Sydney cancels Greek Independence Day march due to coronavirus fears

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The Sydney march to commemorate Greece’s Independence Day on Sunday, March 29, has been cancelled amid fears over the rapid spread of coronavirus.

In a statement released on Saturday, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, in cooperation with the Organising Committees, announced the cancellation of the Parades that were scheduled to take place in Melbourne on the 22nd and in Sydney on the 29th of March 2020.

Crowds of between 5,000 and 8,000 people were expected to attend this year, with a memorial service taking place at the epitaph in Martin Place followed by a march from the CBD through to the iconic Sydney Opera House.

The announcement comes after Scott Morrison limited “non essential” gatherings of over 500 people, given the developments of the increasing cases of Covid -19 (corona-virus) in Australia.

His Eminence also communicated with the Archiepiscopal Vicars in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, giving them guidelines for the proceedings which will occur there for the 25th of March, in order not to jeopardise anyone from the participants.

“His Eminence asks for the understanding of our fellow Greeks and the wider Australian society for this change in program, which is solely due to the responsibility of our Church not to risk the well being of the participants,” the statement says.

With next year commemorating 200 years from the Greek revolution, event organisers have promised that next years march will be organised in an “exceptional” way, to highlight the rich historical presence of the Greek Orthodox tradition.

Official Statement in Greek:

Μετά οπό τις ανακοινώσεις του Πρωθυπουργού της χώρας μας κ. Scott Morrison, περί απαγορεύσεως συναθροίσεων άνω των 500 ατόμων, και δεδομένων των εξελίξεων της εξαπλώσεως του ιού Covid-19 (κορωνοϊού) και στην Αυστραλία, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπός μας κ.κ. Μακάριος, σε συνεργασία με τις Οργανωτικές Επιτροπές, αναγγέλλει την ακύρωση των Παρελάσεων, που είχαν προγραμματιστεί να πραγματοποιηθούν στη Μελβούρνη την 22α και στο Σύδνεϋ την 29η Μαρτίου τρ.ετ.

Παράλληλα, ο Σεβασμιώτατος επικοινώνησε με τους Αρχιεπισκοπικούς Επιτρόπους στην Αδελαΐδα, στην Πέρθη και στη Βρισβάνη, δίδοντας σχετικές οδηγίες για τις τελετές που οργανώνονται εκεί, με αφορμή την 25η Μαρτίου, προκειμένου να μην τεθεί σε κίνδυνο κάποιος από τούς συνανθρώπους μας.

Ο Σεβασμιώτατος ζητά την κατανόηση των Ομογενών μας, καθώς και των λοιπών φίλων της Ομογένειας γι᾽ αυτή την ανατροπή του προγράμματος, η οποία οφείλεται, αποκλειστικά και μόνο, στη φροντίδα της Εκκλησίας να μην διακινδυνεύσει η υγεία των συνανθρώπων μας.

Το επόμενο έτος, το οποίο αποτελεί ορόσημο για την Ομογένεια, αφού συμπληρώνονται 200 χρόνια από την Ελληνική επανάσταση, τόσο οι παρελάσεις όσο και οι λοιπές εκδηλώσεις θα είναι μεγαλειώδεις και αντάξιες της πλούσιας ιστορίας μας και της Ορθοδόξου παραδόσεώς μας.

Official Statement in English:

Following the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcements for limiting gatherings over 500 people and given the developments of the increasing cases of Covid -19 (corona-virus) in Australia, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios in cooperation with the Organizing Committees, announces the cancellation of the Parades, that were scheduled to take place in Melbourne on the 22nd and in Sydney on the 29th of March 2020.

Furthermore, His Eminence communicated with the Archiepiscopal Vicars in Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, giving them guidelines for the proceedings which will occur there for the 25th of March, in order not to jeopardize anyone from the participants.

His Eminence asks for the understanding of our fellow Greeks and the wider Australian society for this change in program, which is solely due to the responsibility of our Church not to risk the well being of the participants.

Nevertheless, next year which is a unique and historical anniversary, of the passing of 200 years from the Greek revolution, all the parades and the official events will be organized in the most exceptional way, to highlight the rich historical presence of our Orthodox tradition.

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