The Hellenic Club, in conjunction with the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete & The Greek Campaign, hosted its annual ANZACs of Greece luncheon on Friday April 23, this year commemorating 'The 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete and Greece.'
In attendance was the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Mr Christos Karras, the Consul General of New Zealand in Sydney Mr Bill Dobbie, Archepiscopal Vicar of Canberra and Tasmania Father Prochoros Anastasiadis, as well as Federal, State and Local government representatives, representatives of the Armed Forces, Greek community organisations, RSL representatives and other distinguished guests.
The MC for the luncheon was Mr James Jordan, Chairman of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign.
Vice President of the Greek Returned Servicemen League of NSW, Peter Tsigounis, recited The Ode in both Greek and English.
The Last Post was played by Boyd Trevithick, followed by a minute’s silence.
"The Greeks and the ANZACs stood side by side fighting for what was right. Today we come here to reflect on what they did for us, but also to constantly remember them in our prayers," Very Reverend Father Prochoros said.
The president of the Hellenic Club, Nikolas Hatzistergos, welcomed attendees to the luncheon and stated that for many years, service men and women attended the Hellenic Restaurant after the annual ANZAC Day March. "Diggers from the 50's, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90's would congregate at our Hellenic Restaurant on the fifth floor of the Hellenic Club, after ANZAC Day to have a drink, tip their hats to their departed brothers, and also to celebrate the fact that they came back alive."
On his part, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Mr Christos Karras noted that: "The ANZACs of Greece is a chapter of great importance in the relationship between Greece and Australia."
"At the time when the other members of the international community remained spectators of the drama that was unfolding in Europe, Greece, Australia and New Zealand continued to fight for freedom, democracy and human dignity. After the war, Australia and Greece have further deepened their relationship," he added.
A video message from the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff Konstantinos Floros, was then shown.
"80 years after the Battle of Crete, we bow before the greatness of the superhuman fight given by united Greek, Australians, New Zealanders and the British. They served for the same desire of freedom, honour and dignity... We also bow to the Cretans who fought in that epic battle doing what is written in the DNA of the Cretan soul. To fight bravely and with the same courage against those preventing their freedom," he said.
Guest speaker, researcher, educator and archaeologist, Dr Michael Bendon gave an insightful presentation on the history of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign.
*Watch part of his presentation here:
Not only did attendees leave with more knowledge, but also with a tin of limited edition Anzac biscuits, which this year are dedicated to the 80th Anniversary for the Battle of Crete.
The tins – which contain Anzac biscuits – are produced by Major League Brands with proceeds going to the RSL to support its work assisting veterans and their families.
*All images by Greek City Times (Copyright)