Contributor to the whole shire
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.
Paul Lucas in 2016