Mayor fought hard for town amenities
Death came peacefully to the old man as he lay on his bed in his home. He had asked for a drink of water and after being given a few drops, lay back and passed away. Thomas Jack was a living legend of Dalby.
His death in 1952 brought to a close his 50 years of association with the town. An alderman for many years, he set a record of 22 years as mayor.
He was fearless in his views, whether political or otherwise, but he tried hard not to offend by forcing his view on others or upset those who did not think with him. He was a most hospitable mayor. He was a personal friend of governors, premiers, cabinet ministers and church leaders and popular with the general public.
At the age of 84, Thomas Jack’s time with Dalby came to a close.
Though few who stroll through the beautiful Thomas Jack Park in the centre of Dalby would remember him, many have enjoyed the amenities he worked for.
He was born in Dunkeld, Scotland. In 1889 he came to Queensland and after working on various properties he became interested in country store keeping. In 1903 he opened a general store in Dalby.
After many requests, in 1924, he finally agreed to nominate for the Dalby Town Council.
He was surprised to find he topped the poll which at that time meant taking the position of mayor.
As he had no experience on council he refused the opportunity. As he had been a banker for five years he was immediately elected chairman of the finance committee.
At the next election in 1927 he came second in the poll but topped it again in 1930. By that time the law had changed and he was elected mayor by the new council members and through the rest of his 22-year term he was never challenged for the position of mayor.
Alderman Thomas Jack achieved a lot in his term as mayor. Electricity, town water, street paving and of course the swimming pool.
He was on the numerous boards of clubs and other facilities around town.
Though no one worked harder to establish some of these amenities, he acknowledged others and was the last to accept credit for himself.
He always said that every alderman on the council, who laboured with him, was equally entitled to any credit.
Thomas Jack was an excellent leader who was able to give advice, reason out a problem, and in a quiet and unobtrusive manner, set in line a train of helpful thought.