Strange quirks a Tourism Officer has to deal with

Fresh from the Visitor Services desk, here is a number of visitor quirks that make up a day in the life of a tourism officer:

A group of seniors just gone through the centre.

One of them came down and told me that the toilets are locked.
I said to him, no way that’s impossible as I have unlocked/checked them this morning – myself.
Kept insisting that the toilets are locked and they can’t use the facilities…
I ran up to check them – the toilets are unlocked – but they were trying out the cleaners cupboard….”
” An American tourist entered the Centre and asked for directions to the Great Barrier Reef. I started pulling up information on flights, and travel agents, but he insisted he only had an hour. Misunderstanding him, I quickly printed off a list of travel agents and handed it to him. After a few confusing questions back and forth, I finally realised he wantsedto visit the Great Barrier reef in the next hour…by car! I tried to remain professional as I explained that his proposed trip would be impossible, considering the Great Barrier Reef is in Queensland: 2400kms away, about 2 days straight driving!”
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Hot off the press (via The day we made rain)

A great intiative and wonderful to see the impact a cultural instituion can have on a community.

Get your sneak peek of the 'Day We Made Rain' More

via The day we made rain

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Do you remember it?

Do you know what happened to it?

Do you have a photograph of it?


In 1921 the NSW War Trophies Commission accepted the request by Parramatta Council to award the people of Parramatta a captured field artillery piece.

The ‘trophy gun’ was received by the Council, placed temporarily beside the Town Hall and a public meeting was called to decide its final resting place. The suggestion accepted at the meeting was that it be placed in “…a portion of the flower plot at the Centennial Fountain.”

The only photograph to emerge, as yet, is the one nearby, taken c.1933 and shows what appears to be the ‘trophy gun’ in the grounds of Prince Alfred Park.

Where is it now? What happened to it?

Was it scrapped? Retrieved by the military in World War 2?

Can you help?

Contact the Local Studies Librarian on

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What do you treasure?

It’s the final week of our Treasured exhibition which explores the collections of private collectors in our community. We opened our own vaults to bring out pieces of our collection not normally seen and contrasted it with what other people treasure enough to collect.

The exhibition makes us think about why we feel the need to collect things, as well as the types of things we collect. So I asked visitors the question, “what do you treasure?”

Here is an excerpt of their responses from our reaction book:

“I treasure my 1965 Holden. I met my wife in it and my kids grew up in it. Its not in mint condition, but it means something to us” James 7/4/10

I treasure my family and dog Roxy”Belle (age 6) 7/4/10

“I treasure my grandma’s doll Lottie” Kiwa 7/4/10

” I treasure my happy memories of having lived in Sydney for 4 years about 40 years ago and also of having worked for one of the Australian mining companies for 23 years (the world largest). I regard my experiences as an intangible asset or treasure in my life” Toshio Shindo (from Tokyo) 21/4/10

 “I treasure the wonderful people who help me in this wonderful museum….”

” The thing that I treasure is my salvation that Jesus wrought for me on the Cross of Calgary”  Rosemarie P. 23/4/10

“I treasure my collection of bar coasters from my travels – I pick one up from every pub I visit in every town I go to. Been doing it since I was 18 when I first went overseas to London. I now have 86 of them from all around the world. Each one reminds me of my trip & the experiences I had in the town I visited” Jerry 23/4/10

I treasure my pin collection. It began when my grandmother gave me hers from the 1920s & I’ve added to it since. I now have over 200 pins that are from around the world & from many different activist campaigns I have been involved with. They tell that story of my activist life & my grandma’s travels. I plan to pass these on to my grandchild -he’s only 6 months old right now!”  Agness, North Parramatta 11/5/10

“I treasure my Aboriginal heritage. What a shame Parramatta doesn’t. In all of Australia, I have never  seen a  city pay so little acknowledgement to the original inhabitants of the land. Incredibly ignorant and alarmingly sad”  Ursula O.

” I treasure my granny’s rose earrings. They are shaped like red roses & she gave them to me when I was little. I can’t wait to get my ears pierced next week so I can wear them!”  Jade 21/5/10

My treasure, shared with many in Aotearoa New Zealand is the heritage Samuel Marsden and Te Rihi chief Ruatara brought to our land in 1814, and for which we honour these two men, Maori & Pakeha alike, Kia ora koutou katoa” Brian C. 21/5/10

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Discover the Parramatta Heritage & Visitor Information Centre

Ladies and gentleman, start your engines. Welcome to the fascinating, sometimes strange world of the Parramatta Heritage & Visitor Information Centre (PHVIC).

Here you will find details on our latest programs, tidbits from the archives or library,  the weird and wonderful from our collections and the latest on getting the most out of Parramatta from our experts on all things exploratory, the VIC team.

You, dear reader, have entered into the inner sanctum.

You can use this access to discover more about the Parramatta region, amaze your friends with your vast knowledge of hidden stories; visit inspiring places that most people miss and be the first to get involved in some of our exciting activities.

We love to hear your ideas and comments so feel free to let us know what you’d like to hear about, see more of or get involved with.

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