80 years ago, the people of Greece said No to fascism. Greeks would eventually fight alongside Allied forces, including forces from Australia.
Greeks and Australians forged bonds of friendship and solidarity – built upon their shared desire for freedom.
The Age newspaper on 30 October 1940 details how the Greek community in Australia responded:
The Consul-General of Greece said that the Greek community in Australia was delighted with the action taken by the Greek Government.
The report continued:
Although many fear for the eventual safety of their relatives in their homeland, Greeks in Sydney are glad that the Italian ultimatum was rejected.
At the only two Greek Orthodox churches in New South Wales prayers for the success of the Allies’ cause are to be offered.
This history must never be forgotten.
Even though Greece and Australia are half-a-world away, thousands of Australians travelled to fight for Greece’s freedom and independence…while here in Australia the Hellenic community rallied to support the Allied cause.
We must remember the terrible hardships which people endured during the Second World War.
Their sacrifice was noble. We owe them for preserving freedom, democracy and justice in our world.
And let us never forget the courage and certainty Greece showed during freedom’s darkest hour.
When faced with evil, there is only one answer we must give: Oxi!