Scenic Rim to begin search for new "loud mouth"

RUNG OUT: The Scenic Rim’s official town crier John Deeks is to hang up his trademark bell and scroll.
RUNG OUT: The Scenic Rim’s official town crier John Deeks is to hang up his trademark bell and scroll. Contributed

HEAR ye, hear ye!

The Scenic Rim's official town crier John Deeks is about to hang up his trademark bell and scroll.

As a result, the cry has gone out for a successor to carry on this fine tradition.

"The town crier was the newsreader of his day, engaged by the local squire or lord to share their decrees with the community," Mr Deeks said.

The 81-year-old was appointed as the Scenic Rim's town crier in 2008.

He had previously served as the town crier for the former Boonah Shire from 1995.

A retired police officer, Mr Deeks moved to Boonah with his wife Angie in 1993 and was encouraged by friends to take up the art of town crying.

"I'd done a lot of amateur acting, which involved presentation and vocal projection, so it just came naturally," he said.

Boonah town crier John Deeks Photo: Contributed
Boonah town crier John Deeks Photo: Contributed Contributed

Members of the Town Criers' Guild meet annually to compete and Mr Deeks holds the competition record for loudest town cry at 106.8 decibels.

By comparison, the exhaust noise generated by a V8 Supercar is limited to 95dB.

"One of the best things about going away to these events has been being able to promote Boonah and the Scenic Rim," Mr Deeks said. "It's great to be able to represent the region.

"I've also received great satisfaction from knowing that I have drawn people's attention to important things, like giving blood to the Red Cross, by going out and yelling my head off."

However Mr Deeks said one of the most enjoyable parts of his role had been introducing Boonah High School's graduating students during their formal parade each year.

Mayor Mick Kruger with town criers Mark Overell and John Deeks in Queens Park on Saturday. Photo: Nat Bromhead / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Mayor Mick Kruger with town criers Mark Overell and John Deeks in Queens Park on Saturday. Photo: Nat Bromhead / Fraser Coast Chronicle Nat Bromhead

Mayor John Brent acknowledged Mr Deeks' contribution to the Scenic Rim as its town crier.

"I had the pleasure of appointing John as the town crier of both the former Boonah Shire and later the Scenic Rim," Cr Brent said.

"I would like to thank him for his service to the community.

"He has performed a great role in helping preserve an important tradition of towns and villages.

"John has made a great contribution to the region as town crier.

"His successor will certainly have big shoes to fill."

Aspiring town criers can contact the council's community and culture department on 5540 5111 to find out more about the role and how to apply.



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