The Samian Association of Canberra will be holding a fundraiser in support of the victims of the Samos earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in the Aegean Sea since 1981.
Eleni Gianakis became President of the Samian Association after noticing little had been done by the association’s older generation with regards to events and fundraisers.
“When I grew up, our parents were so involved and we had dances and picnics and that had kind of faded out. So being a mother now, I wanted to expose my children to that kind of thing,” Eleni Gianakis said to The Greek Herald.
“I thought if we take over and maybe we can start doing functions and barbecues and get the community together again.”
Being a very “tight knit” Greek community in Canberra, Gianakis said it’s important that Greeks, and especially Samians, keep their close ties with the heritage. One particular incident that brought the community closer was the devastating earthquake in the Aegean Sea, hitting the northeast coast of Samos.
The earthquake brought devastation to the island and neighbouring country of Turkey, with both countries suffering a combined 119 fatalities, also leaving 1,053 injured and 15,000 homeless.
Buildings in Samos suffered severe damage, particularly in Karlovasi where a large church had partially collapsed. In Karlovasi, over 100 buildings were damaged upon inspection. Following the earthquake, Samos was also affected by hundreds of aftershocks and flooding from a tsunami, which also rocked the islands of Ikaria, Kos and Chios.
It was the first time since the 2017 Aegean Sea earthquake that there are earthquake-related deaths in Greece.
Witnessing the despair and destruction seen on the Greek island, Gianakis organised for a community event to be held on Friday, May 21, at the Hellenic Club Woden to help raise much needed funds for the earthquake victims.
“It will be a dance and fundraiser to try and raise money to send over to Samos so we can help them with the schools and churches that need repairing,” the Samian Association President said.
“We’re just trying to assist in any way we can.”
Gianakis has been applauded by the Greek Community of Canberra for her repeated volunteer work and recognised for her tireless and selfless efforts to benefiting the community.
“I guess it’s part of my up-bringing, like having my dad so involved in the Greek community and being a part of it. I want my children to be a part of it as well and to feel proud and to not lose where we come from,” Gianakis added.
Being the fifth time she has changed the date of the fundraiser event due to COVID-19 restrictions, she hopes that the event will be a “good fun night” and to have people come and enjoy themselves.
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so through the bank account:
Name: Samian Associated
Account No: 56-202-0222
People can also contact the association through email or phone: