The official event of remembrance and honour for the 80th anniversary of the historic Battle of Crete took place on Saturday, May 22, at the Martin Place Cenotaph.
The Battle of Crete was one of the most dramatic battles of the Second World War. Over 12 days in May 194, a mixed force of New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops desperately tried to fight off a huge German airborne assault. Despite suffering appalling casualties, the parachutists and glider-borne troops who led the invasion managed to secure a foothold on the island and eventually gained the upper hand. The battle ended with the evacuation to Egypt of the bulk of the Allied force.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, performed a trisagio for the fallen heroes of the Battle, Greeks and Allies, and then laid a wreath at the Martin Place monument.
The presence of Australian veteran ANZAC warrior, Mr. Alf Carpenter, who had taken part in the Battle of Crete and is now 104 years old, caused a special emotion to the attendees.
The Archbishop Mr. Makarios, as a Cretan by origin, had one more reason to be moved by the presence of Mr. Carpenter, with whom he spoke cordially.
The event was also attended by a number of dignitaries including Robert Valler. Aide De Camp to Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO, Governor of New South Wales the Minister of Public Order of New South Wales, Mr. David Elliott, Representative of the State Prime Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, Member of Parliament Matt Thistlethwaite, who represented the Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament, Anthony Albanese, Christos Karras Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Trade Commissioner Katia Gkikiza, the Consul General of New Zealand, Mr. Bill Dobbie, Mr.Emilios Michael, as representative of the High Commissioner of Cyprus in Australia, Mr. Martha Mavrommatis High Commissioner of Cyprus in Australianand the Deputy Consul of Germany, Mr. Klaus Steitz.
*Images by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)