Charles Jarvis (right) with J.D. Anthony, Mrs Anthony and Mr Jarvis' daughter helen McEnearny in November 1973.
Charles Jarvis (right) with J.D. Anthony, Mrs Anthony and Mr Jarvis' daughter helen McEnearny in November 1973. Tweed Daily News

Tweed farewells Charles Jarvis

A MAN who dedicated his life to the Tweed Shire and was made a Member of the British Empire for his efforts, died in Coolangatta on Sunday.

Former Tweed Shire president Charles Henry Jarvis MBE passed away aged 94 years old.

His son Robert told the Tweed Daily News yesterday, that being awarded the MBE was one of the proudest moments of his father's life.

Mr Jarvis was one of five sons of James and Agnus Jarvis, who were pioneers of the Tweed region after arriving in the late 1800s.

He was born on September 29, 1914 at the Murwillumbah Hospital.

He first made his mark growing small crops of bananas and farming cattle in the district from 1932 until 1966 and was involved in the Banana Growers Federation (BGF).

Mr Jarvis enlisted in the army during World War Two, on January 31, 1942 and was discharged from the First Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps on September 24, 1945.

By September 1972, Mr Jarvis had been elected president of the Tweed Shire Council after spending many years as a councillor.

His most significant, yet most controversial, move on council was pushing ahead with the development of Greenbank Island.

Formerly part of the Tweed River, Greenbank Island was transformed into the land where the Tweed Heads Hospital and Civic Centre now stand. Jack Evans Boat Harbour was created as part of the development.

Mr Jarvis' son Robert yesterday said he could remember the controversy well, with midnight attacks on construction equipment common.

He said sand would often be poured into the fuel tanks of graders and excavators.

As mayor, Mr Jarvis also campaigned for better road and rail infrastructure for the Tweed Shire.

Mr Jarvis was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his achievements as a Tweed Shire councillor.

“That was one of the highlights of his life,” Robert said.

Mr Jarvis also built the first hotel in Murwillumbah - on the top of the hill on Byangum Road.

Mr Jarvis is survived by his two children, Robert Jarvis of Myocum and Helen Mcenearney from Newcastle, and has six grandchildren. His wife Beryl passed away about 30 years ago.

Robert said his most enduring memory of his father would be his achievements.

“He started with nothing and finished up with a fair bit to his name business wise. He had a lot of achievements in the community as well.”

After his time on the council, Mr Jarvis ran a hotel in Murwillumbah, before selling with a plan to build a new one in Tweed Heads. That plan fell through, but soon after Jarvis built the Cosy Motel at Brunswick Heads and went in to semi-retirement.

He later retired to his house at Banora Point before moving to Coolangatta.

Charles Jarvis followed in the footsteps of his pioneering father James Jarvis.

As an 11-year-old, James Jarvis delivered the first Royal mail from Lismore to Brunswick Heads and later drove a coach from Lismore carrying the first white woman to come to Tweed. James Jarvis died at his Coolangatta residence on April 24, 1958.

The funeral for Charles Jarvis will be held 10am tomorrow at Sunshine Avenue Crem- atorium, Tweed Heads South.

Charles Jarvis 1914-2009
  • Born September 29, 1914
  • Joined the Australian Army in World War II, between 1942 and 1945
  • Became a Tweed Shire Councillor in 1954 and elected President September 6, 1972
  • Retired as president in 1974, but continued as a councillor
  • Welcomed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to Murwillumbah in February, 1973
  • Recognised with a Member of the British Empire (MBE) award
  • Was mayor during the controversial development of Greenbank Island
  • Charles Jarvis funeral will be held tomorrow, 10am at Sunshine Avenue Crematorium, Tweed Heads South.

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