Robert Dwyer served in local government and gave his all to the community

Grace and Robert Dwyer. Photo: Contributed

Former Kyogle councillor Robert Dwyer has died at the age of 88.

Mr Dwyer was born in Grafton. He spent time working on stations in the area.

He married Grace in Casino in 1980 and later they moved to Glen Innes where Mr Dwyer managed a sawmill at a correctional facility.

He wanted to serve his community and chose to do this in a political way. He became a councillor. He went on to be mayor of Glen Innes Council from 1998–2003.

Mr Dwyer was instrumental in getting a monument for the pioneering Celts in the Glen Innes region. The Australian Standing Stones became a well known New England monument in 1988.

The Celtic Council of Australia chose Glen Innes as the monument site but no money was given to make it happen.

Instead, it was a hands-on job to create the monument.

Pharmacist John Tregurtha was chairman of the committee delegated to erect the monument, and he teamed up with bushman and tourism officer Lex Ritchie, to find the stones.

It was Mr Dwyer and councillor George Rozynski who helped businessman Ted Nowlan to transport the 17-tonne stones to their site.

The Australian Standing Stones at Glen Innes. Photo: Contributed

Mr Dwyer also helped establish the Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes.

In 2005, the Dwyers decided to retire to Kyogle to be closer to family.

At an age when most people would be well and truly retired, Mr Dwyer was a Kyogle councillor from 2008 until 2021.

Kyogle mayor Kylie Thomas said local government was a strange place to work – 95% community and 5% government.

“This equation is something that Bob Dwyer knew too well,” Ms Thomas said.

“It would have been Bob’s 26th year in local government and it was my first. I consider it a gift to have sat alongside him in chambers for almost six years.”

Mr Dwyer was president of the Kyogle Tidy Town Committee and a member of the Richmond River Beef Producers Association and a founding member of the committee that built the Kyogle Museum. He was involved in the Kyogle Show Society, the Kyogle Showgrounds Trust and was patron of the Kyogle Hospital Auxiliary.

Close friend Maggie Creedy had a special memory of Mr Dwyer.

“One early memory I have is of Robert at the inaugural Kyogle Tidy Towns Farmers Market dressed in his full Scottish regalia. He was quite a sight to see and certainly stood out from the crowd,” Ms Creedy said.

Robert’s commitment to the community was such that any remuneration he received, including his councillor allowance, he donated back to the community, Ms Creedy said.

“Some people become involved in community organisations to advance their own careers and political ambitions – others are like Robert. Everything he did was for the good of the community he served and nothing that he did was for his own advancement.”

Mr Dwyer died on Friday, July 21. He is survived by his wife Grace and two stepsons, Grant and Stuart Bulmer and their families.

His funeral is on today, July 31 at 11am at St James Anglican Church, Campbell Rd, Kyogle.

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