Greek Orthodox community call to save Bogey Hole

THE Hunter's Greek community has joined calls to keep Newcastle landmark the Bogey Hole open.

The Herald revealed last week the Hunter icon was under threat by a plan to revitalise Newcastle's coastline, which suggested closing public access to the swimming spot because of safety concerns.

The Newcastle Greek Orthodox community has used the Bogey Hole for its blessing of the water ceremony each January for more than 50 years.

Greek Orthodox Parish of Newcastle rector Father Nicholas Scordilis said he hoped the 2010 scheduled celebration at the Bogey Hole on January 7 would not be their last.

"It's very upsetting that this year could be our last year," he said.

"It doesn't matter what reason it is, it's very wrong to take it away from the people of Newcastle."

Father Scordilis said he would write a letter to Newcastle City Council calling for the Bogey Hole to be kept open.

The Greek Orthodox parish is one of many communities in the Hunter with a link to the Bogey Hotel.

The swimming spot has played a role in the region through the decades.

The Bogey Hole was created by Newcastle military commandant Major James Thomas Morisset who had it cut into coastal rocks between 1819 and 1822 for use as his personal bath.

It later became a recreation space for the elite, was opened to the public in 1863 and went on to become key venue for early feminists who petitioned for more hours of use for women around the turn of the century.

The swimming spot was originally 4.5 metres by two metres but was substantially enlarged in 1884 to its present size.

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