Tributes flow for ‘Blacktown’s favourite son’

Tributes have flowed for well-loved Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale, who died suddenly last week.

Cr Bleasdale is being remembered as a larger than life character and a man of decency and integrity who had a passion for working tirelessly for his community.

Deputy Mayor Chris Quilkey announced Cr Bleasdale’s passing in a statement on May 3.

“It was with great sadness that we learned the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Tony Bleasdale OAM, passed away suddenly last night,” he said.

Cr Bleasdale was Mayor of Blacktown since 2019 and a councillor since 1996.

He as born in Liverpool, England, the son of a dockworker in 1946 and sailed to Australia at the age of 15 to being a new life, as part of the Big Brother movement.

Arriving in 1963, he enjoyed a long and varied career, as a bricklayer, union official, and successful business owner before forging a career in local government.

Champion for Western Sydney

Cr Quilkey said Tony’s warm and engaging personality led him to cement many friendships across Sydney after arriving from the United Kingdom in 1963.

“Tony was a strong advocate for the area and a champion for Western Sydney,” he said.

“He was proud of the incredible diversity of Blacktown City and passionate about delivering services and opportunities for its residents and businesses.”

When elected Mayor in 2019, Tony proved a visionary leader in transforming the city to better serve a growing population and was a passionate advocate for First Nations people, Cr Quilkey said.

“He was loved by his community and he loved it back, with a generous heart and a genuine commitment to a bright future.”

A generous man with a big heart

In a joint statement, NSW Premier Chris Minns, Deputy Premier Pru Car, Local Government Minister Ron Hoenig and Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Public spaces Stephen Bali said Blacktown has lost a great servant and favourite son.

“Always grateful for the opportunities he received here, Tony spent much of his life giving back,” they said.

“As Mayor of Blacktown, he worked tirelessly to develop Sydney’s West, with a particular passion for helping his disadvantaged constituents.

“He was a generous man with a big heart. His legacy is written across Blacktown.”

Genuine and unwavering commitment

The Greater Blacktown Business Chamber said Cr Bleasdale worked tirelessly for the people of Blacktown for three decades, and for the broader labour movement his whole working life.

President Trevor Oldfield noted he was working on his passion to provide opportunites for the people of Blacktown when he died.

“The support Tony gave the Blacktown Chamber was nothing short of outstanding,” he said.

“His vision for Blacktown included the growth of the business community and he did his utmost to invest in all that our Chamber stood for.  We will be forever grateful for his genuine and unwavering commitment.”

Mr Oldfield described Cr Bleasdale as a a larger-than-life character who made a positive impact everywhere he went.

“Countless Western Sydney lives were touched by his efforts. Tony was a man of great integrity and decency matched only by his work ethic. Western Sydney has lost a great warrior.”

A wonderful husband, father, grandfather, mentor and best friend

Cr Bleasdale is survived by nis wife Nina and their children.

In a statement on social media, the Bleasdale family thanked everyone who had sent prayers and condolences.

“Our father loved helping people- it was his DNA,” they said.

They said Cr Bleasdale loved nothing more than his family and the community of Blacktown.

He also loved being a part of a multicultural community and took pride in acknowledging the Indigenous community and Darug land, they said.

“He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, mentor and best friend to our family.”

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One thought on “Tributes flow for ‘Blacktown’s favourite son’

  1. So sorry to hear of the passing of Tony, me and Tony lived next door to each other and were the best of mates since childhood, my sympathy to his wife Nina and all of Tony’s family both here in Liverpool and Australia.

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