Vale Barry O’KeefePosted Monday 28 April 2014
Mayor Peter Abelson, Councillors and staff of Mosman Council received the news earlier today of the passing of Barry O’Keefe, one of the most prolific contributors to community and civic life in Mosman in living memory.
“I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Barry’s passing”, Mayor Abelson said. “His contribution to Mosman was immense. Barry was an outstanding Mayor and Councillor and our community then and now owes a huge debt to him. Our thoughts go out to Jan and the entire O’Keefe family.”
The Hon. Barry Stanley John O’Keefe AM, QC was an Alderman of Mosman Council, representing the East Ward from December 1968 to September 1991.
He was Mayor of Mosman for a record 10 terms from 1977-1983, 1985-1986 and 1987-1990. Barry was deeply devoted to Mosman and was always willing to give freely of his time, expertise and abilities and to give great attention to all matters.
Barry O’Keefe was the principal architect of the Mosman town plan much of which endures today. He was also a passionate defender of the natural environment. All residents owe him a great debt for ensuring the high quality environment that we enjoy today. Barry also played a pivotal role in initiating and ensuring the successful completion of the Mosman Library in 1978 and the Mosman Town Hall and Mosman Square developments in 1988.
Barry did not restrict his Local Government activities to Mosman and was a member of the Local Government Association Executive from 1976 until 1990 and held the high office of President of the Association in 1986.
Barry O’Keefe was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 and, in recognition of his contribution to Local Government, was appointed Freeman of the City of London in 1991.
Away from Mosman Barry also made his mark on the legal profession, being an honours graduate in law from the University of Sydney, admitted to practice as a barrister in New South Wales in 1957, and being appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Counsel (QC) in 1974. He was President of the New South Wales Bar Association from 1989 to 1991 and was appointed as Judge of the NSW Supreme Court in 1993. From 1994 to 1999 Barry also held the position of Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (NSW).
Barry O’Keefe received the Order of Australia from Her Majesty The Queen in 1989 and was also a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2003.
He will be remembered fondly by all those who knew him in both public and private life.
(Justice O’Keefe was also one of the first people interviewed & filmed for the Mosman Faces Project – to view this interview go to http://mosmanfaces.net/stories/barry-okeefe )