by Michael Nolan
FOR the past 25 years Esme Chalmers has sat at the back of the council chambers keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings.
Over those years she has seen councillors come and go, so it was only fitting that they recognised her commitment when her 85th birthday coincided with the May 17 meeting.
Mrs Chalmers started going to council meetings after a dispute with a previous council.
There was an argument between herself, her neighbour and the mayor of the day.
Mrs Chalmers was disturbed by the way it ended and she vowed to keep an eye on all future proceedings.
Her relationship with the past few councils has been far more cordial.
"This group here are a lovely, friendly group," she said.
Mrs Chalmers even helped with the petition to save the private hospital.
"They told me at the time that the number of forms I brought back was the largest," she said.
The hospital was also one of the few places that would care for Mrs Chalmers' husband Ronald, who is a returned serviceman.
Despite her dedication to keeping an eye on the proceeding Mrs Chalmers has never thought to run for council.
"I don't have a mind for it," Mrs Chalmers said.
Her run of regular attendance could come to an end soon as her husband is ill and unable to drive her to the meetings.
Unless she secures a regular lift the council will be spared her scrutiny.