200 years Chilean independence celebrations Fairfield
Chilean Independence Day celebrations Photo:Jimmy Photography
Ms Keneally said NSW has a strong Chilean community that makes an important contribution to the State’s economic, social and cultural life. “Today marks an important date for Australia’s Chilean community – it is 200 years since Chile won its independence from Spain,” Ms Keneally said.
“I am pleased to celebrate this special day with the Chilean community, especially as Chile has suffered several tragic events in recent months. Today, our thoughts are with Chileans affected by these natural disasters.”
Currently attempts are underway to rescue 33 miners who are trapped nearly 700 metres deep underground in the San José Gold and Copper Mine.
In February this year, Chile was hit by a devastating tsunami and earthquake which rated a magnitude of 8.8 on the Richter scale. “Sadly over 500 people died as a result of the earthquake in February and there was overwhelming destruction of local infrastructure,” Ms Keneally said.
“The NSW Government donated $250,000 to the Chilean Earthquake Relief Fund to assist the families of the victims of the earthquake and to support re-building of services.”
Attending the celebrations at the Fairfield Showground with the Premier was Member for Liverpool Paul Lynch. There are 12,248 people living in NSW who were born in Chile and 12,950 claims to Chilean ancestry in NSW.
The Chilean community marks the anniversary of their independence every year on 18-19 September. In 2010, Chile is celebrating the Bicentenary of its Independence from Spain, by staging a series of cultural and patriotic events.
The Colo-Colo Sport Social Club of Fairfield organises its Chilean Festival to coincide with National Day celebrations.
Independence Day celebrations are also known as Fiestas Patrias (Patriotic Festivities) or El Dieciocho (The Eighteenth). Celebrations last for several days, and Chileans gather together to celebrate their independence in a display of national pride.