Iconic Sydney Opera House turns blue and white to mark Greek revolution bicentenary

·

Greeks of Sydney observed the Sydney Opera House in awe last night as the historic Australian landmark was lit up with a waving Greek flag to mark 200 years since the War for Greek Independence.

In an offical ceremony led by Acting Minister for Multiculturalism Geoff Lee, a host of dignitaries spoke about the importance of recognising the Greek peoples contribution to Australia.

“Tonight is just a symbol of our appreciation for all your hard work, your achievements in business, academia, and sporting right across our community,” Minister Lee said.

Sydney celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Greek revolution. Photo: The Greek Herald.

The Minister introduced the speakers including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Consul General of Greece in Sydney Christos Karras and the Very Revd Father Christophoros Krikelis. Also in attendance were Eleni Petinos MP, Mark Coure MP and Scott Farlow.

“Today is a day you don’t just celebrate 200 years of Greek independence, we celebrate the contribution many of you of Greek heritage have made to NSW, an outstanding contribution,” the NSW Premier said.

“NSW wouldn’t be the strong state it is without the contribution of Greek Australians.”

Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Photo: The Greek Herald

“We are very proud to celebrate on the opposite side of the world to Greece, because our hearts are one with Greek people around the world as we celebrate this wonderful milestone,” the Premier concluded.

Consul General of Greece in Sydney Christos Karras said the lighting of the Opera House honours not only Greek Australians, but Greeks all over the world.

“Today, as we commemorate this landmark bicentenary, we also celebrate the long friendship between Greece and Australia,” Karras said.

“We celebrate our common values that bind us as friends and we honour the great contributions Greek Australians have made to multicultural Australian society”.

“Long live Australia, long live Greece.”

Representing His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Fr Christophoros Krikelis spoke about the relationship between the Feast of the Annunciation and Independence day, with both representing the freedom of the Greek people.

“The 25th of March has forever been engraved in the eclectic consciousness of our people, and serves as a reminder of the inseparable relationship between our Hellenic nation and our Orthodox faith,” Fr Krikelis said.

The ‘next generation’ of Greek Australian leaders, a group of school children, counted down from ten in Greek to light up the Sydney Opera House.

‘Never felt more proud’

While parliamentary and religious dignitaries gazed upon the Opera House from the other side of the harbour, below the Australian monument was a sea of Greek Australians celebrating this iconic moment in history.

The Greek Herald spoke with a few members of the Greek Australian public, who were seen parading and dancing in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Vicki and her family celebrate outside of the Sydney Opera House. Photo: The Greek Herald

“There is nothing better than being Greek and feeling proud to be Greek,” a member of the public, Vicki, said.

“We thank Sydney, Australia, and the world that we have this opportunity to be here tonight and we stand with Greece as they go through so much. We are one, we love you.”

As the flag on the Sydney Opera House waved, flags on the ground waved in unison. Many community members had Greek flags stretched across their back, with a few children handing them out for free to the local community.

The Sydney Opera House lights up the harbour with the Greek flag. Photo: The Greek Herald

“This just shows what the Greek people have done for Australia and continue to do here,” Nick said.

“This something that doesn’t happen all the time, it’s simply amazing,” Mary said.

Greek music filled the Sydney Harbour as different celebrations raged on across the Sydney CBD. Following speeches by the dignitaries, a lyra player performed for a gathering crowd of Greek and Australian audiences.

A Greek lyra player dazzled audiences in Darling Harbour. Photo: The Greek Herald
Photo: Nicholas Papas/@Papasfilmphotography

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

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

Advertisement

Latest News

Jon Adgemis’ Sydney pub entities enter administration

Companies behind two of Jon Adgemis' Sydney hotels have been placed into external administration. Full story here.

Summer wildfires plague Greece as firefighters battle high winds

Summer wildfires have plagued Greece this week with numerous new fires breaking out across the country in the last few hours.

Hezbollah leader threatens Cyprus in case of war with Israel

The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened Cyprus for the first time on Wednesday.

Nostalgic taverna night hosted by the Athenian Association of NSW

The Athenian Association of NSW hosted a nostalgic taverna night at the Greek Orthodox Community hall in Lakemba on Saturday, June 15.

Expression of Interest proposals for the Cyprus Club to be reviewed by members

The Cyprus Community of NSW have completed the first round in the Expressions of Interest process for the Cyprus Club at Stanmore.

You May Also Like

HACCI hold inaugural National Federation Meeting in Sydney

The Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry held its Inaugural HACCI National Federation Meeting (HNF) in Sydney.

Fragments of the Parthenon Marbles reunited in the Acropolis Museum

Fragments of the Parthenon Marbles exhibited at the Athens Archaeological Museum were reunited in the Acropolis Museum on Monday.

Greek father-and-son duo deliver Christmas gifts to domestic violence victims

A Canberra father-and-son duo have generously donated gifts to the Queanbeyan Women’s Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter for Christmas.