REFLECTIONS: Phil Taylor where it all started at Taylors Corner. INSET: A screen grab from the Rebel Films documentary Taylor Made of a young Phil Taylor taking part in an early instalment of the Banana Festival.
REFLECTIONS: Phil Taylor where it all started at Taylors Corner. INSET: A screen grab from the Rebel Films documentary Taylor Made of a young Phil Taylor taking part in an early instalment of the Banana Festival. Scott Powick

Mayor of the South celebrates milestones

MURWILLUMBAH'S 'Mayor of the South' Phil Taylor is this week celebrating his 68th birthday and found it reason to reflect on his time in the town and certain "unique” connections he's made involving the past and present.

Mr Taylor said "people like to get away from the disasters and police chases and all the terrible things and get a bit of a laugh out of old Phil”, and wanted to share a few milestones he's set to celebrate.

The Murwillumbah-born character, who launched Taylor Made Car Sales and Hire in 1984, has been making a life for himself in cars and mechanics since he began working the yard of the family-run Taylors Corner service station on Ewing St, not long after his eighth birthday.

"Mum asked me what I wanted to do and I said all I wanted to do was work the shop. Her eyes just lit up ... and the rest, as they say, is history,” he said.

Mr Taylor said his family bought the place following the 1954 flood, and that "floods have always been kind to the Taylors”.

The larger-than-life character said he still has plans of walking away from his Prospero St operation and selling up after cleaning the facility following the recent flood, and thinks it will take him a year or two to get things the way he wants them.

In addition to celebrating 60 years since beginning work and his 68th birthday, Mr Taylor said this week was also the anniversary of him getting licensed to drive.

"I thought it was a bit unique I got my licence when I did, too,” he said.

"See, my birthday was on the first, and I went then and failed and the guy said 'come back on the Tuesday', which worked out really good because Tuesday was the 6th - 6/6/1966.

"So five days after my birthday, I went and got my licence in a Ford Zephyr that my dad won in a Banana Festival raffle,” he said.

"So that car was won by the president of the Banana Festival and the ticket was drawn by Geoff Smith's wife.

"Everyone thought it was rigged because the president won it but they were only out to support the festival.”

Other connections the local legend wanted to point out include the registration plate of the car they won.

"I can tell you the registration number, BJC-020,” he said.

"And that was Bill and Jean's car, because my mother was Jean, my father was Bill, and C for car, and they must have won that the year I started pumping (fuel).”