Greek Orthodox Community of SA lay wreaths to honour Greek Revolution fighters

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By Martina Simos.

Even the rainy day in Adelaide couldn’t dampen the spirits of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA) as they gathered on Sunday, March 26 for a church service to mark the Annunciation of the Theotokos and a wreath laying service to celebrate Greek Independence Day.

The church service was held at the Cathedral of Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Franklin Street, Adelaide and was presided over by parish priests Father John, Father Panayiotis and Father Andreas, as well as Archimandrite Mark Papanagiotou.

Inside the church service.

In attendance on the day were a number of dignitaries including Member for Unley, David Pisoni MP; the Chair of the South Australian Multicultural Commission, Adriana Christopoulos; the Deputy Mayor of Charles Sturt, Councillor Edgar Agius, City of West Torrens Councillor George Demetriou; City of Adelaide Councillor Mary Couros; President of GOCSA, Peter Gardiakos; Vice President of the Cyprus Community of South Australia, Minas Lucas; and President of the Ikarian Brotherhood of South Australia, George Gronthos; among many other local Greek community representatives.

Officials.

Senior political figures were absent as the commemorations coincided with the historic special sitting of SA Parliament to pass the First Nations Voice Bill.

During the church service, a minute of silence was held to remember the recent train tragedy in northern Greece, as well as the heroes and heroines of the 1821 Greek Revolution.

Wreaths were laid by different Greek and multicultural associations and brotherhoods including GOCSA, the Greek Women’s Society of SA, Cyprus Community of SA, Messinian Association of SA, and the Pan Ikarian Brotherhood of SA.

Wreaths were also laid by GOCSA Vice President Peter Gonis on behalf of the South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas MP, by GOCSA Vice President Stephanie Skordas on behalf of Connie Bonaros MLC and Frank Pangallo MLC, and by Trian Gonis on behalf of Federal Member for Adelaide, Steve Georganas MP.

The GOCSA President, Mr Gardiakos, addressed around 500 community members who attended the event and spoke to The Greek Herald about the importance of the event for the community.

“As a community with Greek heritage it is important to recognise significant and important events in Greece’s history which shaped the destiny of Greece, including all Greek migrants who have chosen to migrate to all parts of the world,” Mr Gardiakos said.

“Greece, as we know it today, has its freedom and independence because of the brave people who chose to stand up and fight in 1821.”

After the service and wreath laying ceremony, more than 100 children from the Greek Language Schools recited poems and sang songs to celebrate the 202nd Greek Independence Day.

*All photos copyright The Greek Herald / Martina Simos.

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