Australian National Maritime Museum holds fundraiser for Greek Independence Bicentenary Project

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The Australian National Maritime Museum held a fundraiser for the Greek Independence Bicentenary Project on Tuesday night at the Ripples restaurant.

As part of the fundraising event, which was hosted by the Museum and the Sydney Restaurant Group (SRG), a photographic exhibition titled ‘The Evzones Collection by Nick Bourdaniotis’ was also on display.

‘The Evzones Collection’ was on display. All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

Over 300 attendees enjoyed this exhibition on the night. This includes, but is not limited to, His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia; Sophie Cotsis MP; Peter Poulos MLC; Press Counsellor at the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, Costas Giannakodimos; Maria Petrohilos from the Greek Welfare Centre (GWC); Councillor of the Museum, Stephen Coutts; Anastasia Drakopoulos from the SRG; and the President of the Kytherian Association of Australia, Emmanuel Alfieris.

The official proceedings began with the event’s emcee and Executive Director of Business Sydney, Paul Nicolaou, welcoming everyone to the event.

Afterwards, Mr Nicolaou introduced the Australian Hellenic Choir to the stage for a performance of the Australian and Greek anthems. This was followed by a number of speeches by Bishop Christodoulos, Mr Bourdaniotis, Mr Coutts, Ms Petrohilos, Mr Alfieris and Ms Drakopoulos.

In his speech, Mr Bourdaniotis announced that his Evzones exhibition will be displayed at the Athens War Museum for one month in 2023.

Next up to the podium was Mr Coutts from the Museum who explained how the Project was established by the Museum, in partnership with the GWC, to honour 200 Greek migrants on Australia’s National Monument to Migration.

“I’m delighted to say that to date the Museum, working with the Greek community, has raised $18,200 for the Greek Independence Bicentenary Project Fund,” Mr Coutts said.

“This will enable 36 people to be featured on the Monument. 27 Greek migrants will be nominated by the GWC, along with nine of the first Greek migrants to Australia, which is absolutely brilliant.

“And with your support, we will realise our aspiration to commemorate the bicentenary by honouring 200 people of Greek heritage who may not otherwise be able to be a part of the National Monument to Migration.”

Ms Petrohilos from the GWC added to Mr Coutts speech and said “the honouring of our Greek families through this project is a way of validating them for their sacrifices.”

“It gives us, the next generations, an opportunity to honour their courage, their tenacity, their resilience and ultimately, to pay tribute to their legacy of which we can be proud of,” she added.

At the conclusion of these speeches, an auction was held with all proceeds going towards the Project Fund. Up for auction were two photographs of the Evzones by Mr Bourdaniotis, as well as a three-course dinner by the SRG and a luxury cruise on the Museum’s Edwardian Steam Yacht Ena.

On the night, $32,950 was raised. This will be added to $18,400 already raised from a range of donors including philanthropists Bill Drakopoulos, Emmanuel Alfieris, AHEPA National Educational Fund Incorporated, the Daughters of Penelope, the Lemnos Association of NSW and AHEPA NSW.

The night ended with guests mingling and enjoying the delicious finger food on offer.

*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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