Published on 20 June 2022

Honouring the Gilberts

City of Onkaparinga's Excellence Awards and Civic Room have been renamed, honouring the late Ray and Edith Gilbert for their commitment and dedication to the community.

The official renaming of the Civic Room and Excellence Awards took place at a civic reception on Thursday 9 June, attended by Ray and Edith's children, Chris and Sue, and grandchildren. Current and former elected members of the City of Onkaparinga and the City of Noarlunga were also in attendance.

The Civic Room, a place to honour and celebrate extraordinary achievements of members of our community, was aptly renamed the Gilbert Room, recognising the tireless efforts of the inaugural former Mayor Ray Gilbert and wife Edith (affectionately known as the Mayoress) who moved to Port Noarlunga in 1956.

A clay bust of Ray, created by artist Leeza Peters in 2001, was relocated permanently from Port Noarlunga's Arts Centre to the entrance of Gilbert Room, and new signage unveiled.

Speakers on the night included Acting Mayor Simon McMahon, current and inaugural elected members, Bill Jamieson, Sue Tonkin and Sandra Brown. Councillor Richard Peat, former mayor Lorraine Rosenberg and former CEO Jeff Tate contributed messages to be read out honouring the pair.

All spoke with warmth and fondness for the Gilberts and their longstanding contributions with various community and sporting associations, as well as personal memories of the pair and their quirks.

It was a fitting tribute to a pair whose achievements and outstanding service to local government and the community were second-to-none.

City of Onkaparinga's Excellence Awards—one of council's most prestigious awards—has been renamed the Ray Gilbert Award for Excellence, in honour of Onkaparinga's inaugural mayor.

The Ray Gilbert Award for Excellence is awarded to those who have made a significant contribution to or brought additional benefit to the city. Recognition is given to any field, including business, community, sports, or the arts and can be at a local, state, national or international level.

Nominations are to be made in writing to the mayor, are open throughout the year, and are presented to Council for decision.

To learn more about Onkaparinga's Ray Gilbert Award for Excellence, view the list of previous recipients, or nominate an extraordinary group or individual, visit council's website.


Top to bottom: the Gilbert family and Acting Mayor Simon McMahon; Sue Inglis, Chris Gilbert and Acting Mayor McMahon under the new signage; Artist Leeza Peters and her clay bust of Ray Gilbert, relocated to the entrance to the Council Chamber; current elected members Bill Jamieson, Heidi Greaves, Sue Tonkin, Sandra Brown, Geoff Eaton, Marion Themeliotis, Simon McMahon and Wayne Olsen; current and former elected members Bill Jamieson, Julie Greig (Cr from 1997-2000), Doreen Erwin (Cr from 1991-1995), Sue Tonkin, Cr Sandra Brown, Steve Liapis (Cr 1997-2003), Darryl Parslow (Cr 1999-2018) and Simon McMahon.

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