Former NSW deputy mayor killed in Mumbai attacks

Former Woollahra deputy mayor Douglas Justin Markell has been listed as one of the four Australians killed in terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai.

The semi-retired 71-year old businessman was visiting Mumbai with his wife Alison when 20 terrorists stormed through the city targeting tourists and killing more than 100 people.

Despite his death being confirmed by his family, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not officially named Mr Markell as one of the four deceased Australians.

It has been reported that his wife has been taken to the Australian Embassy and his two sons, Charles and David, are on their way to Mumbai.

Mr Markell served as a councillor in Woollahra from September 1991 to 1995 and was deputy mayor during his last two years in council, from 1994 to 1995. He belonged to an independent party called Woollahra Action Committee.

With a background in the financial business sector, working as a financial consultant, merchant banker and company director Mr Markell brought to council his financial and management expertise.

He was chief executive officer of office supply company Zions Systems until 2001 and was actively involved in a number of community organisations, including the Sydney Probus Club where he served as president.

Mr Markell played an important role in encouraging Peter King, former federal member for Wentworth, to serve as Mayor of Woollahra Municipal Council in 1991.

Mr King described Mr Markell as a strong supporter, mentor and friend, who brought a "business sense" to the Council.

"He had practical common sense of an astute and very balanced businessman, and a successful businessman," Mr King told Government News.

"He was business like, he was very considerate, he always listened to all sides in a debate, he was highly esteemed by the staff, warmly regarded by the staff and by all persons who brought their objections or their applications to the council in building and other matters.

"He had a well won reputation for integrity and community service through Rotary, through the Woollahra Action Committee and other community organisations."

A Woollahra Municipal Council spokeswoman said Mr Markell had a “genuine commitment” to serving the local community.

“He was quite adamant that council was not to be used as a platform for people to further their political career, but in fact serve the community for which they were elected to serve,” she said.

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