Charlie Lowles will be remembered for generations to come with the renaming of Emerton Leisure Centre.
The late community servant was the driving force behind the public pool, which was officially renamed Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre, Emerton on Sunday.
Around 1000 members of the community joined the Lowles family and politicians from the area to mark the momentous occasion.
Charlie’s daughter Joanne Lowles said she hoped future generations would enjoy the pool and research the man who helped make it happen.
“Dad was quite strong on making sure the Emerton community, and the Mount Druitt area, was well represented. He always wanted a pool that everyone could use,” she said.
Joanne said it was an honour for the family to see Blacktown Council recognise her dad’s service over the years.
“For us it’s just a matter of his work, that all the years he’s actually put into the community is shown in a positive light. And not because of his political persuasion, it was for the community,” she said.
“It was to do with making the community better. That's what it’s always been about.”
Charlie Lowles was a councillor for 27 years, from 1989 until his retirement for health reasons in 2016. He died shortly after stepping away from politics.
He was mayor of Blacktown six times between 1995 and 2010, and award the eminent status of Emeritus Mayor in 2005. He also received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2013.
Chifley MP Ed Husic said Charlie’s humility and accessibility made him a great role model for any aspiring politician.
“He built in me an even higher level of appreciation for the importance of the grassroots stuff that’s needed,” he said.
“He didn’t need the centre to be renamed because the way he worked with people left a mark. They would always remember his help. But I think it’s important as a symbol for people who may not have known Charlie, to always appreciate that someone from their area fought so hard for them.”
Mayor Stephen Bali said it was impossible to create a memorial that would encompass Charlie’s entire contribution to the area.
“Emerton Leisure Centre is a fitting place for a lasting memorial to one of Blacktown City’s greatest community representatives,” Cr Bali said.
“Charlie fought hard to have this centre created and his vision has been rewarded by its recognition as one of the best community centres in Australia.”
Emerton Leisure Centre was named the A.H Pierce Memorial 2017 Facility of the Year by the Aquatic and Recreation Institute.
“I am proud it will be forever known as “Charlie’s Leisure Centre” with his name on the side of the building,” Cr Bali said.
To celebrate the renaming, there will be 15 per cent off and no joining fee on all memberships to the Centre until Thursday, November 30.