City of Canterbury Bankstown in Sydney goes Hellenic for Greek Independence Day

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Hellenic spirit took over the City of Canterbury Bankstown in south-west Sydney on Tuesday as part of early celebrations for Greek Independence Day on March 25.

Over 60 people turned up to the Earlwood Senior Citizens Centre at 10am to watch as the Greek flag was raised proudly outside the building.

Flag raising ceremony. All photos copyright: The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.
People at the flag raising ceremony.

Everyone then moved indoors for formal proceedings in front of a number of official guests including Member for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis MP; City of Canterbury Bankstown Councillor and Deputy Mayor Clare Raffan; Councillor Barbara Coorey; Councillor Jessie Nguyen; the Manager of Community and Cultural Services at Canterbury Bankstown Libraries, Garry Starr; the Co-ordinator of Programs and Partnerships at Canterbury Bankstown Libraries, Renata Rekiel; many other Councillors from the Canterbury/Budjar Ward; author and historian, Leonard Janiszewski; and photographer, Effy Alexakis.

Official guests including the Deputy Mayor (right) and Sophie Cotsis MP (second from right).
Everyone enjoyed the celebrations.
Members of the Bankstown Greek Older Women’s Network.

Deputy Mayor Raffan gave a small speech and attempted to speak Greek with the words ‘Zito i Ellas, Zito Australia.’ She also praised the contribution of the Greek diaspora to Australia.

“It is timely we acknowledge this special milestone not only for Greek Australians living in our City, but for all Greeks living in Australia,” the Deputy Mayor said.

Greek Independence Day display.
Posing for photos with the resident teddy bear.
Books by Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis.

“The Greek community has added much to our nation’s history and success. It has shown extraordinary initiative in working with council to strengthen the multicultural fabric of our community and drive our local economy.”

This speech was followed by traditional Greek dancing performances by the Bankstown Greek Older Women’s Network. Afterwards, a morning tea was served before Mr Janiszewski gave a lecture on the first Greeks in Australia and Greek Australian history more broadly.

Morning tea.
Greek dancing performances.
More Greek dancing.
Leonard Janiszewski giving his lecture.

The celebrations concluded with the singing of the National Anthems of Greece and Australia by primary students from All Saints Grammar School at Belmore.

All Saints Grammar School students.
Singing the national anthems.
All Saints Grammar School students.

*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos.

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