President of the Parramatta and District Historical Society, Trevor Patrick, accepted a 2014 service award from the Rotary Club of Parramatta Daybreak on June 20.
Mr Patrick accepted the award on behalf of the society for its one hundred years of work in preserving historical records and promoting knowledge of Parramatta’s history and heritage.
Mr Patrick, 77, told the Sun he was very pleased as the award demonstrated that the community recognised heritage and history as “an important part of our psyche”.
“There’s a saying that if you don’t recognise your past, then you have no future,” Mr Patrick said. “When you treasure your heritage, you gain the future."
Mr Patrick said the award honoured the society's volunteer members, of which there are about 40, many of whom act as guides for visitors to Hambledon Cottage or give illustrated talks to interest groups all over Sydney.
He said preserving Parramatta’s past was important not only to retain our local history but to gain a clearer picture of the national story since settlement.
“Parramatta is the cradle city of Australia and it’s from Parramatta that everything sprang,” he said.
“If the colony hadn’t had good land around Parramatta and been able to farm and make food for the colony, the colony would have failed. All our early explorers set out from Parramatta. One of the earliest, Hamilton Hume, was born in Parramatta.”
Mr Patrick’s four-year tenure as the society’s president will come to an end in December.
“I have always been involved in history and heritage, my parents were very interested in their family history and it’s just followed on from there.”