THE empty place where late Corangamite Shire councillor Wayne Oakes would have sat was sorely felt at Tuesday night's meeting in Timboon.
The community man and former policeman passed away last Thursday, sending shockwaves through the region.
A motion of condolence was moved to acknowledge Cr Oakes' dedication to his community.
"This is a very sad occasion for us," mayor Neil Trotter said.
Fond memories were shared between councillors, including Cr Oakes' aversion to cats, his firm handshake and ability to mentor young people in the community, a skill which the mayor said partly went back to his years as a policeman.
Deputy mayor Ruth Gstrein said he dedicated his life to his community.
"He had a great passion for his community, a big heart and a very firm handshake," she said with a laugh.
"His loss leaves a wider hole in the community."
Cr Jo Beard said the news of his passing was a shock to all.
"I was absolutely shocked on Friday to get the news that he is no longer with us, it made me think about the last time he was with us and all the things I wish I had said if only we knew," she said.
"He had a warm smile and his heart was always in the right place.
"He loved working with the youth council, mentoring them to become leaders in the community.
"I will certainly miss having him around the table, our hearts go out to his family, no words can describe how sorry we are."
Cr Simon Illingworth described the pride Cr Oakes showed on Australia Day when his daughter spoke at the ceremony.
"He was as proud as any father could be as his daughter spoke, soon after that he was called to present the Australia Day award and I recall the first words the recpient said were: 'Wayne this award should be going to you not me'.
"Thank you Wayne for contributing greatly to our community."
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