we have served over the last 22 years as own­ers of the Wonga Beach Ser­vice Sta­tion as well as wel­com­ing the new own­ers Ken and He­len Wil­ley and wish­ing them the very best in their new ven­ture.”

Her send off was a se­cret all over Wonga Beach ‒ the schoolkids had even dis­trib­uted fly­ers ‒ but the ever-busy Kathy didn’t know about the ex­tent of it un­til Satur­day morn­ing.

At the farewell gath­er­ing of course were the new own­ers, Ken and He­len Wil­ley, who moved to Wonga Beach nearly 10 years ago.

“I didn’t like re­tire­ment very much,” said He­len, “so when this came on the mar­ket we de­cided to have a go. But Kathy’s are very big shoes to fill ‒ she’s an amaz­ing lady.

“After work­ing with her for the past 10 days the things that she does, the peo­ple liv­ing in the vil­lage just wouldn’t un­der­stand, the be­hind the scenes things that she does for peo­ple, lit­tle things like when they don’t have enough money she puts it in out of her own pocket.

“And she doesn’t stop ‒ she gets here ev­ery day at 5:30 in the morn­ing and she’s go go go, on her feet the whole time and never stops. Amaz­ing, she is.”

Deputy Mayor Abi­gail Noli stood in at the farewell as Mayor Ju­lia Leu is cur­rently over­seas. She read a mes­sage from Mrs Leu.

“An­dre and I are re­ally dis­ap­pointed that we can’t be there this af­ter­noon to say farewell and best wishes to Kathy and Ron, and also wel­come the new own­ers.

“Kathy and Ron are both such won­der­ful and gen­er­ous peo­ple and we are re­ally sad to see them leave Wonga Beach, but also pleased that they are go­ing on their own terms, and want to wish them both the very best for the fu­ture.

“Kathy and Ron have been so much part of ev­ery­one ‘s life at Wonga Beach for so long, that it is hard to imag­ine the Servo with­out them. If there is an award for Aus­tralia’s best “Servo peo­ple” it should def­i­nitely go to Kathy and Ron.

“We bought our Wonga Beach prop­erty in 1991 and met Kathy and Ron when they took over the servo.

“They have been a huge part of help­ing make the com­mu­nity of Wonga Beach what it is to­day ‒ a car­ing com­mu­nity, that looks out for each other and of course is such a great place to live.

“The Servo is the hub of the com­mu­nity and thank you for gen­er­ously al­low­ing the dis­play and ad­ver­tis­ing of lo­cal events, school events and raf­fles, lo­cal pe­ti­tions and com­mu­nity and no­tices.

“An­dre and I have al­ways been so im­pressed with the calm, cool and col­lected man­ner that Kathy and Ron dis­played of­ten un­der quite ex­treme cir­cum­stances. Think about cy­clones and bad weather, the end­less ques­tions and phone calls, eg is the road open to Moss­man? When will it stop rain­ing? Is Ral­dini’s over? etc.

Fi­nally, we will all miss you but thank­fully you will not be too far away in Moss­man. We want to wish you both the very best for the fu­ture as you most def­i­nitely de­serve it.”

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Abi­gail Noli stand­ing in for the mayor on Satur­day

Re­becca Smith, Ron Jordi­son, Paula Martin

Pic­tures: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Kathy Jordi­son: 22 years, seven days a week

Va­lerie La­hey, Caro­line Thomp­son and Ch­eryl Reay

Brad Gully, Kassie Thomp­son, James Gully and James La­hey

New Wonga Servo own­ers He­len and Ken Wil­ley

Ray Jordi­son and Mar­garet Mitchell

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