Young debutantes dazzle at the Kytherian Association of Australia’s Centenary Ball


By Andriana Simos and Argyro Vourdoumpa.

In a dazzling spectacle, young girls in white dresses and young boys in tuxedos made their official debut at the Kytherian Association of Australia’s (KAA) historic Centenary Debutante Ball on Saturday night.

Held in The Winx Stand at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the ball attracted over 1,000 people who enjoyed a sit-down three course meal as they shared some of their favourite memories from the 100 year history of the KAA.

(L) Helen Zerefos OAM, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC and her husband, Emmanuel Alfieris and his wife.

Among these guests were a number of officials and VIP’s. This included, but is not limited to, the Guest of Honour and Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC; His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia; the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras; the Trade Commissioner of Greece in Australia, Katia Gkikiza; the CEO of the Bank of Sydney, Miltos Michaelas; the President of the KAA, Emmanuel Alfieris; the President of the Kytherian Ladies Auxiliary, Kyrranne Thomas; the President of the Kytherian Youth Association, Michael Preneas; the Vice President of the Kytherian Youth Association, Robert Koutsoumis; and the Patron of KythCare and coloratura soprano, Helen Zerefos OAM.

Past Presidents of the KAA.
The Consul General and Trade Commissioner, as well as Governor Beazley and her husband, enjoy a dance.

After the arrival of this official party, Ms Zerefos sung the National Anthems of Greece and Australia, followed by a small grace by Archbishop Makarios.

The emcee for the night, Peter Samios, then began to introduce the debutantes. First up was the Matron of Honour, Erenie Bourdaniotis, accompanied by her husband Nick Bourdaniotis. They were followed by the flower girls and page boys, and finally the debutantes and their partners.

Matron of Honour, Erenie Bourdaniotis, and her husband Nick.

Once the debutantes and their partners were on the dancefloor, they began to perform a number of choreographed dances including, for the first time ever, the tango. There was also a father-daughter dance.

At the conclusion of this first set of dances, the debutantes held the traditional cutting of the cake, before a number of speeches were given by Archbishop Makarios, Mr Alfieris, Mr Michaelas and Governor Beazley.

Debutantes dancing.
The traditional cutting of the cake.

In his speech as outgoing President of the KAA, Mr Alfieris congratulated the debutantes and the Ball Committee for all their hard work in making the night a success. He also spoke briefly about the history of the KAA.

“Zito Kythera! Zito Australia! 100 years of volunteerism, of contributing to our community,” Mr Alfieris said to loud chanting from the crowd.

In her speech, Ms Beazley recognised the important role the Greek community, and in particular the Kytherians, play in Australia’s multicultural community.

“I want to acknowledge those founders of the Kytherian Brotherhood who, 100 years ago, looked after their fellow Kytherians, assisting them to find work and to navigate a very different way of life so that they could successfully build a new life,” Ms Beazley said.

“You’ve added to [Australia’s] cultural vibrancy, our intellectual life, there is not a profession, an industry, a trade or an undertaking that you do not find a Greek excels at.

“So tonight is not only a celebration of 100 years of connectedness, 100 years of community. It is, as we know, a celebration of happy, noisy, young people carrying on the traditions of a homeland in a homeland.”

This resounding speech was followed by a live auction where two KAA Centenary Medallions sold for $10,000 and $5,000 respectively, and two limited edition prints of the Evzones by Bourdo Photography sold for $3,000 each.

The two winners of the Centenary Medallions.
The print on auction by Bourdo photography.

At the conclusion of these official proceedings, there was another Greek dancing performance by the debutantes, as well as a raffle before people mingled and started dancing to music by IHO Nyx band.

The Greek Herald also spoke to a few people in attendance on the night and came across one couple, Harry and Helen Magiros, who shared how they met when Helen made her debut at a Kytherian Debutante Ball 35 years ago.

“My niece is now doing her debut, my daughter did her debut 15 years ago, so it goes on and on and on,” Harry said with a smile, before he too went to join in with the crowds on the dancefloor.

An enjoyable night full of history and pride!

Harry and Helen Magiros.

*All photos by The Greek Herald / Andriana Simos / Argyro Vourdoumpa.




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