Naming honour for former civic leader

04th Dec 2019
Janelle Stewart

The Guyra Community Hall will be renamed the ‘Gilbert White Memorial Hall’ recognising the contribution of the town’s longest-serving Shire President, D.R. Gilbert White OAM. The move follows an approach to Armidale Regional Council by his family who noted his extensive civic record, including service on Guyra Shire Council from 1960 to 1987 with 25 years as Shire President.
Some of the achievements noted during his time with council were the development of one of the best road systems in the in the State, the construction of water treatment and sewerage treatment works, the Truck Stop, new council chambers and council works depot. Mr White’s time on council also saw the development of recreational and sporting facilities including playing fields and the swimming pool.
The opening of the Community Hall in October 1975 is considered a highlight of his years on council and it was requested that the hall be renamed in his honour. The hall is widely used by the Guyra community for sporting and social functions as well as being the centre of the annual Guyra Show.
Feedback on this proposal was sought from the public with just two emailed submissions being received during the public exhibition period. These submissions supported recognition of Mr White, but expressed a preference for utilising other facilities or Council infrastructure.
A recommendation to last week’s council meeting was that in view of the unique and extensive service of Mr White to the Guyra and New England community, and the low volume of response submissions, that Council support the request. A motion went before council and the proposal was carried unanimously.