BILL Gleeson counts former Australian Labor Party leader Kim Beazley among the customers he has serviced during his 55 years as a hairdresser in South Perth.
“He was a great bloke; I cut his hair for about five years and he would walk into the shop and ask me about the various photos and items.
“I often think about the hairdresser as a living museum and so I end up answering people’s questions about them.
“I’ve always been a people’s person, I think the public looks to me at someone who can discuss local issues and give them an answer.
“It feels nice to be known, once elected members retire then often hide away but people can talk to me anytime.”
The businessman and former councillor was recognised for his decades of service to the community with the City of South Perth Australia Day Citizen of the Year.
“I knew something was happening because they sent out an invitation but it was a nerve-wracking day, he said.
“During the ceremony, they read out some of my life story including my civic life and my business life.
“I’ve been elected to three different wards around the City, which I think means people trust me.
“I served the City from 1978 to 1990, 2002 to 2009 and 2011 to 2013. I guess my life has been dedicated to serving people.”
City of South Perth Australia Day Awards
Citizen of the Year: Bill Gleeson
Youth Citizen of the Year: Oliver Warlters
Senior Citizen of the Year: Esther Segal
Group/ Event of the Year: Rotary Club of Mill Point