Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, complete in mayoral robes, gets a kiss from her proud husband Ron Dowell in the mayor's office.
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, complete in mayoral robes, gets a kiss from her proud husband Ron Dowell in the mayor's office. Jacklyn Wagner / The Northern Star

Jenny Dowell back on deck after cancer operation

JENNY DOWELL arrived at the Lismore Council Chambers on Tuesday afternoon, full of energy and looking like she had walked out of the social pages of a glossy magazine.

She was wearing a black and white jacket, but characteristically it hadn't come from a big name designer shop; it was straight off the rack from Lismore's St Vincent de Paul op shop.

Only a week after she had an operation on her left breast to remove a cancer, Cr Dowell was back on deck to chair the council's first ordinary meeting.

She said she felt fine.

“I've been trying to have a little nap every day, but I've had meetings all day today and the council meeting tonight,” she said.

All the councillors were asked to come in early to have their photos taken for official council records, which involved Cr Dowell donning the official ceremonial robes and medallions.

The medallions include the names of every mayor to have served since 1879, and the years in which they were mayor.

She said she would probably dust it off for other official functions, such as meeting with official visitors from sister cities, and for conducting citizenship ceremonies.

“I have a friend who told me about a mayor who turned up in shorts for their citizenship ceremony and they were a bit offended. It is a special occasion for many people and I think they expect the mayor to treat it with dignity,” she said.

Cr Dowell's husband, Ron, was buzzing around like an excited parent as the couple fussed over the correct way to attach the 'frilly bib' to the mayoral robes. After struggling for a while and looking at photos of previous mayors, they decided to leave it off.

Cr Dowell was also welcomed back by community services department staff with a 'mayoral survival kit'.

The kit included a T-shirt that said 'Mayor of an awesome town', and a cup and a glass showing they were 'half full'.

There also were some stress tablets and an egg timer to have at council meetings to stop councillors going over time.



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