Vale James Houghton

Published 5:00pm 28 November 2023

Vale James Houghton
Words by Kylie Knight

Former Moreton Bay Regional Councillor James Houghton has died this morning during a holiday to New Zealand, aged 81

He was on a walk in the Bay of Islands with his son Geoff at the time.

Mr Houghton served the community in local government for 19 years and was first elected to Redcliffe City Council in 1973-76, and again in 2004 before representing Division 5 as a Moreton Bay Regional Councillor until 2020.

Straight-talking and widely respected, he followed his father, former Mayor and State Member Jim Houghton, into public life – inspired to do his bit.

Mr Houghton was not a fan of amalgamation when it was first mooted, marching to Parliament House with then Mayor and cousin Allan Sutherland, and other Councillors, wheeling a wheelbarrow of petitions against it.

He was able to see the benefits of amalgamation as a Moreton Bay Regional Councillor when major projects were pursued and funded. He retired in 2020, proud of what he had achieved.

Mr Houghton had a passion for local history and the Peninsula community of which he was an active member.

He also had a passion for rugby league, playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the 1960s and writing his name into the club’s history books as a member of the 1965 premiership-winning side who defeated Valleys to win the club’s first Brisbane Rugby League Premiership.

Mr Houghton, Dolphin #41, was in good company with Henry Holloway, Arthur Beetson, Kevin Yow Yeh also on the team.

He remained involved with the club long after his playing days and was able to enjoy their first season in the NRL this year.

Mr Houghton remained a loyal fan of the Queensland Cup side, attending their presentation evening at the end of the 2023 season.

His son Chris is on his way to New Zealand to make arrangements to bring his father home and said, at this stage, it is unclear when the funeral will be held.

Mr Houghton will be sadly missed by sons John and Lisa, Chris and Hayley, and Geoff, grandchildren Paige, Mia and Joshua, his sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law Darryl Gomersall and their daughters Naomi and Megan, and his sister June Merilees who lives in Canada.

His family said he was dedicated to the Redcliffe Peninsula community and the Dolphins – his lifeline passions.

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