Sunday, May 26, 2024

Former Tweed council clerk turns 100

Tweed Shire Council has wished an extra special birthday to former council clerk, Ron Spence, on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

The shire clerk position is the equivalent of today’s general manager with the council. It was a role Mr Spence held from 1978 to when he retired in 1982. His career at Tweed Shire Council began in 1955 when he was employed a D grade clerk, moving through the ranks to chief clerk/accountant in 1963 then appointment as deputy shire clerk in 1966.

The first two decades of his council career were spent in the former Council building at the corner of Murwillumbah Street and Queensland Road – now NSW Government offices.

Mr Spence played a major role in the Greenbank Island project which reclaimed the land where the current Tweed Heads Hospital, Tweed Mall and housing are located today. He wrote a booklet ‘The Greenbank Island Story’ to document the project which was a catalyst for the development of Tweed Heads into a thriving commercial and tourist centre.

Mr Spence – who celebrated the birthday milestone on 23 August – had a trip down memory lane recently when he visited his former workplace at the Council building in Murwillumbah this week, accompanied by his daughters, Jennifer Lake and Debbie Teitzel.

He was the guest of honour at an afternoon tea – with a birthday cake – hosted by the Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry, general manager Troy Green and members of the Executive Leadership Team.

Also making the journey to celebrate Mr Spence’s birthday were former Director Environment and Community Services Don Buckley, former deputy engineer Brian Littleford and former Community Services staff member Jenny Wein.

After a chat with current staff about the many changes at Council since his time and reminiscing about his career, Mr Spence enjoyed a tour of the building.

He has been an active member of the Murwillumbah community and his life memberships include the Tweed Valley Justices Association, the Murwillumbah Probus Club, Murwillumbah Bowls Club, Murwillumbah RSL sub-branch and the Tweed Valley Tourist Authority.

Mr Spence still lives at his home in Murwillumbah following the passing of his wife Daphne in 2010.

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