The Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) has lit up the Greek Centre in red and stands in solidarity with the descendants of the victims of the Greek Pontian Genocide honouring their resilience and determination.
Bill Papastergiadis OAM, President of the GCM, expressed his thoughts for the solemn day.
“As we remember the Greek Pontian Genocide, it is essential to emphasise the significance of promoting truth, justice, and remembrance,” Mr Papastergiadis said.
“Numerous families, including mine, were affected immensely by this catastrophe. My beloved grandmother, a very courageous woman and a figure who inspires me to this day. I observed through the years how the events of the Greek Pontian Genocide affected her so deeply and the wounds never healed.
“She never wanted to discuss the past with us, I could see it in her eyes, the hurt and the pain she was going through. She would always tell me, Vasili always look at the future. Her words marked me, I will never forget that.
“The GCM acknowledges this tragedy, to ensure that historical facts are preserved and shared. May the memory of the victims and the events of this disastrous day, forever inspire us to work towards a world where such atrocities are never repeated. Let us stand united against genocide, promoting peace, understanding, and respect for all.”
The Greek Pontian Genocide took place between 1914 and 1923, during the final years of the Ottoman Empire. It resulted in the forced expulsion, massacres, and systematic extermination of Pontian Greeks living in the regions of Pontus, along the Black Sea coast of present-day Turkey.
This atrocity, perpetrated by the Ottoman authorities, aimed to eradicate the Greek population, and eliminate their cultural identity.