The Manningham community has lost one of its most respected, dedicated and much loved residents with the passing of former Mayor and Councillor, Bill Larkin OAM, on Sunday.
Billl dedicated his life to the City of Doncaster and Templestowe and Manningham with more than 46 years of service to the local community and thirty years as both a Councillor and Mayor (Doncaster and Templestowe 1979-89, Mayor 1983/84 and 1988/89, and Manningham Councillor 1997-08 and Mayor 2004-05).
Manningham Mayor Cr Paul McLeish said that in 1959, when Bill and wife Helen moved to Doncaster East, there were few constructed roads, no kindergartens or aged care facilities, limited shopping and sporting facilities.
"Bill was one of the key drivers for the development of local infrastructure for a rapidly growing community and adopted the motto ‘We want, We lobby, We build’.”
"Much of the Manningham we know today is as a result of Bill’s tireless community work driving the establishment of facilities such as the Kevin Heinze Garden Centre, the Pines Learning Centre, Doncare, Manningham Recreation Centre Association, U3A and the Manningham Centre Association.”
"Bill was also actively involved in a campaign to lobby the State Government to extend the Eastern Freeway to Springvale Road (now a vital piece of local road infrastructure) and played an important part in the creation of the Doncaster Hill strategy,” Cr McLeish said.
In recognition of his many achievements Bill was awarded the ultimate honour of Freeman of the City, which is the highest form of recognition that Council can bestow upon an individual in recognition of their high service of public duty, outstanding community contribution or exceptional activity that has significantly promoted the municipality. Bill was also acknowledged by the community with the Order of Australia, the Centenary Medal and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.
"Bill has played a vital role in the development of this community as a volunteer, Councillor, lobbyist, resident, friend and loving parent. His input, dedication and energy will be sadly missed but his enormous legacy will live on for many decades. On behalf of the entire Manningham community, I extend our sympathies to Bill’s wife, Helen and the Larkin Family,” Cr McLeish said.