Celebrations held across Australia to mark Greece’s Independence Day

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Greek communities across Australia celebrated the 202nd anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution this year with a number of exciting events, wreath laying and flag raising ceremonies.

Here’s our list of how Greek Independence Day celebrations went across Australia:

New South Wales:

Due to the NSW state election on March 25 this year, celebrations started early for Greek Independence Day with a flag-raising ceremony and program of cultural activities organised by AHEPA NSW Inc in Rockdale on Friday, March 17.

On Friday, March 24, AHEPA Australia held a National Day commemorative dinner at the Ashbury Pan Arcadian Federation Club, whilst on Saturday, March 25, there was also a Cyprus Taverna Night at the Cyprus Club in Stanmore to mark Greek Independence Day.

This weekend, on Saturday, March 25, the city of Marrickville in Sydney’s Inner West also got into the Hellenic spirit with Tassos Bouzouki performing at Alex Trevallion Plaza.

Close by at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, there was also a mini food festival of loukoumades and tiropites as people visited the school hall to vote on election day. Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen, and Inner West Councillor Zoi Tsardoulias were in attendance on the day.

St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church.

On Sunday, March 26, there was also a wreath laying ceremony at Sydney’s Martin Place followed by a proud display of Hellenic culture, music and dance at Town Hall. The event was organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW and the Inter-Communities Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

Victoria:

In Victoria, on Sunday, March 19, the Victorian Council Greek National Day and South Melbourne Football Club hosted the 2023 Greek National Day parade at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium.

On Friday, March 24, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) held the 2nd Annual Grecian Ball at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. There was a performance by singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki.

On Saturday, March 25, there was also a flag raising ceremony at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Students from the GCM’s Greek Schools raised the Greek flag, while the national anthems of Greece and Australia echoed across the square.

Greek flag at Federation Square.
Attendees at Federation Square.

Apart from the students, many officials were present at the flag raising ceremony including the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Emmanuel Kakavelakis; the Chairman of the Victorian Council Greek National Day, Tony Tsourdalakis; the President of the GCM’s Language Schools, Maria Bakalidou; Dr Marinis Pirpiris, Nick Dallas and others.

Elsewhere on Saturday, March 25, the Hellenic RSL Sub Branch in Melbourne also marked Greek Independence Day with a wreath laying ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial.

South Australia:

In South Australia, the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, George Psiachas, held an official reception for the celebration of Greek Independence Day at the Adelaide Pavilion on Saturday, March 25. In attendance were government representatives, as well as Presidents and representatives from Greek associations in South Australia.

Consul General event.

The Messinian Association of SA also held a wreath laying ceremony at the West Torrens Memorial Gardens on Saturday.

Representatives at the Messinian event.

On Sunday, March 26, the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) gathered for a church service to mark the Annunciation of the Theotokos and a wreath laying service to celebrate Greek Independence Day.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (Archdiocesan District of Adelaide) also held on Sunday a Matins, Divine Liturgy and Doxology in the Archiepiscopal Church of Saint Sophia, Bowden, officiated by Bishop Silouan of Sinope.

There was also a Memorial Service at the North Terrace War Memorial and a wreath laying ceremony followed by a parade to the Torrens Parade Ground. At the Torrens Parade Ground, there were songs, poems and traditional dance performances by students.

Torrens Parade Ground.
Torrens Parade Ground.

Western Australia:

The Consulate of Greece in Perth organised a well attended wreath laying ceremony at Kings Park State War Memorial on Sunday, March 26 to commemorate the 202nd anniversary of Greece’s Independence Day.

The ceremony opened with a blessing by the Reverend Fathers, followed by poems and songs by the students of the Greek Orthodox St Andrew’s Grammar School, the Immaculate Heart College, and the Greek Language and Culture Institute of Evangelismos.

Attendees.

Australian and Greek dignitaries paid their tribute by laying their wreaths and the ceremony was concluded with speeches by the Consul of Greece in Perth, Georgia Karasiotou; Dan Caddy MLC, representing the Premier of WA; and Tjorn Sibma MLC, representing the Leader of the Opposition. Among the guests were also the former Governor of Western Australia, Dr Ken Michael AC and the Lord Mayor of Perth, Basil Zempilas. 

Official guests.

The usual Doxology, presided by Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea, took place the previous day, along with the feast Service of Evangelismos, at the Church of Evangelismos. The Greek Orthodox Community of WA – Evangelismos held their feast day lunch right after at Alexander the Great function hall. On the evening of the 25th, the Hellenic Club of WA held a 25th March Independence Day Dinner Dance.

Australian Capital Territory:

Over the weekend, the Greek community of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) came together to celebrate Greek Independence Day and showcase their love for their faith, language, food, dancing and culture.

Canberra youth.

On Saturday, March 25, buildings such as the Hellenic Club of Canberra, the Carillon Bell Tower, the National Museum of Australia and Old Parliament House were all lit in the colours of the Greek flag. 40 Greek flags were also flying proudly across Canberra.

On Sunday, March 26, there was a Divine Liturgy, Memorial Service, wreath laying ceremony and luncheon at the Hellenic Club of Canberra to celebrate Greek Independence Day.

Northern Territory:

In the Northern Territory, the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia and the Darwin Greek Orthodox School honoured Greece’s National Day in the presence of Bishop Silouan of Sinope.

On the day, there was a wreath laying ceremony followed by a school celebration featuring poem recital and Greek dancing by the OPA School of Hellenic Dance.

Tasmania:

The Greek Community of Tasmania held a Doxology service and wreath laying ceremony on Sunday, March 26 at St Georges Greek Orthodox Church in Hobart. Wreaths were laid by a number of local Greek community Presidents and representatives.

Students from Hobart’s local Greek school recited poems and the National Anthems of Greece and Australia were sung.

Queensland:

Over the weekend, the Greek Orthodox Community of St George in Brisbane held a Doxology service and wreath laying ceremony.

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