Four former mayors and council’s general manager were among those who gathered to farewell the Blue Mountains’ longest-serving councillor, Terri Hamilton, on August 17.
Mrs Hamilton was an independent councillor for Ward 1 for 21 years, from 1991-2012. She was made a freeman of the city in 2014.
At her funeral service at Leura, former mayor Michael Neall said the Mountains was “a better place because of the efforts of Terri Hamilton, and that’s not a bad epitaph”.
“She was independent, passionate about her beliefs and she worked very hard on behalf of the community.”
He said people generally ran for council for one of three reasons: To use it as a stepping stone to a political career elsewhere, because they were annoyed at some decision council had made, or to give something back to the community.
Terri Hamilton was a fine example of the last reason, he said.
Jim Angel, also an ex-mayor, echoed Mr Neall’s comments and added that Mrs Hamilton would quietly lobby fellow councillors to support her until she had the “magic number seven”, giving her a majority of votes.
Mr Angel said she was so good at the numbers game he jokingly suggested she could join the Labor Party.
Mrs Hamilton “nearly bit my head off”, asserting she was a “true independent”, he said.
Mrs Hamilton was born in 1930. She married her husband, Ken, in Queensland in 1955. She worked as a secretary for much of her life, including for the CEO of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
The pair moved to the Mountains in 1985 and Ken died in 1988.
Mrs Hamilton became active in the community in response to plans which she believed would over-develop Echo Point.
She listed among her major achievements winning extensions to Katoomba’s indoor pool and helping to keep Blackheath pool open. She also strongly supported Katoomba Library.
Groups she either helped or was involved with were represented at the funeral, including Katoomba RSL Swimming Club and the Blackheath Rhododendron Society.
The general manager of council, Rosemary Dillon, attended, as did former mayor and serving councillor Daniel Myles and the current deputy mayor, Chris Van der Kley.
Another former mayor, Peter O’Toole, also attended the service along with former Ward 3 Councillor Colleen Kime.
Mrs Hamilton died on August 9. She was 88.