Former Caloundra City Council CEO John Smith has died after years battling ill health.
Former Caloundra City Council CEO John Smith has died after years battling ill health. Contributed

Former Coast council boss dies after battling illness

A PROMINENT Coast public servant is being remembered for the fair and gentlemanly way in which he conducted himself while overseeing great change.

Former Caloundra City Council CEO John Smith died in the early hours of Tuesday morning after years of battling ill health.

He was 81.

Mr Smith and his wife Ola moved to the Coast in the late 1960s when Mr Smith took a job with the former Landsborough Shire Council.

He was promoted to shire clerk in 1971, signalling the start of a 26-year career in charge of the council's day-to-day affairs.

Former colleague of 29 years, Carmel Barr, said Mr Smith had vision for progress of the region as he watched Caloundra grow from effectively a fishing village to its current urban state.

"He was the sort of person who could see the big picture," Ms Barr said.

Projects including the opening of the Caloundra Civic Centre, now the Events Centre, as well as connection of town water to Landsborough, Beerwah and Glass House Mountains happened during Mr Smith's tenure.

He was also heavily involved in acquiring land ahead of the construction of Baroon Pocket Dam.

"He was a gentleman but he liked a bit of a joke every now and then," Ms Barr said.

"He was really great to work with."

Mr Smith was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1994 and retired in 1996.

His daughter Janine Roulston said her father passed peacefully in Dove Cottage at Caloundra Hospital.

"He fought (ill health) and fought and fought until the end," Mrs Roulston said.

Mr and Mrs Smith had six children and 12 grandchildren.

Family and friends are welcome to pay their respects during a service at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Caloundra from 11am on Monday.