Habib Habib laid to rest.
Habib Habib laid to rest. The Northern Star

Habib Habib devoted to Lismore

A LIFE spent in the service of the Lismore community was honoured yesterday at Our Lady Help of Christians Church when Habib Paul Habib was laid to rest.

'Habbie' as he was known to his friends was an alderman with Lismore Council for almost 38 years and Chairman of the Rous County Council Water Supply Authority for 28 years.

"He was a man of fairness and integrity who had a passion for his city and its citizens. His legacy to the community was the development of the Lismore City airport and the filtration of the Rocky Creek water supply," his friend Barry Davidson told the congregation.

Mr Habib was judged to have been the city's most outstanding citizen and awarded the Norco Bicentennial Order of Lismore gold medal. Mr Habib was born in South Lismore on July 9, 1913, the fourth child of William and Hessnie Habib who had migrated to Australia from Lebanon in 1910.

In 1929 he joined the South Lismore Progress Association and remained a member for 53 years.

Five representatives from the State Emergency Service were present in the front row of the church honouring the man who had been their flood warden for South Lismore for 25 years.

"During this period Lismore was hit by its two biggest floods. Habie stayed on duty for 24 hours, venturing out into the rain and flood to check on his community and maintain contact with his headquarters. As our friends in the SES might observe, the worst in nature brought out the best in Habib Habib," Mr Davidson said.

Mr Habib was also a reporting officer at the Lismore aerodrome and before the days of the rescue helicopter, he would get a call whenever the air ambulance had to land. If it was in the early hours of the morning, Mr Habib would go out and light 52 kerosene lanterns to show the aircraft where to land. If it was raining he would hold an umbrella for the passengers, wait until it had taken off and then go and extinguish all the lanterns again.

Mr Habib married Ruth Blenheim in 1947 and had three children; John, Noel and Ann.

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