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Local hero who helped save piece of our history loses battle with cancer

Joan Cootes, left, and Laurie Porter

Rest in peace: history advocates Joan Cootes, left, and Laurie Porter, who passed away last night. on the steps of St James Anglican Church, Kent Street, Minto.

Along with Joan Cootes, her friend and fellow advocate for local history, Laurie Porter helped save St James Anglican Church in Kent Street, Minto from demolition.

Sadly, last night Laurie Porter lost a much more important fight – the battle with breast cancer.

Joan Cootes was kind enough to share this terrible news with me and I thank her.

But I especially want to thank Laurie Porter, who was a real local hero, having generously given of her time to protect a piece of history from the wrecker’s ball.

Not only that, St James will be safe forever because of its proposed heritage listing, thanks to the work of Laurie and Joan and others.

Personally I feel privileged to have met Laurie, who campaigned for St James while also looking after her sick mother.

Laurie Porter, may you rest in peace.


Campbelltown Library is marking History Week 2018 with three of its popular cemetery tours.

Reflecting this year’s theme of life and death, stories of murder, mayhem and misadventure will be recounted during the tour of the headstones of St Peter’s Anglican Cemetery on Monday, September 3 at 1pm and St John’s Roman Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday, September 5 at 1pm.

A general historical tour of the Methodist/Congregationalist Cemetery will follow on September 7 at 1pm.
A wall display of biographies drawn from the headstones and history of our earliest residents will also be featured during History Week.

The display will run throughout history week September 1-9 September at the H.J Daley Library.

Bookings for the cemetery tours are essential on 4645 4444.


Two of our schools took out top honours at the 2018 Vocational Education and Training Awards.

Camden High School, took out top school award and two of its teachers also won awards, pictured at left.

Cindy Cunynghame won National Worldskills Team Leader and Aaron Wormald won Commitment to Excellence in VET Delivery for Entertainment.

Camden High student Georgia Smith was a finalist for the VET Excellence Award in Primary Industries and won the National Worldskills Representative for Primary Industries.

Finalist Campbelltown Performing Arts High School took out the top student award when Jye Dawson won 2018 VET Student of the Year and Erin Holthouse won VET Excellence in Hospitality Kitchen Operations.


Last week the then Prime Minister’s wife, Lucy Turnbull, in her role as the Greater Sydney Commission chief commissioner, dropped in on Campbelltown.

Along with other commission staff, Mrs Turnbull wanted to see for herself the extent and nature of development and growth that is happening in and around Campbelltown.

She was taken on a tour of Willowdale, Glenfield, the Minto and Ingleburn industrial areas, Campbelltown CBD and Campbelltown Hospital, and Badgally and Narellan Roads.

The idea was to show the chief commissioner and her team the challenges our community experiences with connectivity on a daily basis and how vital government support will be to unlock our city’s full potential as a true metropolitan centre.


In the next 12 months alone, experts predict NSW will need another 50,000 skilled construction workers and 19,000 chefs.

There’s never been a better time to start an apprenticeship, so head down to the South Western Sydney/Macarthur Apprenticeship and Traineeship Expo at the Whitlam Leisure Centre, Liverpool on Thursday, August 30 and get your apprenticeship sorted.


Anne Parnham, the former president of the Campbelltown business chamber and the owner of the Lighting Centre on Blaxland Road, recently took part in a public speaking forum.

As well as discussing her business career, Ms Parnham revealed she was a keen renovator of properties as both a hobby and as a way of making a dollar or two.

As part of that, she had bought a couple of properties that had previously been used as brothels, and that had been an interesting experience, Ms Parnham told the audience.

“I would be in there renovating and people would knock on the door and when I opened it they’d ask if I was the madam of the establishment.’’


The Campbelltown mayor and the general manager are on the move.

As part of refurbishment work in the Queen Street administration building, their offices, which are currently located on the third floor, will make the move two floors higher.


And finally, if you’re planning to use trains to get around Sydney on the weekend of September 1-2, here’s a heads up – Sydney Trains will close the South Suburban Line between Glenfield and Macarthur and the Southern Highlands Line between Central, Campbelltown and Moss Vale for that Saturday and Sunday to carry out track work.

Buses and coaches will replace trains on those dates.

So it’s probably best to visit if you’re planning using rains to get around on that weekend.






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