After 44 years of working in council, Sub-council 1 manager Peter Deacon has retired a happy man. Now his focus will be on the fundamentals of life in its golden years: spending time with family, woodwork and gardening.
Part of the institution, its customary to see Mr Deacon up on stage beside chairwoman, Heather Brenner, and with her red mass of curls and his own distinctive grey mustache, the two have run sub-council meetings like a well-oiled machine.
But last Thursday, Mr Deacon sat through his last sub-council meeting and bade farewell to his colleagues. After spending just over 14 years as the manager of Sub-council 1, he thanked the chairperson and sub-council members for their co-operation, understanding and friendliness at all times.
In his years as manager he saw four people chair the sub-council: Una Pick, Vincent Bergh, George Mellet and Heather Brenner.
“It was indeed an honour and privilege for me to serve this sub-council and its residents for the past 14 years and three months. A special word of thanks to my own staff for the hard work, assistance and support at all times.
“Also to all the members of staff that I worked with and had contact with, thank you for your co-operation and assistance. I appreciate it,” said Mr Deacon. He wished everyone the best for the upcoming local government elections on August 3, and, “for those who feel they’ve had enough”, he wished a “long, happy and healthy retirement”.
“Lastly, my wish is that Sub-council 1 will out-perform all the other sub-councils and will go from strength to strength,” he said.
Mr Deacon, who lives in Monte Vista, celebrated his 65th birthday on Saturday, April 9 and spent his last day in office on Friday.
He started his career at the Mossel Bay municipality on February 1 1972. He shared some memories on how things were done pre-computer age.
“It started off with a manual typewriter, then a word processor, followed by an electrical typewriter and eventually a computer. Any correspondence had to be retyped if it had a typing error. All typed correspondence was placed in its subject file and kept in the registry office.
“Agreements, title deeds and other important registered documents were kept in a strong room in the registry office,” he said.
He said former Milnerton mayor, Theo Marais, was one politician he had truly admired and would always remember.
“He was the sharpest councillor I ever met. He could motivate a matter. It was his forte. He was always a well-prepared councillor,” said Mr Deacon.
When asked if he had ever considered running for office, Mr Deacon replied: “Not at all”. Councillor Joy McCarthy wished Mr Deacon all the best for his retirement and said if he ever changed his mind his seat would be waiting for him.
Ms Brenner commented on his vast knowledge, skills and experience in municipal matters and how he had always been willing to share that with the political body.
Describing him as “wonderfully dependable”, she said he had always been willing to assist and guide.
She said Sub-council 1 had been fortunate to benefit from his generosity over the years. “We will miss him,” she said.