Mayor Tiley chained to the top job
By JULIA ILES
THE Clarence Valley Council coughed up $3000 to a Nana Glen jeweller to create a unique mayoral chain of office, which was unveiled during Australia Day celebrations at Ulmarra last week.
According to the Mayor Ian Tiley, buying the chain had saved the council money as it was cheaper than the cost of purchasing traditional mayoral robes.
The cost of the chain was reduced from $5000 to $3000, and will record the names of future mayors for a century, Cr Tiley said.
"The council were unanimous in their decision to get rid of the archaic robes and now that there is a single council chambers, the chain represents a fair bit of symbolism for the new council," he said.
"When I wore it I felt a little emotional and it sank home that I am actually leading this council, which is a pretty significant responsibility."
Creating the mayoral chain was a first for jeweller and silversmith Jeremy Carter.
"I was asked by the council to submit some designs, I put in a traditional and an arty one, they chose the arty one," he said. "It is a real honour to have made this piece and makes me a part of the history of Grafton, where I used to live for 13 years."
Mr Carter said the chain was solid sterling silver coated in 18 carat gold. The enamel part of the chain had to be done by a business in Coffs Harbour, but was eventually sent overseas to be completed.
Coincidently Mr Carter is holding his first sculptural exhibition entitled 'Pod' at the Grafton Regional Gallery until February 25.
But not everyone is happy about the purchase of the chain.
Yamba resident Ray Hunt described the amount of money spent on the chain as 'pretentious nonsense'.
"I understand that the robes will be put in the archives and the chain will be used for ceremonial occasions, but does the premier or the prime minister have a chain?
"Why shouldn't it (the money) be used for a town to have a picnic shelter? It could also go a long way for some playground equipment for kids."