Con­trib­u­tor to the whole shire

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Moya Stevens

LONG-TIME res­i­dent of Port Dou­glas and Wonga, Paul Lu­cas passed away last week.

Born in Burnie, Tas­ma­nia, Paul was the el­dest of five, hav­ing 3 broth­ers and a sis­ter. He spent his early years in Tas­ma­nia, com­plet­ing a de­gree in Eco­nom­ics, then moved to Can­berra and worked for the Bu­reau of Agri­cul­ture.

Paul mar­ried Anne in 1956 and they had two daugh­ters, Cathy (now de­ceased) and He­len. They moved to Syd­ney where Paul worked for BHP, learn­ing the ropes of the steel in­dus­try.

His in­volve­ment with the steel in­dus­try saw the fam­ily move to New­cas­tle and Mel­bourne un­til Paul de­cided to make a liv­ing on his own and pur­chased a milk bar in Eltham, a sub­urb of Mel­bourne.

They sold the busi­ness af­ter three years, earn­ing the fam­ily a good profit, and Paul, Anne and the girls set off on a car­a­van trip up the east coast, Rock­hamp­ton be­ing their most north­ern des­ti­na­tion.

Af­ter a brief re­turn to the steel in­dus­try and with the girls be­com­ing in­de­pen­dent, Paul and Anne moved north in 1978 and pur­chased the 8- room Port Dou­glas Mo­tel and built up the busi­ness.

Anne be­came very ill in 1981 so they sold the mo­tel. Anne died the next year.

Paul started buy­ing and selling real es­tate in and around Port Dou­glas and in 1984 met and mar­ried Ruth Aud­ley, a nurs­ing sis­ter at Moss­man Hos­pi­tal. They had a 12 month hon­ey­moon trav­el­ing around Aus­tralia in a car­a­van.

Paul built a home in Port Dou­glas and opened a book shop, Books Etcetera, in 1986 which he sold in 1991.

Paul’s con­tri­bu­tion to the Port Dou­glas com­mu­nity was most ev­i­dent when he en­tered lo­cal gov­ern­ment in 1991, rep­re­sent­ing the Port Dou­glas Di­vi­sion. His most sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments while in Coun­cil were be­ing in­stru­men­tal in the es­tab­lish­ment of The Clink Theatre.

Be­ing a devo­tee of Aussie Rules foot­ball, Paul be­came in­volved with the Crocs when they played at the Moss­man Show­grounds, which was too small. He helped ne­go­ti­ate with the Coun­cil for the es­tab­lish­ment of the joint-use Port Dou­glas Com­mu­nity Sports Com­plex.

Paul was pres­i­dent of the Port Dou­glas Crocs AFL Club for a time.

He also was in­volved with other ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture projects as a Shire Coun­cil­lor in­clud­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the new Shire of­fices in Moss­man and the com­mu­nity hall in Port Dou­glas.

His achieve­ments did not go un­recog­nised as he was pre­sented with the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s Cen­te­nary Medal in 2001 ‘for dis­tin­guished con­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal gov­ern­ment as a long serv­ing coun­cil­lor in Dou­glas Shire’.

He re­tired from Coun­cil in 2004.

Af­ter 16 years of mar­riage, Ruth passed away in 2000 and Paul re­lo­cated to Wonga for a change but af­ter 11 years, chose to move back to Port Dou­glas and a smaller res­i­dence.

He was a strong sup­porter of the Aus­tralian La­bor Party and was pre­sented with a Life Mem­ber­ship.

Paul main­tained an en­thu­si­as­tic in­ter­est in pol­i­tics and sport and en­joyed a level of par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Aus­tralian Stock Ex­change up un­til very re­cent times.

He had many friends in the district and was held in high re­gard by those who knew him.

Pic­ture: MOYA STEVENS

Paul Lu­cas in 2016

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