While the election of the new MidCoast Council mayor and deputy mayor was the most important business of the day during the newly elected council's first ordinary meeting, the most memorable item took place at the end of the meeting.
A condolence motion was put forward as a matter of urgent business by Cr Peter Howard, and seconded by Cr Jeremy Miller to honour the life of Jay Davis, a proud Biripi man, Gathang language holder and leader in the MidCoast community.
In moving the condolence motion, Cr Howard paid tribute to the impact Jay had on his community, his people and the MidCoast region.
"Given his significant contributions to the MidCoast area, particularly in revitalising the Gathang language, it is appropriate that his life's work be formally acknowledged by council," Cr Howard said.
"Jay was instrumental in the naming of MidCoast Council's new administration and customer service centre building in Gathang. He worked with staff and the elected council to name the building Yalawanyi Ganya.
"This was a significant demonstration of council's support for the re-emergence of Gathang in our community and was supported and made possible through Jay's efforts."
In seconding the motion, Cr Miller paid tribute to Jay's wisdom, enthusiasm and cultural leadership.
"It is so important to see the language of the Biripi and Worimi people, a language that was banned and quashed by previous generations, it is so important that Gathang is present and prominent in our community and that is now happening in large part thanks to Jay."
Following the unanimous support of councillors, mayor Claire Pontin led the meeting in a minute's silence in Jay's honour.
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