MAYOR Graeme Hanger has paid tribute to the foresight of one of his predecessors after former mayor John Matthews died on Monday.
Mr Matthews - after whom the John Matthews Sporting Complex on Durham Street is named - served on Bathurst City Council from 1965 through until 1976 and held the position of mayor for that period.
"John instituted a comprehensive program of economic development and under his leadership, Clyde Industries, Uncle Ben's and Devro were established in Bathurst," Cr Hanger said.
"The location of this type of industry in a regional city was groundbreaking for its time, and these industries remain major employers and contributors to the economy of Bathurst to this day."
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Cr Hanger said Mr Matthews was "also actively involved in the relocation of the NSW Central Mapping Authority from Sydney to Bathurst and in the formation of Mitchell College of Advanced Education [now Charles Sturt University] from the former Bathurst Teachers College".
"His contribution to the economic, civic and educational development of the city of Bathurst was recognised by Charles Sturt University through the conferral of a Doctor of Health Studies (honoris causa) in 1999," Cr Hanger said.
"John's role on council helped build the foundations of Bathurst as the vibrant regional city we know today.
"His involvement in all aspects of our community will long be remembered and was recognised in the naming of the John Matthews Sporting Complex, home to the city's netball and tennis."
Cr Hanger said council's "thoughts are with his family at this time".
Mr Matthews was a member of the NSW Legislative Council from 1981 to 1991.