William's wife Patricia says her last goodbyes.
William's wife Patricia says her last goodbyes. Brenda Strong

Farewell former mayor

FORMER Gladstone mayor Bill Prest was remembered yesterday as a gruff man with a kind heart.

He passed away at the weekend aged 86.

Coming from humble beginnings, Mr Prest's understanding of hard work helped him in his political career.

Gladstone Regional Council mayor Gail Sellers attended the funeral and said Mr Prest left a mark.

"He will be remembered across the region. I pass on my condolences and have great sympathy for his family," she said.

Son Darryl Prest said he loved all children.

"I'll remember him as a loving father," he said.

"He loved nothing more than children. He just adored the babies."

In 1970 Mr Prest stood for council and came sixth.

In his time he rose to the position of deputy mayor and in 1975 he took the top position when the former mayor resigned.

Mr Prest was elected unopposed as mayor in 1976.

He will be known in the history books as the last mayor for the town of Gladstone and the first for the city.

Following this, Mr Prest moved into state politics and held the seat of Port Curtis for 16 years as a Labor candidate.

Robert Schwarten, who worked with Mr Prest in the Labor party, said Mr Prest cared about his community.

"(I'll remember) his kindness, his decency and his forthrightness," he said.

"They don't come much better in life than Bill Prest and if every politician in the world was as good as Bill then we'd have a pretty good government."



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