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Mon. May 27th, 2024

Tributes are being posted on social media for the first female Mayor of Armidale, Rosemary Leitch AM, who died in Sydney on Wednesday 21 December, surrounded by her family.

Mayor Sam Coupland acknowledged the work of his predecessor on a Facebook post detailing many of her contributions to the community.

PLC Armidale also posted acknowledging her contribution to their school council, where she served as chair in the mid 80’s. They described her as a gracious, generous and visionary woman, and acknowledged her contributions to language and music scholarships at the school as a member and benefactor of the PLC Armidale Foundation.

Many locals have also posted to social media their condolences, and remembrance of her enthusiasm, energy and intellect, and her commitment to supporting local charities and local business.

Born in Sydney and a graduate of the Sydney University, Rosemary Leitch came to Armidale in 1960 with her husband, David.

Rosemary was first elected to the then Armidale City Council in 1983 and served as Mayor of Armidale from 1988 to 1993, retiring from Council in 1997. She was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the community of Armidale, to local government, and to a range of arts organisations, in 2014.

She participated on various boards at The University of New England. She was a board member of the Physician Practice Management Ltd and a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee.

Mrs Leitch also served as Chairwoman of the Armidale Branch of the National Party and was a friend of the NSW State Library, and the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM).

She was a faithful supporter of music in Armidale and the Patron of the Armidale Youth Orchestra (AYO). She started and generously hosted the annual AYO Garden Party in her garden in Garibaldi Street for many years.

Rosemary Leitch is survived by her five children and their families, including 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral on January 9, 2023. The family has requested no flowers.