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The Greek genocide, which included the Pontian genocide instigated by the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement, is one of the darkest chapters in all of Greece’s long history. It included massacres, forced deportations involving death marches, expulsions, executions, and the wholesale destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments.

The red light on the Greek centre symbolizes the 350,000 fallen Pontian’s who were massacred by the Turkish army. The initiative was in cooperation of the Pontian Association and the GCM.

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untitled hdr-4The Greek Centre lights up in red to mark the remembrance of the Pontian Greek Genocide (1916-1923), one of the darkest moments in Greece’s history.

President of the GCM Bill Papastergiadis OAM, expressed his deep feelings “My grandma was born in Trabzon in Minor Asia, she was pushed out of her home and came to Greece in the early 19th century. The courage, her strong ethics and her outstanding strength from within, was remarkable. My grandmother has fought and worked hard her whole life and she raised 4 children by herself in Kastoria. She witnessed the genocide and her wounds never healed. When she moved to Australia to raise me, one thing I remember vividly was that she was speaking to me in the Pontian dialect. After all these years I still remember her words, she said “Bill I can’t really talk about what happened to me but let’s move forward, always move forward”. These memories followed her and the least we could do today is to remember and honour the memory of all those innocent victims who suffered and lost their lives. Our decision today, to illuminate the Greek centre in red light is to let everyone know that our generation and the future generations will never forget”.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.