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The Factory – 30 years in Waterloo

On August 31, 1977 the Municipality of South Sydney recognised The Factory as a community centre. 30 years later 85 people celebrated the anniversary at a lunch held on the premises writes Samantha Van in the South Sydney Herald of November 2007.

Among those present were City of Sydney Councillor Marcelle Hoff, NSW Department of Housing Director General Mike Allen, the founding Chair of The Factory Community Centre Inc., The Ven. Dr Geoff Huard and Cathy Huard.

“My first reaction to Patrick’s [Patrick Russell, Factory Coordinator] phone call was one of shock,” Dr Huard said in a speech. “I could not believe The Factory was celebrating 30 years of existence.

“For me, it all started in late 1976 when I was wandering around the area trying to meet people in my new job.”

Dr Huard came across The Factory, which is located at 67 Raglan St, Waterloo, and “wandered in to say hello”.

He spoke to a young girl there, who could not run several activities and programs.

Dr Huard decided to ask the Head Office of the girl’s organisation what was occurring.

In December 1977, the Anglican Parish of St Saviours in Waterloo accepted responsibility for managing The Factory. “The biggest challenges were staff and funding,” Dr Huard said. “The existing staff left when they learned the church was taking over so we were really starting from the ground up.

“Over the next 14 years, we were blessed with outstanding Coordinators who contributed so much to creating the right atmosphere, having energy and ideas, gathering various programs and driving the place along.”

He also named the ideas for programs The Factory runs for residents. Today these include Family & Community Support, Poet’s Corner Pre-School and Waterloo Before & After School Care.

“There are lots of memories of good and tough times that I treasure.”

Mr Russell said, “We’re celebrating surviving in Waterloo. We’re having other celebrations on December 7 – Waterloo’s Summer on the Green.” The all-day celebration will take place within the green area beside the Marton Gardens (weather permitting).

The Factory presents:

Summer on the Green

December 7, 2007

11am–2pm Older residents picnic themed event

3–5pm Young people’s Christmas party

5–8pm The Factory Community Centre family entertainment party Light music, stage performances, bouncing castles, BBQ, information stalls, face painting, sports activities, and guest appearances. Marking International Disability Day, and local community projects such as the Marton Gardens mosaic.

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Photo: Ali Blogg - Caption: Mosaic wall at Marton Gardens compliments of The Factory

Source: South Sydney Herald November 2007