OXI Day: Greeks across Australia celebrate with dancing and wreath laying ceremonies


By Andriana Simos and Argyro Vourdoumpa.

The 82nd anniversary of OXI Day was commemorated over the weekend with a number of wreath laying ceremonies, dancing and heartfelt speeches by Greek communities across Australia.

Here’s how the commemorations went down throughout the country:

New South Wales:

The Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales (GOCNSW) held its annual OXI Day celebration at the Greek Community Club in Lakemba on Friday, October 28.

Photos: The Greek Herald.

The event was attended by a number of official guests including the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis; the President of GOCNSW, Harry Danalis; His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia; the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism, Mark Coure MP; Member for Rockdale, Steve Kamper MP; Member for Canterbury, Sophie Cotsis MP; Parliamentary Secretary for Wollongong and the Illawarra, Peter Poulos MLC; Courtney Houssos MLC; Member for Lakemba, Jihad Dib MP; Press Councillor of the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, Konstantinos Yiannakodimos; Mayor of Waverly Council, Paula Masselos; as well as a number of other Greek community representatives.

Photos by The Greek Herald.

Everyone in attendance on the night was treated to a number of poem recitals and songs by students from the Afternoon and Saturday Schools of GOCNSW, as well as Greek dancing performances by Paroula.

There were also a number of speeches by Mr Danalis, the Consul General, Bishop Christodoulos, Mr Coure, Mr Kamper and Ms Cotsis.

Local churches also held small memorial services and wreath laying ceremonies for OXI Day, including St Nectarios Greek Orthodox Parish in Burwood.

St Nectarios Burwood.

On Sunday, St Nectarios Burwood had students from the Greek Afternoon and Saturday Schools of Concord, Burwood and South Strathfield attend a Doxology service in the morning, followed by an OXI Day presentation led by the Principal Dimitris Kametopoulos. Students recited poems and sang songs.

Elsewhere in Sydney, there were also OXI Day commemorations at Marrickville Town Hall on Sunday in the presence of Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese; an event by AHEPA NSW; and All Saints Grammar in Belmore; among many others.

South Australia:

After Saturday’s wreath laying ceremony at the Adelaide War Memorial, hosted by the Foundation for Hellenic Studies in the presence of Members of the Hellenic Presidential Guard, the commemorative events continued in South Australia on Sunday.

Photos: The Greek Herald / Argyro Vourdoumpa.

Dignitaries and members of the Greek and the wider community, gathered at the Cathedral of Archangels Michael and Gabriel in Franklin Street to attend the doxology and wreath laying ceremony organised by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA).

Addressing the attendees GOCSA President, Kostas Papakonstantinou, talked about the importance of OXI Day and cited quotes from prominent personalities on the courage and heroism of Greeks during the Greco-Italian War.

The event concluded with poems and songs from students of the Community’s afternoon schools.

Australian Capital Territory:

In Australia’s capital, 40 Greek flags have been flying around Canberra since Tuesday, October 25 until Friday, November 4.

Greek flags in Canberra.

On Friday, October 28, The Hellenic Club of Canberra, Old Parliament House, The National Carillon Bell Tower and The National Museum of Australia were also lit up in blue and white to mark OXI Day.

The National Carillon Bell Tower lit up in blue.

That same night, The Hellenic Club held a special OXI Day event with dancing by the Canberra Hellenic Dancers in the foyer from 6-7pm, along with finger food from Fillos Taverna + Bar as patrons entered the venue.

On Sunday, the Greek Orthodox Community of Canberra (GOCC) organised a Doxology and memorial service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Canberra.

Wreath laying ceremony. Photos supplied.

In attendance on the day was a number of officials including the Ambassador of Greece in Australia, George Papacostas; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis; His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; and the President of the GOCC, John Loukadellis.

Northern Territory:

The Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia (GOCNA) also marked OXI Day over the weekend with a number of events.

On Saturday, October 27, students, parents and teachers of the Greek Orthodox School of Darwin held a small assembly where poems were recited and songs were sung to honour OXI Day. The first half of the event was also dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe.

On Sunday, October 28, GOCNA also held a Doxology at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Darwin, followed by a number of speeches and a wreath laying ceremony.

In attendance on the day was a number of officials including, but not limited to, the Consul General of Greece in the Northern Territory, John Anictomatis; the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, Natasha Fyles; the Leader of the NT Opposition, Lia Finocchiaro; the Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling MP; and the Mayor of Palmerston, Athina Pascoe-Bell.


On Sunday, October 28, the Greek Orthodox Community of Tasmania held a commemorative event for OXI Day at St George Greek Orthodox Church in Hobart.

The community held a ‘Greek Day’ where people enjoyed a Doxology service, followed by a gathering outdoors. People were treated to souvlakia, loukoumades, coffee and traditional Greek sweets.

There was even face painting for the kids.

Western Australia:

Western Australia’s OXI Day commemorations begin this week with the arrival of Greece’s Presidential Guard to Perth for the first time on November 1.

During their visit, the Evzones will take part in a wreath laying ceremony at the State War Memorial, Kings Park, which will also feature a change of guard and tribute to the Cenotaph at around 1.30pm.




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