Sunday, April 19, 2009

Who is the Mayor of Newtown ?

Not many people know that Newtown still has a Mayor. History records that Newtown Council, and therefore the role of Mayor, was abolished in 1948, as one of a never-ending series of power struggles between Sydney councils and the state government. The first Mayor of Newtown was elected in 1862, and in 1912 Newtown Municipal council issued a book to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, from where you can see a list of my early predecessors:

History, however, is written by the victors, and what it neglects to mention is that, like the House of Savoy, unceremoniously usurped from ruling Italy only 2 years earlier in 1946, the flame has been kept alive, and there are many supporters of the Mayor of Newtown waiting patiently for the time for the day when the illustrious office reappears and the Mayor can take his rightful place on the Mayoral throne in the Town Hall.

In the interim, I have set up office in the Town Hall Hotel, at the corner window on the first floor (above), from where, in addition to watching over the comings and goings on Kings St, I can gaze across the road to the eponymous Town Hall, temporarily occupied by usurpers from the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

It's a shame to see the Town Hall covered up like this - literally if you see the photo below, where the occupiers have attempted to negate the very existence of the Town Hall, an attempt which only came unstuck due to a timely Sydney southerly.

Newtown Town Hall today

When returned to my office, I plan to restore the Town Hall to its turn of the century splendour. Looking at the picture below only makes me more determined to right the historical wrongs that have left Newtown split between two uncaring councils and its Town Hall a banner-covered shadow of its former glory.

Newtown Town Hall in 1912

In order to introduce myself to the wider public, and establish popular support for my comeback, I have established this blog to communicate goings on in Newtown and nearby suburbs. I'm hoping that this will be a chance for those who like me love Newtown to follow the goings on and indeed communicate stories of their own.

Stayed tuned to these pages for more Newtown news - and if there's anything you'd like to see more information on, drop me a note at mayor of newtown (oneword) at gmail dot com.

P.S. Black and white images taken from the Jubilee booklets, which have been scanned and stored on the excellent Sydney council Newtown archives - check them out.


  1. I was in the Townie last night and failed to see any Mayor-looking personages!

  2. I have searched for the Mayor at the townie, but after talking to a LOT of locals (and falling down the stairs in a stupor)I lost out

    Mr Mayor - how do we meet you?

  3. Ahh - occasionally I let my poor liver rest. But you sure you didn't see a fat guy in robes and a gold chain ?