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Historic event held at Australian War Memorial to commemorate Turkish invasion of Cyprus

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A historic wreath laying ceremony took place at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra on Sunday to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus this year.

The commemoration, which was organised by the Cyprus Community of Canberra and SEKA ACT, began with a church service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston to remember those who fought and died heroically for freedom in Cyprus.

Church service. Photo supplied.

The service was officiated by His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis and was attended by a number of prominent members of the Greek and Cypriot communities in Canberra.

Bishop Bartholomew presided over the church service. Photo supplied.

This included the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Martha Mavrommatis; the Ambassador of Greece in Australia, George Papacostas; Colonel Ioannis Fasianos; the President of the Cyprus Community of Canberra and the Pan-Australian Justice for Cyprus committee (PASEKA), Georgia Alexandrou; the President of the Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra, John Loukadellis; the President of Justice for Cyprus ACT, Nectaria Volis; and Kostas Didimiotis, representing the Hellenic Club of Canberra.

After the church service, people travelled to the AWM to take part for the first time in the Last Post Ceremony in honour of the Cypriots who lost their lives during the Turkish invasion.

During the ceremony, the AWM honoured Australian soldier, Private Frederick Kelly, who was killed by the Turks in Gallipoli during World War II.

Bishop Bartholomew also became the first bishop to lay a wreath at the AWM on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

Ms Mavrommatis and Ms Alexandrou laid wreaths as well during the moving and historic ceremony.

“The event at the Australian War Memorial was a historic occasion for the Cypriots in Australia as it put the spotlight on the Cyprus problem as we continue to request the Australian Government to work with us on achieving a viable solution,” Ms Alexandrou told The Greek Herald after the event.

“All Cypriots, including the Cypriot diaspora of Australia, still maintain the hope for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem that will reunify Cyprus, free from Turkish troops with a single sovereignty, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions, the International and the European Law.”

Photo: His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis.

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