Greeks lead push to name Sydney metro station after Indigenous ANZAC with ties to Crete


The Joint Committee for the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign is calling on Greek Australians and the wider community to show their support for naming a new Metro station at Pitt Street in Sydney after Captain Reginald Saunders.

The proposed name for the new station was suggested by NSW Transport Minister, David Elliott, who personally intervened in a departmental push to use the name ‘Gadigal Railway Station’ instead.

Mr Elliott moved to overturn the proposed name in a bid to honour Captain Saunders, who is the first Indigenous Australian to serve as a commissioned officer in Korea and WWII.

READ MORE: Sydney metro station set to be named after indigenous ANZAC with strong ties to Crete.

Construction of the new Metro station at Pitt Street in the city. Picture: Richard Dobson.

Captain Saunders also has a strong connection to the Greek island of Crete during WWII. He was supported by the Tzangarakis family from the village of Labini in Rethymno prefecture. He evaded capture on Crete for almost one year until he finally escaped to Egypt.

On May 2016, the 42nd Street Memorial plaque was unveiled in Chania, Crete, to commemorate the Battle of 42nd Street, which Captain Reginald Saunders fought in alongside the Maori Battalion.

‘His legacy is multi-layered’:

It’s no surprise then that the Joint Committee is encouraging people to make a submission to the Geographical Names Board (GNB) in support of naming the metro station after the Captain.

The Secretary of the Joint Committee, Nick Andriotakis, tells The Greek Herald that honouring the Indigenous ANZAC hero in this way “will educate current and future generations and promote social cohesion of the modern multicultural Australian society.” 

READ MORE: ‘The Anzacs had great respect for Greece’: Nick Andriotakis details the enduring relationship.

Nick Andriotakis pictures with another ANZAC, 105-year-old Alf Carpenter. He is pushing for the name proposal to be accepted.

“Captain Reginald Saunders’ legacy is multi-layered,” Mr Andriotakis says.

“It connects to and encompasses a whole cross-section of people that originated from and later settled in Australia. From the First Peoples to Australians of European and Asian heritage.

“Captain Saunders served in Europe, in Greece and Crete, Asia in Korea and through the Pacific region and North Africa. The diaspora in Australia is from a wide geographic spread including origins from these regions. His legacy transcends all cultures.

“The new railway station in the Sydney CBD will be used by millions of people every year from across the world across Australia and across Sydney.

“The Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign encourages all Australians to support the legacy of this amazing, courageous and inspirational Indigenous Australian through the naming of the new Saunders Railway Station.”

(L) Reginald Saunders with Lieutenant Tom Derrick VC DCM on their graduation day, c. 1944.

Dr Michael Bendon, a well-known Australian archaeologist with a strong connection to Crete, couldn’t agree more with Mr Andriotakis. He thinks the name proposal is “an excellent choice.”

“I strongly support the proposal to name Pitt Street station after Captain Saunders. His story stands out as he was known as a courageous, proud and tolerant man. I think that’s the real measure of a true hero,” Dr Bendon says.

The archaeologist adds that he also hopes the new station includes a plaque to show how Captain Saunders is representative of Indigenous Australians and the second ANZACs, as well as images of the Captain.

“We need signage that has a succinct explanation of what the Captain represents and explains what type of a brave man he was,” Dr Bendon says.

If you would like to show your support for the name proposal, the GNB is currently seeking community feedback until Wednesday, May 11.

Monument to migration - Mother's Day




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

Fresco of Helen of Troy uncovered at Pompeii

Nearly 2,000 years since it was buried by volcanic rubble, the lost city of Pompeii is yielding even more impressive discoveries.

New casual Greek restaurant brings meze and cocktails to Adelaide’s CBD

Andrew Papadakis, the visionary who founded and successfully sold Meze Mazi, returns to the vibrant Adelaide restaurant scene.

Two Greek women included in ’30 Under 30′ Forbes list

In this year's European Forbes "30 Under 30" list, two exceptional Greek women have managed to stand out for their successful paths.

2,300-year-old tomb unearthed in Greece

A tomb in the ancient Macedonian city of Aegae in modern Vergina, Greece,  has been unearthed according to an All That’s Interesting report.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new movie ‘Kinds of Kindness’ included in Cannes lineup

New films from Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Francis Ford Coppola, will compete for the Palme d’Or at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

You May Also Like

Greek lawyer asking for simple ‘sorry’ from Manchester United defender Harry Maguire

"I don't feel like I owe an apology to anybody. An apology is something when you've done something wrong or regret.

Late goal sees Xanthi FC settle with draw in first match after Australian takeover

A disappointing late own-goal has seen Xanthi FC settle with a draw against Apollon Larissa, with Australian Joshua Brillante making an impressive debut for the Greek side.

The Battle of Dervenakia: Greeks claim victory over the Ottomans

On this day in 1822, one of the most important battles of the struggle for Greek Independence was fought - that is, the Battle of Dervenakia.