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chauffeured about town in the official mayoral Rolls Royce, he could be seen passing by in his own Mercedes or BMW.

The investment in promotion paid dividends. His smiling face became familiar in the media. But somehow the image was too synthetic, too obviously manufactured.

Stories strated to appear which implied that there was not much of substance behind the pretty face. Some cynical columnists in the metropolitan press dubbed him "Smiley" Meers. Others call him "The Tooth Fairy".

When Meers decided to run for a seat in State Parliament, he lost no time in ingratiating himself with the local establishment; and Joan Thorburn promptly invited him to attend the Australia Day celebrations in Manly. This lead to a sarcastoc report in the Daily Telegraph:


"Just because he'll be guest of honour at Manly's Australia Day celebrations, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, alderman Nelson Meers, is touted to be a Liberal Party preselection candidate for the Manly seat in state parliament. But this needn't be the reason for his presence beside the sea on January 26. After all, Manly is said to be 'seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care.' Mr Meers

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