City of Swan bestows civic honour on Charlie Zannino, Mel Congerton and Maria Haynes

City of Swan bestows civic honour on Charlie Zannino, Mel Congerton and Maria Haynes

FORMER Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino is one of three community stalwarts to receive the highest local civic honour.

Mr Zannino, Mel Congerton and Cr Maria Haynes recently became Freemen of the City of Swan in recognition of their exceptional service to others.

Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said nominations for the honorary title were rare.

“Mr Zannino always dedicated himself to his community, in particular his work to strengthen our economy, improve and facilitate planning and foster an inclusive and creative cultural identity,” Cr Wainwright said.

The popular former mayor has lived in the City for more than 50 years, raising his family in the Swan Valley and managing the family vineyard.

He became a councillor at the (then) Shire of Swan in 1987 and served until 1993; for two of those years he was also the shire president.

Between 2001 and 2003, he was the local mayor and then again between 2009 and 2015.

The council resolved to honour the trio at the annual mayor’s dinner earlier this month.

Cr Wainwright said freemen were entitled to attend all civic events and have their portrait hung in the council chambers.

He said along with a distinguished service record, a nominated freeman must be of the highest personal integrity and demonstrate outstanding leadership.

“Maria Haynes, Mel Congerton and Charlie Zannino have a combined residency of 104 years, all working tirelessly to contribute to the betterment of our community,” he said.

Ballajura Ward Cr Haynes is the second longest continually serving councillor at the City, second only to the late Charlie Gregorini.

She has lived in the city for 34 years and served council continuously since 1989, in addition to roles as deputy shire president and deputy mayor.

“Cr Haynes works closely with local community groups including local schools, churches and seniors associations,” Cr Wainwright said.

Mr Congerton has lived in Ballajura for 20 years, serving as a councillor for 16 years and was deputy mayor from 2005 to 2009.

“As a small business owner, Mr Congerton is particularly active in working to achieve safer environments through crime prevention programs,” Cr Wainwright said.

“He is a keen advocate of delivering aged care facilities in the city and also heavily involved in youth and seniors issues.”

In his role as chair of the Local Government Advisory Board since 2009, he worked on boundary and representation reviews.