United in arms: Veterans and Greek community leaders honour Battle of Crete 80th anniversary

·

A special ceremony was held at the Martin Place epitaph in Sydney’s CBD on Saturday to commemorate 80 years since the Battle of Crete.

The ceremony was attended by Battle of Crete war veterans, descendants, Members of Parliament and Greek Community leaders as they remembered the Greek, Australian, British and New Zealand troops who desperately tried defending Greece against a huge German airborne assault on May 20, 1941.

Honourable dignitaries present at the event included His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Lieutenant Commander Robert Valler Aide-deCamp, representing Her Excellency Margaret Beazley, David Elliott, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, representing Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Christos Karras, Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Trade Commissioner Katia Gkikiza, Emilios Michael, representing Cyprus High Commissioner Martha Mavrommati.

“Australians remember that battle, and we too draw strength from that courage, an example of those who have done so much to bring freedom,” David Elliott said on behalf of the Prime Minister.

“In the aftermath of a battle fought with honour, and conceded without disgrace, a deep friendship was forged.”

Messages for the anniversary from Konstantinos Floros, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, and Prof. John Chrysoulakis, Secretary General for Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad, were played on a screen.

“As we commemorate this anniversary, we also celebrate the warm friendship between Greece and Australia,” Christos Karras said.

“…We celebrate our foreign values which bind us together as great friends.”

A notable guest for the ceremony was 104-year-old Alf Carpenter; One of Australia’s oldest surviving Anzacs and Battle of Crete survivor. Carpenter said The Ode in English, accompanied by Greek RSL President Peter Tsigounis who said the Ode in Greek, before he was assisted in placing a wreath onto the epitaph. Meeting with the Archbishop following the ceremony, the two briefly exchanged thoughts on the unique landscape of the island.

“United in war, we are often united in peace. These principles and ideals are as relevant today… as we pursuit a peaceful co-existence in a multicultural society, with a shared respect for our cultural diversity,” Archbishop Makarios said in his speech.

Students of St Spyridon, All Saints Grammar and St Euphemia all represented their schools with honour, also joining children from the Cretan Association of NSW in laying flowers on the epitaph.

Advertisement

Share:

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH TGH

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

Advertisement

Latest News

Historic link between Battle of Crete and ANZACs a focus of Sydney commemorations

The historic link between the Battle of Crete and the ANZAC forces were a key focus of commemorations in Sydney.

Multicultural media’s vital role in public interest journalism a key message at Sydney event

Multicultural media's vital role in public interest journalism was a key message at a Sydney event by IMMA.

‘Into the Moonlit Village’ echoes of Battle of Crete and Minoan myth

The story behind ‘Into the Moonlit Village’ is as captivating as the work itself. We found out more to mark the Battle of Crete.

Generations of Pontians remember their roots at genocide commemoration in Melbourne

Melbourne's Pontian community commemorated the Greek Genocide on Sunday, May 19, as part of a series of events. Read more here.

Australian Hellenic Medical Charity raises $30,000 for Nicosia hospital

The Australian Hellenic Medical Charity raised $30,000 for the Paediatric Clinic at Makarios III Hospital in Nicosia, Cyprus.

You May Also Like

Greek director to film documentary about iconic NZ soldier with strong links to Crete

Crete-based director, Lefteris Giannakoudakis, is turning the iconic war story of NZ soldier, Private Ted d'Auvergne, into a documentary.

Honourable Archbishop Makarios welcomes the expatriate bill to Australia

The Honourable Archbishop of Australia, Mr Makarios, on Wednesday November 27, paid a formal visit to the Greek Embassy in the Australian capital of...

Greek Australian Jennifer Brankin’s film to document her son’s rare condition

Greek-Australian photojournalist Jennifer Polixenni Brankin, has kickstarted a new film to document her son's journey.