Henry Zwar

(1873 - 1959)

During the 1930s to 1950s Henry Zwar was the unofficial king of Preston. Zwar had arrived in Preston in 1911 and established the tanning company Henry P. Zwar Pty. Ltd. An avid sportsman he was the President of the Preston football, cricket, rowing, soccer, lacrosse and rifle clubs, as well as the Jika Cricket Association and the Amateur Athletic Club. Zwar also had links with amateur and professional cycling, swimming, tennis and bowling.

Zwar was a tireless supporter of the Returned Services’ League, and in recognition of his efforts was named as a Life Guest of the league. 

It was during the Depression that Zwar came into his own. He personally assisted hundreds of Preston residents during their time of need. It was therefore no surprise when he entered local politics in 1930, becoming a Councillor.  He served until 1935, including one term as Mayor in 1933-34.  He also was elected to State Government as the Member for Heidelberg, in 1932, serving until 1945.

For his numerous charity works Zwar was awarded an O.B.E. by Queen Elizabeth II. He died in 1959.

Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.