SO, who should be Bathurst’s next honorary citizen? Many around town will be surprised to read this morning that it has now been 14 years since the city last bestowed the title, honouring former Charles Sturt University vice chancellor Professor Cliff Blake.
Up to that point, though, it had been quite a regular occurrence – so why has it fallen out of favour?
Perhaps the amalgamation of the former Evans and Bathurst council areas in 2004 was a factor, but there’s no reason why we couldn’t find someone who had contributed to the whole region.
Council also introduced the Ron Camplin Award in 2008, but that award honours long-time residents who have contributed to the region.
The honorary citizen award is for people who do not live here all the time, and the time has come for us to find another worthy recipient.
Motor racing has already provided a number of honorary citizens, and this year’s 50th anniversary of the Bathurst 1000 makes it again the obvious place to start the search.
And five-times Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes is the first of the current drivers to spring to mind, given his long association with the race and years of promoting Bathurst.
He also had a special relationship with another honorary citizen, Peter Brock, and helped unite the community in its grief following Brock’s death in 2006.
But this city is more than just a race, and there must be names from other fields that deserve consideration.
So we want to hear from you. Who do you think should be Bathurst’s next honorary citizen?
Let us know and we’ll start the conversation with the broader community.
Fourteen years has been too long between drinks. The search for our next honorary citizen starts now.