For the third consecutive year and released by special permission of the President of Greece, the Greek Presidential Guard are in Sydney in honour of ANZAC Day.
Sydney’s prominent, the Hellenic Club are chief organisers of the Sydney visit, and CEO Arthur Balayannis says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Greek Australians to honour the ANZACS and for all Australians to discover more on the historical significance of the ANZACS in Greece.”
For their first official day in Sydney, the Presidential Guard and officers attended the Office of the Consulate General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Christos Karras and the Trade Commissioner of Greece in Australia, Mrs Katia Gkikiza. “Having the Presidential Guard of Greece here in Australia, is a source of pride and a real honour for all Greeks and Philhellenes alike. This great gesture by the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos to permit the Evzones to travel to Australia to honour Anzac Day is a reflection of the strong ties between the people of Greece and Australia. Ties that have been forged through our struggles as allies in defence of freedom and democracy,” said Mr Karras.
Later, co-hosted by Consulate General of Greece in Sydney and the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign, ANZACs of Greece Luncheon at Beta Gallery, welcoming the Greek Presidential Guard and honouring ANZACs that fought in the Battle of Crete/Greek Campaign.
President of the Returned and Services League (RSL) NSW, James Brown spoke about “what an extraordinary thing it is to have allies, people who fight for you and have your back. Greece is one of Australia’s oldest allies. We are democracies….We believe in fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves and we believe in all the values; courage and integrity that the military holds so dear and that we think about when we come together to respect our fallen soldiers,” before thanking the Hellenic Club, the Presidential Guard, and the Greek community for the tribute they are paying to the Australian community in being a part of the ANZAC commemorations.
School students from All Saints Grammar, Botany Public School, McCallums Hill Public School and Bexley North Public School also proudly recited both Greek and English poems from veterans of the Battle of Crete/Greek Campaign and others famous Greek Poets, which brought tears to attendees eyes. Year 12 student and Anzac Ambassador, Eloise Cooper also recalled her experience of visiting historic battlefields in Greece and Gallipoli, with her personal recollections and insights captivating the audience, taking them on an journey of her trip.
Don’t forget Sydneysiders, you are also invited to pay your respect and see the Presidential Guard of Greece tomorrow, Wednesday 25 April at the Dawn service at Bondi Beach at 6am or the Dawn service at Campsie RSL at 6:15am and the Anzac Day march in the Sydney CBD at 12pm.