To celebrate the Name Day of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios Primate of The Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, over 1,200 faithful from all around Australia were present a dinner in His Eminence’s honour on Sunday 19th January 2020 at Le Montage in Sydney, Australia.
In attendance was His Eminence Ambrosios of Korea; representing His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Governor of New South Wales; Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC and her spouse Dennis Wilson, High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the Commonwealth of Australia; Martha Mavrommatis, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Greece; Ioannis Ferentinos, Leader of the Opposition; Anthony Albanese, representing the Prime Minister of Australia; Senator Andrew Bragg, His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sebasteia, His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios; Archbishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, His Eminence Metropolitan Nektarios of Hong Kong, His Eminence Metropolitan Ignatios of Madagascar, His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine of Singapore, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, His Eminence Metropolitan Myron of New Zealand, His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia; Bishop Emilianos of Meloe, His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon, His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinopes, Consul General of Greece in Sydney; Christos Karras, Trade Commissioner of Greece in Australia; Katia Gzikiza, Consul General of Greece in Adelaide; George Psiachas, Honorary Consul of Greece in Queensland; Jim Raptis, other distinguished guests and faithful from parishes across Australia.
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople was unable to attend, but sent His wishes and a message which was read out: “We wish him good health, a long life and strength from the lord for many years.”
A message from the PM of Australia was also read out: “This is a wonderful moment in the life of the Greek Orthodox church in Australia. It is a landmark that is a part of a new chapter for your community in our country. In the months since the Archbishop’s official enthronement, he has been embraced by his new home. On this inaugural day toady I send my best wishes.”
Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition stated to the full venue how honoured he was to attend and speak on the inaugural day. “I wish you well and I say on behalf of the Australian Labor party that I look forward to a long and successful engagement and relationship with you, with your Bishops, your Priests and your community members because the Greek-Australian community is one of which we can be extraordinary proud…The greek heartland for me is where I live in Marrickville. You are in my heart and I hope to be in yours,” he said.
It was announced during the night that architects Chris Tsioulos and Angelo Candalepas together with the Archdiocese, were given the opportunity to master plan architecture solutions for The Archdiocese and The Cathedral of “The Annunciation of Our Lady to modernise the facilities for the future. “It is the responsibility of our generation to ensure the facilities respond to the past, current and future needs of our community,” they stated. The renovation works are expected to be completed by 2024.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of The Greek Orthodox Church in Australia thanked everyone for attending his Name Day Dinner. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your presence, your words, prayers and spiritual support. Thank you for everything and God bless you.”
His Eminence began his speech by acknowledging the devastating Australian fires that have killed people, destroyed homes and damaged the natural habitats of the country, calling everyone to stand for a minute’s silence to pray.
Archbishop Makarios also presented His vision, plans and future of the church in Australia, which includes the establishment of the National Metropolitan Choir of Australia, publication on the history of Greeks in Australia & the Archdiocese, the Clergy-Laity Conference which will be held in Sydney in 2021, the organisation of a National Youth Conference, the establishment of ELPIS- drug rehabilitation centres in Sydney and Melbourne, the new monastery to be built on a plot called Mela Mountain (near the city of Flowerdale in Victoria, Australia) and the establishment of English-speaking parishes.
The dinner was also a significant occasion for several members of the Greek Orthodox community, as His Eminence presented them with the Honorary Diploma of the Order of “The Christ-Loving” (ΦΙΛΟΧΡΙΣΤΩΝ) for their years of faithful service to the Church and the community.
There were also three surprises for His Eminence, dancing performances by the Pontoxeniteas Senior group and the Cretan Association of Sydney & NSW group and a very special video message from his family, which brought Archbishop Makarios to tears.
All proceeds from the evening have gone towards St. Andrew’s Theological College and Bribie Island Youth Retreat and Recreation Centre (QLD).
Χρόνια Πολλά, Σεβασμιώτατε!
*Images by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)