YOU would have to go back to the early 1920s to find a time when a member of the Moodie-Morse family wasn't involved in the Bathurst council.
With deputy mayor Monica Morse retiring from council at the December 4 local government election, it brings to an end nearly 100 years of service of a family so deeply ingrained in the Bathurst community.
Cr Morse herself was elected to Bathurst Regional Council in 2008 and has served three consecutive terms.
She announced in 2020, when the upcoming local government election was originally meant to be held, that she wouldn't be seeking re-election.
She remained true to her word, and at her last ordinary meeting in November reflected on her family's long history with council.
P.J. Moodie was first elected as an alderman of Bathurst council in 1922 and went on to serve as mayor twice and deputy mayor five times.
He served on council for 40 years continuously and is commemorated by the P.J. Moodie courtyard behind the civic centre.
"P.J. had a deep commitment to and involvement in the Bathurst community. One of his major interests was aviation and he campaigned for an aerodrome for Bathurst residents which eventuated at Raglan during the second World War," Cr Morse said.
In 1934, accountant Alan Morse arrived in Bathurst and caught the eye of P.J.'s daughter Marjorie, who he went on to marry in 1937.
He was elected to council later that same year, and in 1941 served as the deputy mayor to his father-in-law.
Mr Morse served three years as deputy mayor and nine years as mayor.
He was also the founder of Alan Morse and Co accountants, which became the auditors of many local government councils. It is understood he resigned from Bathurst council when the firm became the auditor.
In the 1960s Alan's son, Michael, became the auditor of Bathurst council, continuing the years of connection between the council and Morse family.
Mr Morse served as a councillor again from 1987 to 1991, by which time his then daughter-in-law Monica, who married Michael, was an employee of council.
She worked as a special projects officer on events such as the Olympic Torch, the Centenary of Federation, Bandtown and the Bathurst 1000 parade.
While P.J. Moodie and Alan Morse remain some of the most well-known figures from Bathurst council history, Cr Morse's own contributions can't be overlooked.
For five years, she was the sole female councillor out of Bathurst, Blayney and Orange councils.
She described it as an "interesting time", and said she hopes to see more female representation in future.
"Council really does need women," Cr Morse said. "Women have a different way of approaching things in the community, they have a different way of working together as a team, and also we have some terrific women in Bathurst."
Being the only female councillor didn't hold her back. She went on to become the mayor in 2012, and for that reason her photo will forever hang in the council chambers alongside other civic leaders.
She also leaves council life as deputy mayor, returning the favour for mayor Ian North, who was her deputy when she held the city's top job nine years ago.
Reflecting on her career, she said some of her proudest accomplishments from her time as a councillor are the various projects associated with Bathurst's bicentenary in 2015 and the upgrades to the Carillon.
"I certainly am very proud of the Carillon and the clavier," she said.
Although she will no longer be a council representative after December 4, Cr Morse intends to continue to be involved with some local community groups.
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