Greek communities in New South Wales and Victoria gathered at events over the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising.
New South Wales:
The Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOCNSW), the Polytechnic Commemoration Committee and the Combined Universities Greek Association (CUGA) held a commemoration event at the Greek Community Club in Lakemba, Sydney on Sunday, November 19.
The event was attended by a number of officials guests including the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis; Georges River Councillor Nick Katris; the President of the GOCNSW, Harry Danalis; and the newly appointed Multicultural NSW Advisory Board Member, George Vardas; as well as other representatives of Greek communities across Sydney and many university students.
The commemoration began with emcee Dimitri Kallos calling for a minute silence followed by the national anthems of Greece and Australia. A wreath laying ceremony was then held at a special cenotaph set up at the front of the stage.
Afterwards, a video titled ‘One week diary of the Polytechnic – by Yiannis Ritsos’ was displayed and this was followed by two speeches from the Consul General and Mr Danalis.
Mr Danalis gave a brief history of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising in his speech. The Consul General said that even though he wasn’t around to witness the uprising, it was important for future generations to be aware of it as it marked an important time in the history of Greece.
Throughout the event, there were also a number of poem recitals by students from the afternoon and Saturday schools of the GOCNSW at Clemton Park, as well as UTS Hellenic.
The Commemorative Committee for the Polytechnic Uprising organised a wreath laying ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Melbourne, Victoria to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the uprising and those who lost their lives.
Present at the event were a number of officials, including the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis.
On Sunday, the Polytechnic Memory Committee also organised a commemoration event at the Victorian Trades Hall in Carlton. The event attracted numerous Greeks of all ages, including the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Emmanuel Kakavelakis.
A highlight of the event was a performance by the Alphington Grammar School’s Youth Orchestra, who sang songs by Mikis Theodorakis.
As part of the memorial and tribute actions to the student uprising of 1973, the Greek Community of Melbourne’s Language & Culture Schools (GCM Schools), also published a special edition book titled “Polytechnic 50 years later.”