Russell Town Council 1956-9
Original photo © Russell Museum

This photo shows the members of the Russell Town Council 1956-9 seated outside the entrance to the Russell Library. The room that the library now uses as a workroom was the Town Council room where meetings were held and the town clerk presided.

Councillors in this photo are back row, left to right: Fred Gooder, Frank Dender, Merv Wallis, and in the front Huia (Birdie) King, Eric Gilmour and Ernie Tinkler town clerk.

All resident in Russell, people with a query or complaint had someone they could readily approach in the street.

It was not until 1923 that a town district was formed, when Russell’s population was about 350. Russell became a County Town in 1974 with a Russell Community Council under the Bay of Islands County Council until 1989. With local body amalgamation we had resident representatives on the Kawakawa Community Board.

Today, in 2007, Russell is represented by the Eastern Community Board but not by someone who lives in the town. There is no one left to buttonhole. Groups like Russell Ratepayers, Russell Protection Society, Russell 2000, Russell Business Association and many others are therefore very important to make sure our voice is heard.