Greek Australians of all ages commemorate OXI Day en masse

by | Oct 29, 2023 | Αυστραλία, Ελληνισμός Διασποράς

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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.

Alphigton Grammar students were among those who took part in the commemorations. Photo: Con Deves
Oakleigh Grammar’s Natasha Spanos alongside students. Photo: Con Deves.

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.

Shot of commemorations at the Australian-Hellenic Memorial located at the corner of Birdwood and Anzac Avenue. Photo: Con Deves.

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.

Nick Staikos MP seen at the wreath-laying ceremony. Photo: Con Deves.
Wreath-laying by the younger generation Photo: Con Deves.

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.

President of Melbourne’s Hellenic RSL Manny Karvelas had an MC role at the commemorative events. Photo: Con Deves

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.

Chairperson of the Whittlesea Multicultural Community Council, Kris Pavlidis seen in centre alongside members of the Board of the Greek Orthodox Community Whittlesea. Photo: Supplied/Kris Pavlidis
Victorian MP Lily D’Ambrosio, who is of Italian heritage, joined in the 28 October commemorations organised by the the Greek Orthodox Community of Whittlesea. Photo: Supplied/Kris Pavlidis
Young & older gathered to hear the speech of Bishop Evmenios delivered in English & Greek. Bishop Evmenios who spoke of the power of the word synonymous to the anniversary – OXI – encouraging parishioners to follow on the steps of our ancestors who fought for freedom. Photo: Supplied/Kris Pavlidis

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.

Still from 28 October commemorations at Pedia Greek School. Photo: Supplied.

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.

Group photo in church. Photo: Supplied/Mary Lalios.

Students and parents from the Aetolian College were accompanied by St John’s College and Lalor North Primary School students.

After the doxology in Thomastown, the students did a march with flags from the church to the parish hall across the road, accompanied by the clarinet and drums playing. photo: Supplied/Mary Lalios.

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.

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