Town criers from Tamborine and Boonah selected for Scenic Rim events

TOWN CRIERS: Syd Norman, John Deeks, Mayor Christensen and Peter Brown
TOWN CRIERS: Syd Norman, John Deeks, Mayor Christensen and Peter Brown

SCENIC Rim has a new town crier with Tamborine's Syd Norman selected for the position.

Peter Brown from Boonah will take on the role of assistant town crier.

The two criers will take up the standard of retired Scenic Rim Town Crier John Deeks, who was recognised for 20 years of service before his retirement in 2019.

Mr Norman and Mr Brown were selected after a cry-off contest before a panel of judges made up of Town Crier Australia chief judge Mark Overell, Graeme Crouch from Boonah and District Cultural Foundation and Scenic Rim Regional Council's, Debra Howe.

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen thanked Mr Deeks for his contributions and congratulated Mr Norman and Mr Brown.

"John has set a really wonderful threshold of expectation for those who come after him, and we acknowledge the gift he has given our region over a long period of time," he said.

"We had two spectacular candidates in Syd and Peter, and because of the expansive range of events in our region, the wonderful, joyful opportunities our community presents for visitors, we'll have a town crier and assistant town crier.

"This will ensure that wherever possible our events can enjoy the theatre, voices and expression of character our town criers will continue to carry for our region."

Mr Norman used his cry to thank Mr Deeks for his service and to introduce himself.

"Our most respected John Deeks, the first and only town crier for our area, has retired after 20 years of carrying messages to our community and I would be honoured to follow in his very hard to fill footsteps," he said.

"If I may briefly introduce myself, I'm a retired marine engineer, master mechanic, freemason, Scottish by birth, happily married and supported by my lovely wife Pauline and at 73 years young hopefully with many years to spread the word."

In his cry, Mr Brown pledged to extol the virtues and attractions of the Scenic Rim.

"We have many varied and interesting of activities to excite and interest the most discerning of visitors. Our mountainous areas and rich farming land, numerous towns and villages all with their own individual identities and friendly residents make you feel welcome," he said.

Town criers date back to the 18th century when the role involved making in-person public announcements of official decrees and proclamations by shouting in the streets.

Today's town crier would have a number of duties including:

  • Opening festivals and special events like citizenship ceremonies
  • Leading parades and processions
  • Welcoming delegations and dignitaries
  • Attending civic events
  • Serving as master of ceremonies
  • Participating in the National Australian Town Criers Championships.

Council will formally ratify the appointments of Scenic Rim town crier and assistant town crier at the November 23 council meeting.