Carols by Candlelight, Craigieburn. Photo / video screengrab.

Councillors sing from the same hymn book over Carols by Candlelight

Report by Steve Hart

When mayor Naim Kurt first proposed a Carols by Candlelight event for Westmeadows, he opened a can of worms. However, it seems to have all been resolved this week as harmony broke out in the chamber of Hume City Council.

At a meeting of the full council in April mayor Kurt stepped aside as the meeting’s chair, placing the proceedings under the stewardship of deputy mayor Cllr Karen Sherry. This manoeuvre allowed him to propose that council staff explore options for a Carols by Candlelight event in Westmeadows this coming Christmas.

Cllr Kurt bemoaned the fact that he missed the chance to open the annual Carols by Candlelight festival in Craigieburn last year as it was rained off.

“I kept getting reminded by the community, particularly in the southern part of the municipality, about when they’d have something similar in Westmeadows,” he said.

Mayor Naim Kurt.
Mayor Naim Kurt.

The last Carols by Candlelight in Westmeadows was in 2014, said mayor Kurt.

The first sign things were not going to go his way was when Cllr Trevor Dance suggested Bulla be added to the list (seconded by Cllr Jarrod Bell) – it was a move that opened the floodgates.

One after the other, councillors put their hand up to have their part of Hume added to the list.

The amendments, voting on changes, then voting again, caused Cllr Sherry to lose her way as mayor Kurt looked on in wonder. His apparent simple request for a seasonal knees-up in Westmeadows dissolved into a gooey mess. And Cllr Haweil was quite vocal…

“I don’t want to be the Grinch that ruins Christmas,” he said. “But I have put my governance hat on when we have such ill-constructed motions that we enter into the territory of the farcical…Are we now going to have four Christmas Carols events? Maybe five across Hume City?”

It took councillors 26 minutes to vote on abandoning the debate for another day – giving mayor Kurt a chance to re-write his proposal in time for this week’s meeting.

On Monday 10 June he proposed a simpler motion – that council staff investigate holding Carols by Candlelight events across the city, with any events paid for under the council’s existing budget. The motion was seconded by Cllr Haweil.

Hallelujah. That wasn’t hard was it?

Below…The council’s promo video for the abandoned 2023 Craigieburn Carols by Candlelight event.

Carols by Candlelight returns in 2023