“It was my duty”: SA’s eldest Greek veteran marches alone to mark Anzac Day

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On Sunday, April 25, across the country many paused to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of those who have served and their families – from the Boer War to Gallipoli and to those currently in uniform.

Among them, 94-year-old Nikos Evreniades, one of the last remaining Greek veterans in South Australia and the only to represent his country in Adelaide’s Anzac Day march.  

“It was my duty. I had to go,” the Blair Athol resident who marched on the back of a military jeep provided to him by the South Australian RSL Branch, tells The Greek Herald

“I called the RSL and asked them to give me the jeep again like they’ve done for the last years as I can’t walk,” he says.

Mr Evreniades with members of the Greek Ex-Servicemen Association of SA in a previous Anzac Day march

One of the longest standing members and former Secretary General of the Greek Ex-Servicemen Association of South Australia formed in 1974, Evreniades says that “although the members of the association decided not to march, due to the fact that Anzac Day was on the same day with the Greek Orthodox Palm Sunday, I couldn’t skip paying tribute to those fallen”.

“I was the only one to represent Greece. I fought in the [Greek Civil] war for eight years. I have never missed an Anzac Day march and I will be participating for as long as I am alive.

“I will be marching alongside the Australians who honoured us and protected us,” he says.

Evreniades, who was born in the Greek village of Vatolakkos in Grevena, immigrated to Australia, in August 1954 with his wife and daughter. After living in Bonegilla for almost a month he moved to Adelaide where he has lived ever since.

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