Farewell for former much-loved mayor
MORE than 180 people attended the final farewell for former Lismore mayor John Frederick Crowther on Friday morning.
The St Andrews Church in Zadoc St pews were full as his family, friends, colleagues and community members celebrated the life of a man whom Reverend Robert Richardson said gave so much to others.
Mr Crowther's nephew Gary gave a moving and sometimes gently humorous eulogy, which included contributions from his wife Wilma, children and grandchildren.
In the eulogy, which he titled, "My uncle Jack, the boy from Moree who aimed for the clouds”, Gary spoke of how John, often known as Jack, was brought up on a share-farm, but looked for a life beyond the crops.
"He had aspirations beyond the dirt and wanted a future which did no include milking cows for a living,” he said.
"His family called him the 'Hollywood Milker' as he styled himself on Clarke Gable and grew a stylish moustache.”
After attending Lismore High School, Mr Crowther became a civil engineer and worked for many years for Hepburn and Sons for years where he was highly regarded.
"But the earth was too limiting for this confident and boisterous young man and he was determined to learn to fly,” Gary said.
"He gained his commercial flying licence despite being colour blind, became a founding member of the Lismore North Coast Flying Club, established his own charter flying service flying a caribou all around Australia, flew in Papua New Guinea and was a crop duster pilot for a time.”
Lismore mayor Isaac Smith spoke of the privilege of working with such a fair and open-minded man, who served twice as mayor, and on council for 30 years.
"I first met John as a new councillor in 2008 and he was someone you could count of to give a clear opinion and a wise one,” he said. ”
"His dedication and conviction has made Lismore the great city it is today.”
In 1998 Mr Crowther received the Order of Australia for his work in establishing Life Education, Australia's largest preventative health organisation, endeavouring to empower children to live a safe and healthy life through education.
Mr Crowther is survived by his current wife Wilma, first wife Judy, five children, 11 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Vale John Frederick Crowther 13 August, 1927 - 30 June, 2018.