Thursday, April 25, 2024

Blacktown remembers one of its finest with key to city

Blacktown City Council has paid tribute to the late Jim Anderson for his long and distinguished service as a Councillor, Mayor and the Parliamentary Member for St Marys and Londonderry.

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM presented the ‘Key to the City’ to Jim’s wife, Kathleen, in the presence of family members, current and former MPs and Councillors at the city’s May meeting.

“We recognise Jim Anderson for his dedicated service to, and leadership of, our City over many years,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

Jim Anderson was born in Belfast in 1943, and moved to Sydney, aged 23, with Kathleen just two weeks after they married.

Jim was an enthusiastic member of his local community and was very active in the sporting areas of soccer, tennis, squash, golf and athletics.

He was first elected to Council in 1987 and was elected Mayor in 1991. He was elected to NSW Parliament in 1995 as the Member for Saint Marys and in 1999 he moved to the seat of Londonderry.

Jim tragically suffered a fatal heart attack on March 22, 2003. It was election day and Jim was about to begin his rounds of the electorate.

Premier Bob Carr said at the time that the death had cast a shadow over the NSW election.

Jim worked tirelessly for public education and was deeply committed to improving the future for young people in Western Sydney. To this end, Premier Carr established the Jim Anderson Scholarships to support five students every year entering University or TAFE.

The former Member for Mount Druitt and Riverstone, Richard Amery, and the current Member for Mount Druitt, Edmond Atalla, both attended the Council meeting and paid tribute to Jim and Kathleen.

Mayor Bleasdale quoted from Jim Anderson’s maiden speech to Parliament; “There is an old Irish saying that behind every good man there is a better woman. In my case that is quite true because without my wife, Kathleen, I would have achieved nothing.”

Mayor Bleasdale said, “Jim Anderson was much-liked and respected in his constituency, and universally liked and respected by his political colleagues. He embodied all that is good about community service, and the common causes that unite us in Blacktown City.”

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