Bennelong MP John Alexander has paid tribute to the local Persian speaking community which he said has made a strong and proud contribution to the electorate.

“I am thrilled to relay a message of congratulations for the arrival of Persian New Year.” Mr Alexander said.

“At this time of year, as the beginning of spring is welcomed in Iran, we all join together to celebrate the ancient festival of Nowruøz.

“As the Federal Member for Bennelong, I am keenly aware of the strong and proud contribution that the Iranian-Australian community makes to our nation’s vibrant multicultural society.”

Mr Alexander said he has warm memories of meeting the Shah of Iran, prior to the Iranian Revolution.

“I fondly remember travelling to Iran in 1971 to play professional tennis and meet the Shaøh, Mohammad Rezaø Pahlavi.”

“The beautiful culture on display and warm hospitality that was afforded to me will always have a special place in my heart.

“Despite what the current Iranian political situation may suggests, Iran rates amongst the highest in terms of everyday hospitality for travellers, a tribute to the culture of welcomeness Iranians are famous for.”

Mr Alexander is pictured at a recent Nowruz celebration in Top Ryde.

” I am delighted that some of Iran’s many festive customs are now enjoyed in Australia, Persian New Year being one of the numerous wonderful events that are celebrated throughout our wonderfully diverse community,” he added.

“I wish everyone a prosperous new year and a very Happy Nowruz.”

Bennelong MP John Alexander, Ryde MP Victor Dominello and City of Sydney Clr Craig Chung celebrated Nowruz with the local Persian speaking community. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO