LANDMARKS OF LENNOX: PAT MORTON LOOKOUT
By Robyn Hargrave
On 26 March 1977 the lookout atop Lennox Headland, offering an iconic view north along Seven Mile Beach towards Cape Byron, was opened by its namesake, Pat (Philip Henry) Morton. The long awaited coast road between Ballina and Lennox Head was simultaneously declared open.
Now a launch pad for hang and para gliders and vantage point to watch surfers and whales, the land was donated by John (Jack) Stuart Easter specifically for a viewing spot. Owner of the property from 1953, the former Member for Lismore (1953-59), found that ‘a road through the middle made it very awkward to run as a dairy farm.’
Pat Morton (1910-1999) attended Lismore Primary and High Schools, living with his parents near St Carthage’s Cathedral until 1925. Following his father’s (Arthur Richmond) interest in local politics, he later became Mayor of Mosman in 1945, MLA for Mosman 1947-72, Opposition Leader 1955-59 and Minister for Local Government and Highways 1965-72.
During these latter years, he became associated with development of the coast road after receiving a deputation from Tintenbar Shire Council in 1970. Seemingly enamoured of the area, Pat Morton contributed $2,500 towards establishment of the lookout.
On the 40th anniversary, it is timely to acknowledge the community minded generosity of Messrs Easter and Morton whose legacy is public access to this stunning site.
Sources: Potts A, 2008, ‘Pat Morton Lookout, Lennox Head’ in Richmond River Historical Society Inc Bulletin Volume 19 Number 205, Lismore; State Library of NSW, 2017, http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au, accessed 16 March 2017. Photos: 1. Australian Photographic Agency 00928, State Library of NSW; 2. Malcolm Milner, Lennox Head Heritage Committee, 3. Robyn Hargrave
Readers with information on this or other Landmarks of Lennox, please contact Robyn Hargrave by phone 0412 660 994 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.