(6pm, Wednesday 20 November 2013, Trinity Avenue Dawes Point)
Hello, everyone, it's good to see you all again. I'd like to acknowledge:
- Local Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich,
- Councillor Irene Doutney,
- Mr and Mrs Fabian Marsden (Fabian is Chair of the Rocks Chamber of Commerce) and
- Ms Carol Lamb, Executive Director Place Services Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
The lead up to Christmas is always a busy time of year for everyone - and it seems to start earlier each year!
But it's important to make time for gatherings such as these which remind us that our City's most important asset is its people.
It's important particularly that we remember our older citizens, people who have contributed so much to their own families, their communities, and through them, to our city and our society as a whole.
They are the foundations on which we have built; their experience, knowledge and wisdom gives us the tools to shape a decent and caring society; they deserve to live - as they can here at Darling House - with security, comfort, independence and grace.
We want to maintain a genuine cross-section of people in our city, to provide for low-income earners, for young families, and for the elderly.
Only then will we have a truly diverse and welcoming society, that has a respected place for everyone.
And that is why Darling House is such a significant asset - not only for those who live under its roof but for Millers Point and The Rocks and for the wider Sydney community. It keeps elderly people living actively in the City, and it gives them security, comfort and independence.
Next year, Darling House will celebrate its 20th year of operation in this beautiful building and lovely setting.
It's a privilege as Lord Mayor to be a patron of Darling House and I'll look forward to celebrating that 20th milestone with you.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the City of Sydney, I would like to thank all those who keep this terrific place running so well, and to wish all of you - residents and supporters - a very happy Christmas, and a happy and peaceful New Year.