Diplomatic sing-along

ACTING lord mayor James Limnios is bringing some light-heartedness to po-faced diplomatic functions—crooning a Mandarin lovesong to Chinese representatives recently.

Cr Limnios was representing the council at an event to mark 45 years of bilateral relations between Australia and China, while lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi steps down from her duties to await her appeal over the State Administrative Tribunal findings of 45 breaches of the local government act.

He recently hosted an entourage from China, including a choir led by famed conductor Hu Binxu.

Cr Limnios said they were all going through the usual “stiff upper lip formalities,” when he felt the urge to break into song.

“I started talking with them about how important tourism is, our trade, and then I said now that we’ve concluded the formalities it’s time for us to eat and drink and sing”.

“They looked at me and said, ‘sing’?”

• Translator Ms Emma, James Limnios, conductor Hu Binxu, and councillors Lily Chen and Janet Davidson enjoy a sing-along.

He looked around and the crowd of 60 people seemed uncertain, but fellow councillor Lily Chen, originally from China, had taught him the Mandarin song, The Moon Represents My Heart.

“We sang this famous Chinese lovesong. All together, the crowd started clapping, there were tears of joy all through the room.”

He says he’s brought a more relaxed leadership style to the mayoral job.

“I don’t like all these formalities: I want a human to human connection.”

Cr Limnios remains acting lord mayor until the council meeting after the local government election on October 21, when the new line up of the councillors vote to nominate a new deputy mayor.

If councillors Judy McEvoy and Keith Yong—both supporters of Ms Scaffidi—are returned, the new deputy mayor will likely be from among her supporters.

Cr Limnios is endorsing three new candidates—Xiao Liang, Lexi Barton and Natasha Tang.

by DAVID BELL

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