Young girls in white dresses and young boys in tuxedos made an impressive entrance to the Kytherian Association of Australia’s (KAA) Debutante Ball on Saturday, May 14.
Held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the annual ball attracted hundreds of people who enjoyed a sit-down three course meal and live Greek music by Iho Nyx band.
Among the guests on the night were a number of officials and VIP’s. This included the Guest of Honour and Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis, and his wife Christiana Stavrou; Archimandrite Father Christophoros Krikelis; the President of the KAA, Barbara Zantiotis; Matron of Honour, Jacqueline Caponas; and the Patron of KythCare and coloratura soprano, Helen Zerefos OAM.
After the arrival of this official party, Ms Zerefos sung the National Anthems of Greece and Australia, followed by a small grace from Father Christophoros.
The emcee for the night, John Lazarou, then began to introduce the debutantes and their partners. First up was the Matron of Honour, Mrs Caponas, accompanied by her husband Dr George Caponas. They were followed by the flower girls and page boys, and finally the debutantes and their partners.
Once the debutantes and their partners were on the dancefloor, they began to perform a number of choreographed dances including the waltz and ballo. There was also a father-daughter and mother-son dance.
At the conclusion of this first set of dances, the debutantes held the traditional cutting of the cake and photographer Nick Bourdaniotis made a small plaque presentation to the KAA and Aroney Trust. This was followed by speeches from Ms Zantiotis and Mr Mallikourtis.
In her speech as the first female President of the KAA, Ms Zantiotis congratulated the debutantes and the Ball Committee for all their hard work in making the night a success.
“Whilst debutante balls are quite an archaic notion in today’s society, as they were initially an avenue through which young ladies were presented to prospective marriage partners, they are steeped in tradition and it is truly wonderful that we are able to gather here today to celebrate this momentous occasion,” Ms Zantiotis said.
The President also announced that the KAA would be donating funds to the St Elesa Food Initiative and the Estia Foundation of Australia. The Kytherian Ladies Auxiliary would be donating to the Mirabel Foundation and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and the Kytherian Youth Association would be donating to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
In his speech, Mr Mallikourtis praised the debutantes and the KAA for maintaining pride in their culture and traditions.
“I would argue, the Kytherians constitute the backbone of the Greek community in New South Wales,” the Consul General said. “This leading role gives them a natural responsibility to show the way for the future of the Greeks in NSW.”
At the conclusion of these official proceedings, there was another Greek dancing performance by the debutantes, as well as a raffle before people mingled and started dancing.
*All photos by Nick Bourdaniotis.