1940 – 2011
With 23 years of service to Local Government in Tasmania, Alderman Darlene Haigh made a memorable contribution to the City of Hobart.
A fiesty woman who spared no one when campaigning for a better deal, Alderman Darlene Haigh was the ‘battler’s battler’! She entered the Hobart City Council following the tragic loss of her husband to continue support for their local community while rearing a family of three daughters.
The Haighs made their mark with more than 35 years in local government- Tony Haigh from 1974 to 1986 and on the death of Tony, his wife Darlene from 1988.
In 2009, Alderman Haigh was presented by the Council with a ‘Certificate of Recognition’ in acknowledgment of her achievement as the longest serving female Alderman in the history of the Hobart City Council. She served on many Committees, chairing many of them over the years. Notably the Council’s former Development and Environmental Services Committee as well as the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee . Alderman Haigh’s other significant contribution to the Council’s Committees was spending more than 15 years in total on the Council’s Strategic Governance Committee, as well as serving the Hobart community extensively by her diverse and active participation on various local community groups, government and non-government bodies.
Alderman Haigh will be remembered for her involvement in the North Hobart streetscape revitalisation project, her determination for the improvement of the water supply system to the Lenah Valley area and her lifelong love of Hobart’s Trams stemming from her early childhood memories of these running along Hobart’s streets. She was the driving force behind Council’s efforts to acquire and restore three examples of these trams that were originally built in the early part of the 20th Century.
In 2010 she wrote, “While I will never live to see it, I am convinced that these refurbished ‘rattlers’ will run the rails again in Hobart.” Hobart’s heritage trams will be a lasting legacy to Ald Haigh’s contribution to Hobart City Council and to those many Tasmanians who shared her interest in Hobart’s trams.
As a great advocate for Council staff, she remained resolute in her belief in the professional and diligent work undertaken by Council employees, in respect to both the individual and collective abilities of the Council’s workforce.
Alderman Haigh will also be remembered for her strident and continual advocacy for the equal rights of women. Darlene embraced her role as an Alderman of the Hobart City Council with a passion to work for the community and make our city a better community for everyone.
A single mother raising three girls upon the passing of her husband in 1986, Alderman Haigh demonstrated a strength of character and spirit which she equally used in her contribution to her Hobart community.
Her record of 23 years and four months as the longest serving female Alderman in the history of not only the Hobart City Council, but of Local Government in Tasmania is an exceptional achievement. She will be long remembered!