A Magnificent Contribution
The recent death of Alderman Darlene Haigh was the end of the very long association of the Haigh family with Mount Stuart and with local government in Hobart. The family lived at 9 Weerona Avenue and Tony joined the Progress Association (now Mount Stuart Residents Inc.) in the early 70s. He was also secretary of the Progress Association and was elected as an HCC alderman in 1974.
Tony brought many Mount Stuart issues, such as Byard Street traffic, before the council. (There was even talk of a toilet for the supper room of the hall at that time, which took until 2012 to eventuate.) He was also at the heart of the annual Mount Stuart Fair that was held until about 1990. Around 1968, he was responsible for getting Work Order men to help build the original track onto Knocklofty, in order to provide public access to other walking tracks onto Mt Wellington.
As well, he always ensured that the land behind the Weerona Ave homes was mowed regularly to prevent the spread of fire wiping out the houses as it had in 1967.
Darlene joined the Progress Association after Tony’s untimely death in 1986 and was elected as an alderman to the HCC in 1988 to continue to support her local community. She quickly gained a reputation as someone who would fight for a cause.
In 2009 she was presented with a Certificate of Recognition that acknowledged her achievement as the longest serving female alderman in the history of the council. She was passionate about many causes; particularly the restoration of the Hobart heritage trams. She was also a strong advocate of equal rights for women but was supportive of all HCC employees.
As a member of the Mount Stuart Residents’ Traffic Committee she represented both the HCC and Mount Stuart residents and was active in these until shortly before her death.
Darlene carried on the work that Tony started, representing and supporting all members of the community and will be sorely missed.
Both Tony and Darlene contributed greatly to Mount Stuart and will not be quickly forgotten.
There is a memorial for Tony and Darlene in the centre of the Mount Stuart roundabout near their old residence as well as the Tony Haigh Walk with its quirky trompe-l’oeil murals in North Hobart.