Members of the Greek community of Australia were honoured during a celebratory dinner for the name day of Archbishop Makarios of Australia on Friday January 19 at Le Montage Reception Centre in Sydney.
The event commenced with the Choir of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society presenting the national anthems of Greece and Australia, followed by their rendition of traditional Greek songs.
This was followed by an address from the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, who underlined the crucial contribution of Hellenism to the progress Australia.
During the Dinner, traditional Greek dances were performed by the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney, a short audio-visual tribute was shown on the history of the Orthodox Church in Australia and important celebrations were announced that would take place across Australia for the centenary year of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. Emphasis was placed on the upcoming visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in October.
The evening concluded with the awarding of the Order of Christ-Loving to persons distinguished for their selfless contribution to the Church and to wider society. This distinction is deemed to be the highest honour bestowed by the Archdiocese of Australia.
Honoured were Ms. Eleni Neophytou, from Redfern, Mr. Bill Kritikos and Mr. Eleftherios Diasinos from Kogarah, Mr. Philippos Makras from Rookwood, Mr. Peter Deriasni from Newcastle, Mr. Elias Economou and Mr. John Georgopoulos from Kingsford, Mr. Emmanuel Carpis from Mascot, Mr. Stavros Stavrea from Queanbeyan, Mr. Chris Constanti from Belmore, Mr. Constantinos Bahoumbis, Mr. Constantinos Contos and Ms. Fotini Londou from Parramatta, Ms Evangelia Menelaou from Mangrove, Mr Barry Cotter, Mr Stavros Salvartzis, Mr Kyprianos Vatiliotis and Mr Konstantinos Ziogos from Leichhardt, Ms Betty Lee from Newcastle and Mr. Sarantos Zaloumes from Bankstown.
The proceeds raised on the evening will be allocated to the needs of the renovation of the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Redfern.
Dignitaries in attendance included NSW Finance Minister, The Hon. Courtney Houssos, MLC, representing The Hon. Chris Minns, Premier of NSW; Leader of the Opposition in the NSW, Mark Speakman; NSW Shadow Minister for Finance and Sport, Eleni Petinos; Ambassador of Greece to Australia, Georges Papacostas; High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, Antonios Sammoutis; Ambassador of Georgia, Beka Dvali; Ambassador of Romania, Radu Gabriel Safta; Ambassador of Ukraine, Vasyl Myroshnychenko; Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yannis Mallikourtis; Deputy High Commissioner of Cyprus, Stavros Nikolaou; Consul General of Serbia in Sydney, Jasmina Pekmezovic and Consul General of Turkey in Sydney, Ali Sevim.