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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9301

Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (16:43): On Saturday I attended an extraordinary event in Parramatta—extraordinary for two reasons. The Let's Go Greek festival was extraordinary because of the amazing number of people who turned up and the great community spirit down in what was the old workers club in George Street. It was also extraordinary because that old workers club is no longer the old workers club. On 20 June it changed hands. It was bought by the St Ioannis parish. They sold their St John's Church in Hassall Street, which was too small and where parking was not available, and bought an extraordinary block of land down on the Parramatta River, where they will be able to build a new church. Because their church is named after St John the Baptist, being able to build so close to the Parramatta River and in view of the river has special meaning for them. It is an extraordinary site. It already holds a very large premises, which operated as a club for a long time, with a number of rooms and places where the community can meet, a large car park out the back and sufficient room at the front to build a new church and hold the kind of community events which we saw so beautifully staged on Saturday.

I congratulate the entire Western Sydney Greek community. It was an amazing event. As soon as I arrived at the festival and saw that it was called Let's Go Greek, I thought I might go Greek myself. I suggested to some of them that I would and they said that Greeks are very welcoming and that any time I wanted to be Greek they would welcome me with open arms. Thank you very much. It was a great day.