When the Bathurst P.P. Board meets again the most striking feature of it will be its changed personnel.
At least four of the directors who have been associated with the Board for many years will be conspicuous by their absence. One of them, Mr. Archie Stevenson, has been on the Board for 45 years; another, Mr. J. J. Sullivan, has been there a little less; Mr. Charles Boyd has been chairman for many years—probably a record period. The fourth member is Mr. A. J. Brownlow.
At the conclusion of the Board today, Mr. R. C. Webb referred to the fact and suggested that, in view of the remarkable service these gentlemen had done on the Board and for the stockowners of the district, they should be accorded a vote of thanks, to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
In moving to this effect, Mr. Webb said that the value of the work done by the men referred to was inestimable. He was sincerely sorry that Mr. Charles Boyd was unable to be present at the meeting, and particularly sorry when he knew the reason of Mr. Boyd's absence. He said that he felt that being the youngest director on the Board he was usurping a position, but he could not allow the opportunity to pass without seizing it. In Mr. Boyd had been a chairman of sterling value. By his tact intellect, and good judgment he had frequently saved the Board from heavy expenditure in legal proceedings. Mr. Brownlow was one of the foundation stones of the institution as far as finance was concerned. In Mr. Sullivan they were losing a man of very long experience. Mr. Sullivan had been known as the fighter amongst them, but they were always ready to admit that when Mr. Sullivan was fighting he was fighting conscientiously for what he thought was right and just. (Applause.) Mr. Sullivan had been of great value to the Board and of wonderful service to the stockowners, and it was a thousand pities that he was not standing for re-election. Mr. Stevenson was the oldest member of the Board. Mr. Stevenson had joined when it was a Stock Board, and since that long distant date had continuously been at the service of the ratepayers. His ability and fairness alone had enabled him to retain his seat for such a long period.
Mr. Webb also took the opportunity of expressing the hope that the two sitting members for the Orange Division, Messrs. Kerr and Wallace, would also be returned. In the event of either being defeated at the ballot he would ask that his name should be included with the other four in the minute, as both had also rendered long and faithful service.
Mr. Wallace thanked Mr. Webb for the compliment paid him and Mr. Kerr, and supplemented Mr. Webb's remarks regarding the retiring members. He added that he was not quite sure whether he would stand for election after all.
Mr. H. E. Brown said that the Board would certainly be the poorer by the retirement of so many men of wide experience.
Mr. J. H. Kerr (chairman) said that he was personally very sorry that so many of the older members of the Board were not seeking re-election. He warmly tributed their work and added that the Board had been particularly fortunate in having had such good officers.
Mr. A. B. Burgess (secretary) stated that Mr. Boyd had sent a message deeply regretting inability to attend this meeting in particular, and expressing his fullest gratitude to the directors for the confidence they had for so long displayed in him and for their loyalty and kindness. Mr. Burgess added that he, personally, owed a great deal to Mr. Boyd for any success he might have achieved as secretary of the Board. Mr. Boyd had been a true and valued friend and he was as sorry as any of the directors that there would be a different chairman in future.
Mr. A. Stevenson warmly thanked the speakers for their kind expressions and their courtesy in the past.
Mr. Sullivan also spoke at length on the past activities of the Board, and paid a glowing tribute to the wisdom, patience and ability of the chairman, Mr. Boyd, and the efficient secretary, Mr. A. B. Burgess.
The motion was carried unanimously.