Canberra Greeks embrace OXI Day with pride


The Canberran Greek community came together to celebrate OXI Day on Sunday, October 29.

It was a day filled with celebrations including a special church service, followed by wreath laying, food, dancing and speeches.

A total of 150 people attended the church service at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Canberra and afterwards, 30 students of the Greek School of Canberra recited poems and performed songs in front of the church congregation.

President of the Greek Community of Canberra (GCC), John Loukadellis, said he was very proud to see the children commemorate the heroes of 28 October 1940.

“Standing up and reciting poems and songs at such a young age in front of a packed church and excelling is fantastic to see,” Mr Loukadellis told The Greek Herald.

“Their teachers did an amazing job in getting them ready and the children and their parents should be very proud.

canberra oxi day
Youth recited poems.

“Being the President of this great Greek Community, I am honoured and very blessed to represent them in everything we do.”

After the church service, the Greek community headed over to the Hellenic War Memorial. There were a number of special guests present including the Ambassador of Greece in Australia, George Papacostas; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis; Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; Colonel loannis Fassianos, Permanent Military Attaché of the Greek Embassy in Canberra; the former Ambassador of Australia in Greece, Arthur Spyrou; the President of the Hellenic Club of Canberra, Andrew Satsias; and Mr Loukadellis.

Students from the Greek School, as well as Canberra’s Hellenic Youth Club, also became involved in the celebrations.

Hellenic dancers
The Canberra Hellenic Dancers performed a series of traditional dances on Saturday night. Photo: Hellenic Club of Canberra.

“This ensures that our cultural, religious and historical days of significance will continue well into the future,” Mr Loukadellis said about their involvement.

“It is our turn to pass the ‘flame’ of our faith, culture and language on to the next generation and that has been one of the biggest reasons why I love doing what we do in our community.”

As part of the OXI Day celebrations, on Saturday evening, the Canberra Hellenic Dancers performed at the Hellenic Club of Canberra. Following the dancing, eight government buildings also lit up around the parliamentary triangle in honour of October 28. 

OXI Day canberra
Canberra turned blue for OXI Day.




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