Community members, schools and clubs in Melbourne have joined in the celebrations honouring the bravery and resilience of Greek resistance fighters. Enjoy snapshots from events that took place on Saturday.
By Neos Kosmos,
With wreath-laying, speeches, dances and poems recited by the younger generation, this year’s 28 October historic anniversary, was celebrated in every community hub by Melburnian Hellenes together with representatives of the local Australian political scene.
There was a strong youth presence with both day and after-hours school students joining the commemorative events organised by the Victorian Hellenic Branch RSL on Saturday.
The day started with a memorial service presided Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis at South Melbourne’s St Eustathios Cathedral, followed by the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian-Hellenic Memorial at Domain Gardens.
In attendance were among others the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Emmanuel Kakavelakis, who included in his speech a message by Greece’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Giorgos Kotsiras, and Bentleigh MP Nick Staikos, representing Victoria’s Premier Jacinta Allan.
Wreath-laying also took place at the Shrine of Remembrance, with commemorations concluding with a light lunch at the Hellenic RSL Branch headquarters in South Melbourne.
Events marking the OXI Day took place across various Greek clubs, including in Whittlesea, where the Board of the Greek Orthodox Community hosted celebrations at their premises.
Celebrations for the national anniversary were also hosted by individual schools, with children performing traditional Greek dances, poems and sharing with parents and loved ones in attendance what they learnt about OXI Day.
In Thomastown, commemorations took place at the Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish and the flag festival was organised by the Aetolian College, Reservoir campus. Loukia Andrews as campus principal was the main organiser of the event. Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta presided over the liturgy and doxology while Fr George, Parish priest and Fr Sinesios led the liturgy as Agia Skepi was commemorated.
Students and parents from the Aetolian College were accompanied by St John’s College and Lalor North Primary School students.
The festival included speeches, traditional dancing from the Aetolian College students and Florina Aristotelis dancers, as well as food stalls and activities, including a fire truck.
Other invited guests included among others MP Lily D’Ambrosio, Board member of Aetolian College Tony Tsourdalakis, President of the Hellenic Womens Federation of Victoria Mary Lalios, President of the Greek Whittlesea Community Yianni Kargiotis, President of SECA Tony Kyriakou, President of Pontiaki Estia Yiannis Pilalidis, Principal of Lalor North Primary School Elizabeth Bryan and Greek Bilingual coordinator at Lalor North Primary School Connie Diakodimitriou.