Sydney’s Greek community join together to commemorate the Athens Polytechnic Uprising

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The 48th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising was commemorated on Sunday with a special event organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW (GOCNSW) and the Combined Universities Greek Association (CUGA).

Held at the Greek Community Club in Lakemba at 4pm, the event was emceed by Athanasios Kallos and began with a minute silence followed by the national anthems of Greece and Australia.

A wreath laying ceremony was then held at a special cenotaph set up at the front of the stage.

Among those who laid floral wreaths in honour of the 1973 Uprising were the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras, the Mayor of Randwick City Council, Dylan Parker, Randwick City Councillor, Alexandra Luxford, Councillor for Georges River Council, Nick Patris, and Councillor for Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Clare Raffan, as well as other representatives of Greek communities across Sydney and many university students. 

After the wreath laying ceremony, a video titled ‘One week diary of the Polytechnic – by Yiannis Ritsos’ was displayed to the roughly 70 people in attendance and this was followed by two speeches from the Consul General and the Secretary of GOCNSW, Michael Tsilimos.

During his speech, the Consul General said the commemoration was important to honour all those who struggled for the values of democracy and freedom during the Polytechnic Uprising.

“Today’s anniversary reminds us that the struggle to defend democracy and freedom must be continuous and undiminished. The messages of the uprising are today as timely and valued as ever,” Mr Karras said.

These speeches were followed by a number of poem recitals from students of the Community’s schools, as well as the Hellenic Society of the University of New South Wales (Hellsoc), Sydney University Greek Society (SUGS), UTS Hellenic and the Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA).

Professor Vrasidas Karalis from the Modern Greek Department at the University of Sydney also gave a small presentation on the influence of legendary Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis.

The commemoration event was concluded with a one hour mini tribute concert to Theodorakis by popular Greek band, IHO NYX.

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