Bangalow mourns its 'mayor'
EVEN though Michael Malloy, the unofficial "Mayor of Bangalow", died on Saturday, his generosity and community spirit will live on in the town for years to come.
Bangalow A&I Hall board of management president Sue Holm said despite battling the final stages of prostate cancer Mr Malloy was still holding court and conducting business as usual from his hospital bed.
"He still had us all organised for the next events," she said.
"It was a great comfort to him to know that he had future-proofed Bangalow by appointing teams of people to take over the running of all our events - it really will take teams of people to replace him."
The member for Ballina, Don Page, presented Mr Malloy with a Premier's Citizenship Award last month and remembers him as a man who saw it as his role to work for the community.
"He didn't see issues in a partisan way. If he saw a good idea or thought someone was on to something then he supported it.
"He was a very clear thinker and could articulate a case very well and it was easy to respect him for that."
Byron Shire Council Mayor Jan Barham knew Mr Malloy for 20 years and saw him as an inspirational figure in the community.
"I saw him not long after he was diagnosed and was impressed by his philosophical approach," Cr Barham said.
"He believed life just came at you that way sometimes and you just had to deal with it with grace."
Bangalow Junior Rugby Club president Dave Phillips paid tribute to Mr Malloy as one of the club's founding fathers in 2003.
"In the final months the club went to see what we could do to help Michael. But instead of us doing something for him he did something for us - (he) established the Michael Malloy Perpetual Shield for the most improved junior player.
"At every turn in community work you came across the involvement of Michael, he was always the first to volunteer, to get involved in a fundraising event."
Ms Holm said everyone in the community remembered Mr Malloy's sense of humour and his trademark odd socks.
"When the Bangalow Primary School wanted to celebrate Michael' life as a fundraiser for charity they held a silly sock day with winners in each year receiving a movie voucher and a single garish coloured sock as a prize from Michael."
Perhaps the final word should goes to the Bangalow Lions Club president Brian Grant.
"We should rejoice that we knew him and shared part of his life. He was a giver," Mr Grant said.
Sponsor and logistics director for the Bangalow Music Festival.
Director of the Australian National Academy of Music along with Paul Dean.
Patron of the Bangalow Community Children's Centre.
Patron of the Bangalow Public School.
Venue coordinator of the A&I Hall Bangalow and member of the board of management.
President of Bangalow Chamber of Commerce for eight years, initiating or coordinating the Christmas Eve Carnival, Billycart Derby, Hallelujah Choralfest, Bangalow Fire Appeal, Bangalow Music Festival, Book of Bangalow and Escape to Bangalow campaign.
Wrote and obtained grants for the restoration of the Catholic Hall and the A&I Hall, and for the funding to establish Bangalow Public School as a pilot for the Federal Government's Healthy Lifestyle Program, that includes the Kids in the Kitchen cooking program.
Director of community programs for the Bangalow Lions Club, directing assistance to local families and individuals in need.
Instigated the Sandi Dean Music Scholarships.
One-eyed supporter of the Bangalow Rugby Club.