The commemorative coins celebrating 200 years since the start of the Greek revolution were officially launched on Friday afternoon at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Sydney.
The official opening of the collection of coins was announced by the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Christos Karras, who was the keynote speaker at the special event.
“The Greek-Australian community’s successful integration into Australian society has contributed greatly to shaping Australia’s multicultural character and to the further strengthening of cordial relations between Greece and Australia,” the Consul General said.
“As we commemorate our 200th anniversary, we also celebrate the warm friendship between Greece and Australia, we celebrate our common values that bind us as faithful friends, we celebrate the great contributions that Greek-Australians have made to multicultural Australian society.”
“To honour this landmark bicentenary, the national committee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia for the celebration of the 200th Anniversary, has been coordinating more than 250 nation-wide activities throughout the year.”
“As part of these celebrations, 1,821 silver coins and 1,821 bronze coins have been issued and are being presented for the first time today. It is my great honour and pleasure to take part in the official launch of these commemorative coins.”
The coins pay tribute to the clergy and monks who helped preserve the Greek letters in the first centuries of Turkish rule.
The front of each coin depicts the secret school, as well as the phrase “For Faith and Homeland”, in Greek and English. On the back is the anniversary emblem of the Holy Archdiocese, with the flags of Greece and Australia.
Archbishop Makarios focused on the characteristics of the coins in his speech, making special mention of the secret school and emphasising that its foundation was the hierarchical conscience of the clergy and monks.
“If it were not for the poor and insignificant priests of the villages and cities, if there were no monasteries and abbotts, there would be no Greek letters today”, he noted.
Archbishop Makarios thanked all special dignitaries who were able to attend the event, including Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, the Archepisocpal Vicar of Canberra and Tasmania, Archimandrite Prochoros Anastasiadis, and the President of the Greek Orthodox Community Canberra John Loukadellis.
Attendees at the event also had the opportunity to purchase collectible coins, which will now be available from the bookstores of the Holy Archdiocese.