Former Mayor and Member for Bunbury John Castrilli, along with his wife Loretta, have received our community’s highest honour with both being made an Honorary Freeman of the City at a special event on Friday, 5 May.
The last residents to achieve the honour were former Mayor Ern Manea and his wife Snookie who received the status in 1997.
Freeman of the City is a formal honour that recognises distinguished service to the community and takes into account length of service, level of commitment and personal leadership.
Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said Mr and Mrs Castrilli had worked tirelessly for the community for the past 26 years.
“John’s commitment to Bunbury has included serving as a City of Bunbury Councillor for six years from 1991, elected Mayor from 1997 to 2005 and also Member for Bunbury from 2005 to 2017,” Mr Brennan said.
“His leadership qualities were recognised when he served as Minister for Local Government for more than four years, and at various times he has been patron of nine organisations.”
Mr Castrilli’s further achievements include introducing Choose Respect to the Bunbury community; Honorary Citizen of Setagaya, Japan and Ziaxing, China; the honour of Premio Ambassador Passporto D’Oro for the region of Molise in Italy; president of the South West Italian Club; and a Commissioner to the Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission.
Mr Brennan said Mr Castrilli’s achievements would not have been possible without the essential support of his wife.
“Loretta’s support includes attending all City of Bunbury functions with John during his term as Mayor, and she has continued with her involvement in many other organisations such as the Silver Chain Australia Day breakfast and Morning Tea fundraising for breast cancer research,” Mr Brennan said.
“And of course she has always been there to share the emotional and physical demands that come with your partner being in public office.”
Mr Brennan said bestowing such an honour on Mr and Mrs Castrilli was just one way the community could thank them for their many years of service.
“John and Loretta have served the community selflessly and with passion for almost three decades and they have always had the City’s best interests at heart,” Mr Brennan said.
“While I am sure they are humbled by the honour, to be among the very few to receive this accolade shows just how highly regarded they are.”
The title brings with it special privileges as well, including an invitation to all formal City of Bunbury civic functions, plus free access to recreational and parking facilities.