Members of HMAS Parramatta's crew had an important job at an event held by the Parramatta and District Historical Society on 10 September. The ship's company had messages to deliver from the Governor of New South Wales and former Parramatta Commanding Officer, Commodore Jonathan Mead.
'Your history, my history, our history in Parramatta' was this year's theme of the function, held at Dundas Public School. Highlighting the deep history of the region, the historical society draws heavily on the involvement of local schools to pass on knowledge. This year a total of 14 schools participated. Their hard work preparing for the day was reflected in the entertaining performances that each school produced. The Dundas Public School student orchestra also delighted the audience with their musical finesse as they played the Australian national anthem.
Midshipman Emma Lau attended on behalf of Parramatta and was impressed with the passion of the children for the history of the region.
“It was inspiring to see some schools embrace the theme for this year and focus on the multicultural backgrounds that their students have,” she said.
HMAS Parramatta has supported the event for many years, with past and present Commanding Officers all showing their support.
Commodore Mead has keenly participated in recent years and sent a message with the current crew members.
“I regret that I cannot participate with you today but thank you including the Royal Australian Navy and HMAS Parramatta as part of your event and History Week. I wish you every success for your History Day 2014 event.”
The day was largely organised by Mr David Shakespeare, with the State Member for Parramatta, Dr Geoff Lee MP, and the Federal Member for Parramatta, Ms Julie Owens MP both attending. The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, also provided a message to be read sharing her support for the day and regretting her absence.
“It was great to represent the ship. I had no idea that the area had such a rich history.” said Midshipman Emma Lau after the event.
Ships bearing the name Parramatta have supported the Parramatta District for many years with freedom of entry marches. The stern section of HMAS Parramatta (I) is preserved as a memorial in the location from which she draws her name.