Keith Adams

One of the stories from the 2013 project: Who were they? People who shaped Victor Harbor and for whom our parks and reserves are named.

Adams Reserve is quite a large one, with well grown trees and bounded by White Crescent, Encounter Bay.

This reserve is named for Keith Adams, a former Clerk of the District Council of Encounter Bay and the first Clerk of the District Council of Victor Harbor at the amalgamation of the two Councils in 1975. The Council Chambers for Encounter Bay were then in Crozier Road.

In 1973 the community of Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay were faced with the news that an Adelaide consortium intended to ask for planning permission to build a casino on Encounter Bay land owned by a leading Adelaide business man. Citizens voted overwhelmingly against the proposal at a meeting of ratepayers and the project seemed abandoned. But in 1974 the project was presented again, gift-wrapped with a packet of ‘goodies’. With many for and many against the project, Keith Adams, as Clerk of the District Council of Encounter Bay, would have been kept very busy dealing with the issue.

In mid 1975 the long-discussed amalgamation of the Victor Harbor and Encounter Bay Councils seemed ready to go ahead. It was an initiative by the Department of Local Government for the sake of economy and efficiency, and had been talked about since the 1930s. It was always thought that the Port Elliot-Goolwa Council would participate in the amalgamation, but when it came to the point that Council decided to keep its independence. On 31 October 1975 the two Councils, separated since 1912, came together again as the District Council of Victor Harbor. Keith Adams, who had been District Clerk of Encounter Bay, became the first District Clerk of Victor Harbor.

Keith Adams also appears to have been part of the upheaval of the Council in the early 1980s. There was much criticism as some felt the Council was spending too much money, others felt money was being spent on the wrong things and still others wanted the Council to do more, but somehow spend less money in the process.

Finally, in November 1981 the State Planning Authority stripped the Council of their planning powers and in December 1981 appointed Russell Arland, a former Town Clerk of the city of Adelaide, as Administrator. He served for seven months and had the desired effect of calming troubled waters. The Council was reinstated in July 1982 and settled down to a new era.

In 1984 Keith Adams accepted appointment as Town Clerk of Unley.