ISLAND 14-YEAR-OLD LOCHIE'S HEARTFELT PLEA COMES IN FOR HIGH PRAISE FROM MAYOR KAREN WILLIAMS
Mayor Karen Williams reckons the future is good hands if Riussell Island 14-year-old Lochie McLintock-Hill can be taken as a guide.
Lochie came to the attention of the Mayor and the entire Redland City Council when he recently addressed council on a matter important to him.
You see, Lochie had lost his best friend, Ethan Stephenson, in the tragic island road accident that saw Ethan killed when he was run down by a vehicle whilst on his way home.
Mayor Williams was so touched by Lochie's fervent plea to council, that she wanted to praise him for his heartfelt plea to council that resulted in an almost unprecedented unanimous support for funding for island footpaths.
Of Lochie, Mayor Karen Williams said:"There is certainly no need to apologise for your commitment to your education and to your cause on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.
"It is very encouraging to see young men like yourself taking a genuine active role in their communities. Of course, we can never guarantee that tragedy will never occur, but we can always stand by our commitment to make the world just a little better by our actions.
"In the meantime, keep up the great work and I certainly look forward to working with you to achieve wonderful outcomes for our community on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands," Mayor Williams said.
Lochie was so upset at his friend's death, he wanted to actually 'do' something about it so it never happens again on our islands.
And he figured one of the best ways to do that was to speak to council.
"I just didn't want Ethan to have died in vain," Lochie told The Friendly Bay Islander.
In his address to council, Lochie said: "In the past 12 months I have lost a best friend, and a family has lost a son.
"This has occurred because of the lack of footpaths on our main roads. I request as a future voter that you fast track the implementation of footpaths on the sMBI main roads so families on all islands know that their young ones and themselves can make it home in safety.
"Ethan Stephenson was one of my best mates. His death has not only affected his family, but the community and my family.
"I feel at a loss to describe how it makes me feel to know he is never coming back.
"I want to make sure that Ethan didn't lose his life in vain, and I want Ethan to be the face of Change for our SMBI community.
"We need footpaths to ensure another family doesn't gave to wake up without their son, brother or best friend.
"Imagine if that was your son, daughter, sister, brother, father or mother hit and killed by a car because they had to walk on the road because there is no safe footpath to walk on.
"I have petitioned during my school holidays on the mainland, on all islands along with many local residents and truly believe that we need to act to ensure that no-one, especially my family, wakes up to find out their family is broken and another life is lost."
In a final plea to council, Lochie said: 'Please, as a community, as our council, I ask you to please fast track the implementation to change the way we live, to ensure we are safe, to know no one else in our community will suffer irreplaceable pain.
"Please give us footpaths on our SMBI main roads.
"Thank you for listening," Lochie concluded.
There wasn't a dry eye in the council chamber.