President's Speech at the opening of
'The Chambers'

The Mayor, Cr. Greg Davies, Deputy Mayor, Cr. Jackie Greenow, Councillors, General Manager of PCC, Mr. Alan Travers, Council Officers, Distinguished Guests. On behalf of the Members of the St.Marys & District Historical Society I would like to welcome you here today on what for us is a very historic occasion.

We would like to thank Penrith City Council for making this all possible. I know we have always had the support of the East Ward Crs., but I must make special mention of Cr. Greenow for really getting behind this project, not just this building , but the whole Precinct redevelopment.

It is about ten years ago that I first met with Gary Dean, who assured me that when the Precinct development went ahead we would be in. I had many meetings with Gary over the years and he has been extremely helpful to me. I just hope that I wasn’t responsible for his early retirement. Thank you Gary for coming all the way from Norah Head to be with us today.

I must also thank Mr. Steve Hackett, who has been a great help, Mr. David Burns for providing us with a truck and three strong workers Tony, Mitchell and Zack, to help us move into this beautifully renovated ‘home’. Sid Wilson, Council’s carpenter has done a wonderful job with our display boards and I must give a huge thank you to "Mrs. Everywhere", Linda Sack and to "Mr.Can Do", Michael Mendham, who have both been fantastic. Thank you also Darren & Ronnie, the building contractors who did a marvellous job with all the new timberwork. They are also with us today.

I would like to thank Marie Metzke, the Outreach Officer of the Royal Australian Historical Society for being here today. Marie and her husband Eric, have also come quite a distance and we appreciate that.

We are pleased to also welcome today members of our neighbouring Societies from Nepean Family History Group, and the Nepean & Mt. Druitt Historical Societies. We welcome all the St.Marys Community Groups who have come today, especially the Rotary Club of St.Marys. We have had a long association with them and we thank them for their generosity.

We thank all the groups who share this building with us and have prepared displays for you. They are St.Marys Development Committee, St.Marys Porcelain Painters, The Chrysanthemum Society of NSW, The South Creek Tapestry Group and the Encore Sewing Group, the latter two being part of St.Marys Area Community Development Project.

Thank you to our Patron, Sister Mary- Louise Petro for joining us in our celebrations.

I now come to the members of the Society. We are a very diverse group, which works very well. Vice-President & Research Officer Lyn Forde who has spent years researching the history of St.Marys. Being seventh generation St.Marys, Lyn has lived the local history and makes an enormous contribution to our group. Our Secretary, Carol Volkiene is also a keen researcher and hard working member, Marion McLeod our expert on historical dress has made us well known with our costumes. You will see several examples of these on display today. Robyn Gorman, a school teacher, has taken on the role of Librarian and Margarget Dwyer heads up a team of very competent book coverers. Joan O’Brien our former long term Treasurer is always on hand helping out. Tom Thorburn is our talented Webmaster and I just do the talking. Our membership is growing and everyone has joined in to make today successful.

We are very grateful to Sue Adams, who has been extremely generous in sharing her collection of photographs with us, which has enabled us to mount a very interesting display.

We have a guest with us today, who is very special to our members. He was our first Research Officer, who has now moved into a retirement home, but has made a great effort to be with us here. Mr. Charles Connelly, who gave much help in preparing a submission to secure this building.

I thank Commander Ray Filewood of St.Marys Police for taking time from his very busy schedule to be here. Of Course Ray has his own Official Opening of the new Station next Thursday.

A big thank you also to Rev. David Clark for his cooperation in opening St.Mary Magdalene Church for me whenever I have a Bus Tour.

I would like to thank Paul & Debbie McPherson, of Wade Sheet Metal, for the generous donation of much of our furniture. They bought a new business just in time for us to get the home office. Of course, they are my daughter and son-in-law. Staying with my family, I would also like to thank my husband Tom, who gives me so much support, mostly in good humour. Tom has the patience of a saint. Thank you, I couldn’t do this without you.

Thank you everyone, I hope you enjoy your afternoon.

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