Over 400 people from Darwin’s Cypriot and Greek communities gathered over the weekend to mark the 47th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
A special Divine Liturgy was held first on Sunday morning at St Nikolaos Greek Orthodox Church in Darwin to commemorate the thousands of lives lost during the invasion.
During the service, youth dressed in traditional Cypriot costumes and holding flags stood proudly at the front as attendees watched on.
From there, people moved to the Cypriot Community of Northern Territory’s premises to take part in a memorial service, which was emceed by Harry Spirou.
In attendance were a number of officials and leaders from local Greek and Cypriot communities including, the NT Chief Minister, Michael Gunner, the NT Deputy Chief Minister, Nicole Manison, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia (GOCNA), Nicholas Poniris, and many others.
The President of the Cypriot Community, Helen Gordon, gave a small speech on the day explaining the history of the Turkish invasion and read a letter from the High Commissioner of Cyprus in Australia, Martha Mavrommatis.
“It was a solemn day but full of pride. A lot of non-Cypriots turned up as well to show their respect and offer their sincere appreciation for Cypriots maintaining their history and keeping their dream alive to get their home back,” Mr Poniris, from GOCNA, tells The Greek Herald.
“It is sad that in this day and era we have this illegal activity take place and it is a travesty that the United Nations appears to have done nothing about it.”