House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Constituency Statements

Paterson Electorate: Centenary of Armistice, Paterson Electorate: Strawberry Saturday

10:31 am

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

In the months ahead, many communities across my electorate of Paterson will be preparing to commemorate the Centenary of Armistice. This solemn occasion will be marked by serving and returned servicemen, schoolchildren, relatives, friends and community members. In my home town of Kurri Kurri, preparation has been going on for many months. During the preparations, it was discovered that, at some point in the town's history, a large wooden honour roll had existed, and it had been dedicated in 1918 by the then Governor, Sir Walter Davidson. A recreation of the lost original dedicated school honour roll is being made by Kurri Kurri Men's Shed, and I really want to thank them for that. They're putting a lot of love and pride into this project.

The New South Wales Governor, General David Hurley, was invited to dedicate the new honour roll. Sadly, due to prior commitments, Governor Hurley was unable to come in November, but he and his wife, Mrs Linda Hurley, very generously offered an alternative date earlier this month, and I thank them for that. The Governor and Mrs Hurley met with representatives of the Kurri Kurri community at St Paul's church hall, a humble building which, during the war, was the centre for recruitment, send-offs, homecomings and memorial services for the fallen. It was a real thrill for the kids of Kurri Kurri and our area to be recognised by the Governor and his wife. They took particular interest in the children who had dressed up and indeed the mini 'Maud Butler' who was there. The children performed and put on some really great displays in honour of the war and to commemorate the Centenary of Armistice. The Governor expressed his delight at visiting a town so engaged with its history. In a letter to thank the community for its hospitality, Mrs Hurley thanked Kurri Kurri Public School for its beautiful singing and Graham Smith for his delicious scone recipe. I know Mr Smith and his scones. They are indeed good. Thanks, Graham. Keep baking those fantastic scones.

On another matter, I'd like to make this Saturday Strawberry Saturday. I'm calling out to all of my constituents in the electorate of Paterson. Get up on Saturday morning and start with a strawberry smoothie. Maybe you'll throw some strawberries in a salad, or you'll make a pav and put loads of strawberries on top, but #strawberrysaturday. Feel free to share all your strawberry recipes on my Facebook page. Let's really show our strawberry growers, who have experienced some very difficult times lately, lots of love by buying a punnet for yourself and a punnet—as Bill Shorten said—for the country. Most of all, eat the strawberries, cut them up and just enjoy them. Good luck to our farmers, who are doing such a great job under such adverse conditions in this current drought.