Farewell to 'voice' of Coffs

THE booming voice of Coffs Harbour's Town Crier has been silenced for ever.

John Kerr, Town Crier of Coffs Harbour since 2000, passed away at the weekend.

"We are deeply devastated at John's passing," close friend and official Town Crier of the City of Sydney, Graham Keating said.

"John was a much loved member of the community. His enthusiasm was infectious ? he touched a lot of people with his positive, helpful attitude. He always looked on the bright side of things.

"John was an accomplished musician and singer. He was known far and wide for both his promotional work and community work, particularly with disadvantaged and homeless youth."

"John was heavily involved in the life of his church, in the area of public events and home group leading. He was a warm and welcoming man, and a gracious host," LifeHouse Church Pastor, Greg Holder, said.

"He was a very colourful, vibrant, man, and was extremely enthusiastic and passionate about his community."

John Charles Kerr was born in Sydney on July 24, 1943.

He and wife Trish moved to Coffs Harbour from the NSW Central Coast in 2000.

Before moving to Coffs Harbour, John was town crier in Gosford and a professional performer for the Central Coast's 'Old Sydney Town' historical tourism attraction.

Shortly after his arrival, the Coffs Harbour City Council accepted John's offer to become Coffs Harbour's own Town Crier.

John gave his services voluntarily for numerous civic functions, official visits, openings and Australia Day and citizenship ceremonies, performing in his period Town Crier costume with his wife Trish.

He was very well known and held in great affection within the circles of the world's town criers.

"We admired John and his work," Town Crier for the City of Melbourne, Neville Stonehouse said.

John was a winner of the Australian Town Criers Championships, was often placed in the top three Town Criers in the national championships, and came second in the World Town Crier Championships.

He was instrumental in bringing the Australian Town Crier Championships to Coffs Harbour in 2004, eager to showcase the city and promote it to the world.

"Coffs Harbour could not have had a better ambassador than John," Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Keith Rhoades, said.



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