By Melissa Sheil
KALAMUNDA’S City status has been further cemented this week as Mayor Margaret Thomas bought, and donated to the City, its first set of Mayoral Chains.
Also known as civic regalia, Mayoral Chains are worn by the Mayor at council meetings, during official events and for ceremonial occasions such as citizenship ceremonies.
Though Kalamunda was officially declared a City in July 2017, no Mayoral Chains were purchased – a fact chief executive Rhonda Hardy attributed to the City having “bigger fish to fry” with its money.
Cr Thomas said her donation was partly spurred by residents who were often asking why the City did not have chains.
“We’d be doing citizenship ceremonies and the new residents are asking me where my chains were,” she said.
“I’m always surprised when they’re all excited to take a picture with me and want the chains and bling in it too.
“My donation of the Mayoral Chain is a small gesture, but something I feel symbolises my deep appreciation for the City and our community.
“It is such an amazing privilege to be the Mayor of our City and I wanted to help create a legacy for our community both now and into the future.”
The chain was designed by local artist Stephen Castledine and features a medallion with black cockatoos, corymbia blossom, banksia leaves, eucalyptus forests and a serpentine line that can be interpreted as a walking trail or the Zig Zag Scenic Drive.
Construction was completed by Australian regalia specialist George H Lilley with the design including link plates where the name and terms of future Mayors can be engraved.
The total cost of designing and constructing the chain was $14,296.
At Tuesday’s ordinary council meeting, Cr Kathy Ritchie proposed a motion to thank the Mayor for her generous donation, though Cr John Giardina was hesitant to raise his hand in support.
“I’ll support this motion because I respect you, but I want it noted that I don’t like the way this has been handled,” he said.
“What I would’ve liked is for councillors to be told originally – I didn’t know until about halfway through that this idea was in process, and councillors haven’t been involved or had input at all.
“Thank you for your generosity for future Mayors to wear this, though I would’ve preferred for the $15,000, if you were wanting to spend it, to go a community group because council doesn’t need a chain.
“But that’s just my personal view and I respect you for yours.”
Cr Thomas disagreed, saying she had shown councillors the draft designs and asked for comments.
Cr Giardina was a previous Mayor of Kalamunda from 2017 to 19, as was Andrew Waddell who held the inaugural title for four months in 2017 before losing his seat at election.
Neither previous Mayor’s names were included as engravings on the chain.
The City of Swan bought their most recent set of Mayoral Chains 21 years ago when they were gazetted a City, as a budgeted purchase.