Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994
Parliamentary Record 6
Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 Essie had to walk into town from Stuart Park to do the shopping and to check the mail. The GPO was then on the site o f todays Plaza Hotel opposite the Hooker Building. By now, the family had settled. Michael was born in 1947, Patricia in 1949, John in 1953 and Brian in 1959. Mick sold the business in the 1950s and started to branch out into contracting and a range o f other activities to secure the familys future. He undertook pipeline repairs and installation with the oil companies. In the period during which the Fort Hill W harf was reconstructed, he commenced a crane hire company and was involved in sandblasting and welding on the wharf. Roadmaking was not a big Territory industry at that time. However, Mick had contracts to construct culverts at the East Baines and West Baines crossings. This work provided almost year-round crossing at those rivers. Mick and Essie Hannon were close friends o f Bishop O Loughlin, who encouraged the Hannons to send their boys to Downlands College at Toowoomba in Queensland. That is something a Bishop would not need to encourage people to do today because there is an excellent school in Darwin in the form o f St Johns College. In addition to many other charitable acts for the Catholic Church, Mick used his cranes to install the bell at St Marys Cathedral and the pearl shell altar. On one occasion, he donated a Willys jeep to Bishop O Loughlin. However, Mick would not front up for church services and the Bishop often said that Mick had subcontracted his praying out to Essie. Essie, with her seamstress qualifications, made the Bishops robes. She was in demand as a dressmaker and, as well, she made the childrens clothes and school uniforms. Essie was closely involved with the parenting o f their children and she worked with the church and St M arys School to support their development Mick had still not settled down and had a secret ambition to become a hotelier. This ambition was achieved when he bought the Mataranka Hotel in 1964. The 2 eldest Hannon children were at boarding school but the younger ones, John and Brian, found themselves at Mataranka School along with Perry Martin and 20 Aboriginal children. In those days, school was conducted in a North Australian Railways cottage. Patricia boarded in Darwin which meant that the family was split up during this period. The Australian National Railways was still operating to M ataranka and supplies for the hotel came from Darwin by train. M icks oldest son, Michael, became involved in the business and took over as manager o f the crane hire and waste collection contracts at Bishop Street, building up the business from the first waste contracts in 1962. Cyclone Tracy had a devastating effect on the senior Hannons. Their home was wrecked and they had to live interstate for many months before returning to Darwin. Mick was semi-retired by this time. Sadly, Mick passed away in 1985, but his family feel that this Territory pioneer paved the way for the company to go on to become the diversified outfit that is known and respected today. Mick and Essie made a commitment to the Territory during their lifetime and the challenges o f their early contributions have been picked up by their family. Today, the company is involved in crocodile farming, bus transportation, a radio station and waste collection. The company also has an interest in Neata Glass through a family connection established with Bob Neate, Mick Hannons nephew, in 1972. The Neate family is also well-established in the Territory. This is a story o f dedication, hard work and success and is a special tribute to Mick and Essie Hannon. I had the great pleasure o f meeting Mrs Hannon. She was still alive at 1875
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