Parramatta City Council - No longer a town, a City!
To mark the 75th anniversary of Parramatta being declared a City – a status bestowed by the State Government on October 27 1938, Parramatta City Council held a small reception on the lawns of St John’s Church, Parramatta today.
Among the attendees were Council’s first Lord Mayor, Alan Hyam, former Lord Mayor John Haines, Parramatta Leagues Club President Alan Overton, and David Shakespeare from the Historical Society.
Lord Mayor of Parramatta Cr John Chedid said today’s event was an opportunity to mark a special occasion in Parramatta’s history.
“It was a major symbolic event for the people of Parramatta that elevated it from being a suburb to a city,” Cr Chedid said.
“The elevation didn’t come without a fight however, with numerous requirements and red tape thrown at previous leaders threatening any attempts to classify it a city”, Cr Chedid said.
The Cumberland Argus newspaper, a key campaigner for Parramatta's elevation to city status wrote:
“Whatever red tape may have required, common sense and justice demanded due recognition of Parramatta's historic importance and of the great part it played in laying, as it were, the foundation stone on which this great Commonwealth has been built,” October 26, 1938.
“I’d like to recognise the Council at the time for its dedication and persistence in achieving the city status, in particular the Mayor, William John Irwin, who was the driving force behind its success,” Cr Chedid said.
Serving on Council during 1936-1939, Irwin first became mayor in 1938, holding the title for one year. He was also the first Parramatta Mayor to wear the Robe and Chain of Office, a custom that continues to this day.
In his Mayoral minute, following the official declaration made by then NSW Governor Lord Wakehurst, Irwin announced:
“It is my pleasing duty to formally report that on the 27th day of October last, from the Official Platform opposite this Hall at 12.8 in the afternoon, His Excellency, The Lord Wakehurst, stated that he had that day, as the Representative of His Majesty the King, signed the assent to an Act entitled Local Government (City of Parramatta) Bill 1938 passed by the Parliament of this State whereby the Municipality of Parramatta was proclaimed a City.”
Fifty years later, on Parramatta's 200th birthday, Queen Elizabeth II, in response to a recommendation by the State Government, elevated the title of Mayor to Lord Mayor.
Catherine Orzinski, Communications Officer, Parramatta City Council, Tel: 9806 5669 Email: email@example.com