Chris Lewis Defeated 84-22
The challenge for the leadership of the Fremantle Society resulted in a slam dunk victory for John Dowson.
Speeches by each candidate, mercifully restricted to five minutes each, were incisive but, in the end, boiled down to delivery.
Lewis was casual in his approach but his voice didn’t carry well in the packed meeting and his enunciation was poor. He outlined a campaign for better quality in development, emphasised the need to revisit the town hall/King’s Square redevelopment and overall, called for balanced and harmonious development.
Dowson, not widely known for his speech presentations, surprised the audience with a powerful, skilled and succinct speech calling for a robust and independent society which would assist change and evolution in the city.
The atmosphere in the room became electric. The campaign had been rugged and John Dowson’s supporters had been anticipating an embarrassing defeat.
Cathy Hall announced the results, saying 107 votes had been cast of which 106 were valid.
She slowly read: “John Dowson, 84 votes. Chris Lewis 22 votes”. After a few seconds of silence the hall erupted into applause for Dowson.
The count for committee members proceeded for well over an hour. In the end it was an almost clean sweep for John Dowson’s supporters.
Fremantle now has three strong organisations aligned to challenge council and developers and ensure proper processes are followed: The Fremantle Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association (FRRA), Fremantle Inner City Residents’ Association (FICRA) and The Fremantle Society.
By coincidence the Fremantle Society celebrated it’s 43rd birthday yesterday. Maybe this victory will go down in history as the icing on the cake.