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New era of relations between Greece and QLD marked with National Day event

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More than 300 dignitaries have ushered in a new era of longstanding cordial relations between Queensland and Greece with a special commemoration of Greece’s Independence Day hosted by newly-appointed Honorary Consul General of Greece in Queensland George Mastrocostas in Brisbane on Monday, March 25.

Dignitaries included Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek (as a representative for the Leader of the Opposition, David Crisafulli), Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, and Melissa O’Rourke, the State Director for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Mastrocostas said Greek Independence Day was a pivotal moment in establishing the principles of democracy, justice and equality that bound Greece with Australia today.

“As we celebrate Greek Independence Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, justice, and equality for all,” Mr Mastrocostas told attending guests.

“Let us draw inspiration from the courage and determination of those who came before us, and strive to build a future defined by peace, prosperity, and unity.”

The Greek revolt ignited on March 25, 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras boldly hoisted the revolutionary flag over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese in an act of defiance against the oppressive Ottoman Empire, which ruled Greece for nearly four centuries. 

Since that historic moment, the resounding cry “Freedom or Death” has epitomised the spirit of the revolution.

(L-R) George Mastrocostas, Ying Mastrocostas, Bico Athanasas and Denny Palmos. Photo by Glenn Hunt.
(L-R) George Mastrocostas, Ying Mastrocostas, Bico Athanasas and Denny Palmos. Photo: Glenn Hunt.

Mr Mastrocostas said Greek Independence Day commemorated the courage, resilience, and unwavering spirit of the Greek people as they fought for their freedom and sovereignty.

“The struggle for independence was not merely a battle for territorial liberation, but a fight for the preservation of identity, culture, and the values that define the Greek nation,” Mr Mastrocostas said.

“It was a testament to the enduring legacy of democracy, philosophy, and art that originated in ancient Greece and continue to inspire the world to this day.

“We pay tribute to the heroes of the Greek War of Independence whose sacrifices paved the way for the birth of modern Greece. Their indomitable spirit and commitment to liberty serve as an enduring reminder of the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

“One group of such heroes at the time were The Evzones – an elite Greek combat regiment of mountain soldiers and who today serve as members of the illustrious Presidential Guard.

“On this auspicious occasion, I extend my warmest wishes to the Greek community in Queensland, as well as to all those Philhellenes who share in the spirit of Greek Independence Day.

“May the bonds of friendship between Greece and Queensland continue to flourish, and may the ideals of freedom and democracy continue to shine brightly for generations to come.”

The event also hosted the Evzones Collection by Nick Bourdaniotis, a showcase of the elite unit of the Presidential Guard, the Evzones, as a powerful tribute to Greece’s favourite sons and the values they represent.

Dignitaries (in addition, alongside Mr Mastrocostas) included: Mr George Mastrocostas; Bishop Emilianos of Meloa; Reverend Fathers; Mr John Paul Langbroek MP; Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner; The Honourble Anthe Philippides; His Honour Judge Nicholas Andreatidis Kc; Mr Peter Dowling AM; Mrs Linda Dowling; Colleagues of the Consular Corps of Queensland; Ms Melissa O’Rourke; Mr Charlie Sandil; The Presidents of the Various Greek and Cypriot Communities and Parishes and Associations of Queensland.

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