A flag raising ceremony to celebrate the 119th anniversary of Philippines independence was held this morning outside the Campbelltown civic centre in Queen Street.
But as several speakers pointed out, it was also a celebration of the strong involvement of the local Filipino community in the Campbelltown area.
But ultimately it was a reminder of how Campbelltown had changed from a mere 20 years ago when it had a mainly Anglo-Celtic community.
The local Filipinos are now just one of many tribes that call Campbelltown home, from Pacific Islanders to Greek and Asian communities.
What they all share is the commitment to working in the community to make Campbelltown a better place.
This morning the consul general of the Philippines in Sydney, Anne Jalando-on Louis, urged local Filipinos to keep making a contribution to their new home in Campbelltown.
“I congratulate Cr Ray Manoto for getting elected to council and I hope others in the local Filipino community will follow his path in the future,’’ said the consul general.
“The local community of Filipinos played an important role in the transition of the Philippines to an independent country. Indeed the Philippines was the first republic in Asia.
Earlier, Cr Manoto told those gathered on the lawn of the civic centre that the flag raising was both “a significant and symbolic event’’.
Cr Manoto, who was elected to council at last September’s poll, said he was very proud to be representing the mayor [George Brticevic] for the occasion.
Guests this morning included the consul general and local MPs Greg Warren (Campbelltown) and Anoulack Chanthivong (Macquarie Fields) and two other Campbelltown councillors, Masood Chowdhury and Ben Moroney.
After the singing of the two national anthems, the Aboriginal flag and those of the Philippines, Australia and NSW were raised.
It was noted that this was the 11th time the ceremony has been held by Campbelltown Council.
And just four other areas in NSW hold similar ceremonies – at the same time – Bathurst, Penrith, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga.