Loss of ‘a wonderful man’

From Left: Cr Don McKechnie, Sen Glenn Sterle, Alyssa Hayden, Cr Bob Emery, Peter Cinnati and Kanwal Singh.  Picture: Emma Reeves        www.communitypix.com.au   d370298
Loss of ‘a wonderful man’
From Left: Cr Don McKechnie, Sen Glenn Sterle, Alyssa Hayden, Cr Bob Emery, Peter Cinnati and Kanwal Singh. Picture: Emma Reeves        www.communitypix.com.au d370298

Cr Bob Emery passed away on Easter Saturday after four years of service to the Kalamunda Shire. He was 79. He was also a councillor on the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council from 2011 to 2015.

Cr Emery moved to the area after serving on the Albany council from 2000 to 2007, as well as the Mundaring Shire from 1987 to 1991.

He gained extensive experience in senior management roles across WA, primarily in mining in the Pilbara where he was the general manager of the Port of Dampier and then general manager of sales for Dampier Salt. In 1992 he became general manager, then chief executive officer, of the Port of Albany until he retired in 2002 to take a more leisurely approach to work and instead focused on consulting.

Cr Emery was a mediator with a great sense of social justice who liked to gather all the information before making a decision.

He said he was in favour of amalgamations from an economic point of view but with the proviso that the ratepayers� voices were heard, and going on the information provided from the state government at the time.

His son Kevin, said he was a politician who at the �end of his life could no longer speak, so it was probably for the best�.

Cr Emery passed away from throat cancer, after his wife Babs died in August 2014.

�He never really got over mum�s death,� Kevin Emery said.

�I could see him go down hill after that and the cancer just got worse.�

Before he died Cr Emery lived in a lifestyle village in High Wycombe. He had three children, a son and two daughters, one who lives in the shire, in Pickering Brook.

Cr Emery was clear in his decision to oppose a phone tower from being installed in High Wycombe near the recreation centre and, along with other councillors, rejected an application from Optus two years ago.

He was also one of the few voices of reason in the James Trail saga, saying that in any council of 12 members there would be people who did not agree with each other.

He backed the former council President when others were quick to diminish his achievements and was his own counsel.

�Personally, I believe Don McKechnie has done a very good job,� Cr Emery said.

His son Kevin said his father was stoic to the end, when after his three offspring noticing he had a persistent sore throat, convincing him to see a doctor, and a number of tests were required.

�Having made plans to return mum�s ashes to her brother in Wales, dad and I made the trip to the UK, with dad asking for his medical condition not to be revealed until we returned from the UK.�

Mr Emery said a heavy course of radiation and chemotherapy did nothing to kill off the cancer but did take a tremendous toll on his father.

�After consulting his medical team dad decided to refuse any further treatment and live the rest of his life the best way he could.

�A task made infinitely easier with the amazing help and care from daughters, Tanya and Joelle.

�Dad told me he had had a good innings and was not afraid to die, he had his faith and that if a miracle happened then it happened.�

�Sadly, there was to be no miracle for any of us this time around and two days later, on Easter Saturday morning, dad passed away.

Mr Emery said his dad was a truly wonderful man, well liked and respected by all.

�He was highly knowledgeable, a first class negotiator, arbitrator and was admired for his abundant common sense.�

After arriving in WA from Wales originally and Victoria, he worked for Wesfarmers and then managed the port authority in Dampier and Dampier Salt, for some years.

Cr Emery was on the board of Directors at Bendigo Bank in Mundaring and held tertiary qualifications in Logistics and has professional (fellow) membership of several Professional Associations in Shipping, Logistics and International Development.

Kalamunda Cr Simon Di Rosso described him as a real gentleman and said he would be missed by the other councillors. His funeral was held at the Purslowe chapel in Midland and the wake at the Hill View Golf Course, where he served in the role of vice-president until his death.