WEBBER HONOURED: Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber celebrates the re-opening of the Kershaw Gardens waterfall in 1990. It had to be rebuilt after collapsing the previous year.
WEBBER HONOURED: Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber celebrates the re-opening of the Kershaw Gardens waterfall in 1990. It had to be rebuilt after collapsing the previous year. Morning Bulletin Archive

Jim Webber to be honoured with City Hall ceremony

LONG-serving councillor and former Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber will be permanently honoured at City Hall.

The newly-finished reception room will be named in Mr Webber's honour with a plaque marking the finishing touch to the $1.3 million restoration works.

The restored City Hall reception room will be named in honour of former Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber.
The restored City Hall reception room will be named in honour of Jim Webber. RRC

Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow described Mr Webber as an "inspirational leader who has left an amazing legacy in our city”.

"Under his leadership, Mayor Webber oversaw the creation of Kershaw Gardens and the opening of the million-dollar Music Bowl which are two of Rockhampton's most iconic places that continue to serve our city today,” she said.

"I invite anyone who would like to honour Jim to join us for this special occasion as we reflect on his achievements during his 32 years of service and pay tribute to the foundations he laid for our city as a distinguished leader of Rockhampton.”

Historic: Politicians
Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber.  
Photo: Morning Bulletin Archives
Historic: Politicians Former Rockhampton Mayor Jim Webber. Photo: Morning Bulletin Archives Morning Bulletin Archives

Mr Webber was 29 when he was elected alderman to Rockhampton Council in 1970.

In 1982, he succeeded the city's longest serving mayor of 30 years Rex Pilbeam.

Mr Webber served three consecutive terms as mayor from 1982 to 1991 and then a further 11 years as councillor from 1997.

He was deputy mayor from 2004 to 2008.

Jim Webber is well and back in Rockhampton.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Jim Webber is well and back in Rockhampton. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK061014awebber2

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke said the beautifully restored room, funded by the State Government, was a fitting honour for the former mayor.

"This is a welcomed acknowledgement of his truly remarkable dedication to serving the community of Rockhampton as alderman, Councillor, Mayor and Deputy Mayor,” Mr O'Rourke said.

"We all enjoy this forethought and vision to create Kershaw Gardens as we drive the highway north and south across our city daily. Many of us will still remember when the site was the city's dump.

Former Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber.
Former Rockhampton mayor Jim Webber. RRC

"He had vision in accepting the federal government's offer of Customs House on Quay Street.

"This building now stands front and centre as a technology hub within the riverside streetscape bringing past history into a modern time.

"Jim Webber also brought our city airport into the 21st century by supporting its growth from a small airport centre to that which we see today, ensuring that regional Queensland can link with greater ease to our capital cities.”

The restoration works saw the removal of a mezzanine to reveal original mouldings, and the creation of a replica of the original stage.

It will be used for civic ceremonies and functions.

Due to strict attendance numbers, please email ayor@rrc.qld.gov.au to advise of your interest in attending the Civic Reception to be held on Wednesday, April 10 at 5.30pm.