Council split, but D’Orazio gets memorial

A MEMORIAL to late Bayswater mayor John D’Orazio will be erected in Riverside Gardens, adjacent to the block of privately owned wetlands partially cleared by his heirs.

Bayswater council has $40,000 on offer for an artist to create a large bench and bust memorial to Mr D’Orazio, who also served as a minister under the Carpenter state government.

At the first public meeting when news broke of the D’Orazio block being cleared, environmental activist Jacquie Kelly expressed disbelief that this was going on while the city was preparing to build a monument to the late patriarch.

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First floated in 2014 when Terry Kenyon was mayor, the council wants an artist to “work with family members to ensure the project remains in line with council’s resolution, the family’s wishes and is reflective of Mr Dorazio’s achievements, as a remembrance”. The decision was made after midnight in a marathon council meeting, with councillors Alan Radford, Stephanie Coates and Catherine Ehrhardt voting against the motion, with Chris Cornish and Sally Palmer having withdrawn from the meeting at 12.11am.

Mr D’Orazio died in 2011 at 55 during heart surgery. Before he was in state politics he served as a Bayswater councillor from 1981, then mayor from 1985 to 2001. Under his watch Bayswater Waves and the Morley Sport and Rec centre were built, Lightning Swamp Bushland was saved from destruction, sports fields were built at Lightning Park, and he campaigned to start up the Bayswater and Noranda Community Bank

There was a bit of discontent when the memorial was first approved with Bayswater City Residents and Ratepayers Association chief Tony Green saying public cash shouldn’t be spent on it. He pointed out there was already a park named after him, an oil painting, and he’d been honoured as a freeman of the city.

Submissions for quotes close September 19 with work planned to commence March 2017.

by DAVID BELL

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