Wodonga Mayor Cr Kev Poulton has paid tribute to former councillors Pam Stone OAM and Ray O’Toole who passed away last week.
Pam Stone was Wodonga’s first mayoress, first female councillor and first female mayor.
Her involvement with the council began when her husband was shire president in 1973. She was elected as a councillor in 1977 and the same year was joined by Betty McLean.
She gave great support to the underprivileged and had a defining influence on post-school education in Wodonga and Albury.
Pam is survived by her children Shane and Susan, grandchildren Jack and Madeleine and her youngest sister Terry Heald nee Devine.
Mr O’Toole joined the council as chief clerk and accountant in 1972 and was promoted deputy in 1973.
In 1980 he became town clerk until the role was redesignated as the chief executive officer in 1989. He left in 1994 and was elected a councillor in 1997, serving for eight years.
Outside the council, he served Wodonga West Rotary Club as president and treasurer. He and his wife, Dawn, raised three children in Wodonga.
Cr Poulton paid tribute to Mrs Stone as a trailblazer in local government.
“As our first female councillor and then Mayor, she had a passion for improving education and caring for those less privileged and has left an indelible mark on our city and the stronger and more compassionate community we are today,” he said.
“Her contribution to city has been recognised, in part, through the naming of Pam Stone Park, along with her husband Les Stone, who were both great servants of our city.
“Ray led this city through a time of great change and was committed to seeing the best outcomes for our community, leading the organisation as its CEO before putting up his hand and being elected as a councillor.
“When we look around our city today, we can see how we are reaping the benefits of the decisions and the work they did while serving our community – both on council and outside of it.
“On behalf of my fellow councillors, the staff and our community, I wish to extend our sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to their families and friends at this sad time.”
Cr John Watson, who served with Mr O’Toole during his years on the council said he was honoured to have worked alongside him.
“As a past town clerk, Ray brought much knowledge to the councillor table,” Cr Watson said.
“He was quietly spoken but everyone listened when he presented his views and he always made a valuable contribution.
“He will be missed and I extend my condolence to Dawn and his family.”
Mr O’Toole’s name will be put forward to the Place Names Advisory Committee for a permanent honour in the city.