Greek community gather in Canberra to celebrate St Nicholas feast day with paniyiri

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Greek music and food was flowing freely at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Canberra on Sunday as the local Greek community gathered to celebrate the church’s patron saint.

The paniyiri was attended by a number of special guests including the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis; Defence A’ttache of Greece, Colonel Yiannis Fasianos; David Smith MP representing Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese; His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; the President of the Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra, John Loukadellis; the President of the Hellenic Club of Canberra, Andrew Satsias; and the President of the Cyprus Community of Canberra, Georgia Alexandrou; among many others.

(L to R) John Loukadellis, President Greek Orthodox Community & Church of Canberra; Andrew Satsias, President of the Hellenic Club of Canberra; His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; David Smith MP representing Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese; the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis; Defence A’ttache of Greece, Colonel Yiannis Fasianos.

Members and friends of the Mytilenian Brotherhood of Sydney & NSW were also down from Sydney for the weekend to enjoy their annual cherry picking day at the Rufus Cherry Allambie Orchard in Wombat, NSW on Saturday.

On Sunday, these Sydneysiders joined the local Greek community in Canberra for the paniyiri which started with a Divine Liturgy presided over by Bishop Bartholomew in the St Nicholas church.

After the liturgy, people moved outdoors to the church grounds to mingle and enjoy a seafood lunch consisting of fish, calamari, chips and salad.

The Canberra Hellenic Dancers also gave a small dancing performance to entertain the crowds.

*Words and photos made possible by Christine Stavropoulos.

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