Queensland Greeks Celebrate Independence Day: Honouring Heritage and Freedom

The Evzones Collection Brisbane, Consult Queensland cocktail party.


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(Left to right) George Mastrocostas, Ying Mastrocostas, Bico Athanasas and Denny Palmos.

More than 300 dignitaries have ushered in a new era of longstanding cordial relations between Queensland and Greece with a special commemoration of Greece’s Independence Day hosted by newly appointed Honorary Consul General of Greece in Queensland George Mastrocostas in Brisbane last night.

Dignitaries including His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek (as a representative for the leader of the opposition, David Crisafulli) and Brisbane Mayor Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Melissa O’Rourke, the State Director for the Department of Foreign Affairs were among distinguished guests. 

Mr Mastrocostas said Greek Independence Day was a pivotal moment in establishing the principles of democracy, justice and equality that bound Greece with Australia today.

“As we celebrate Greek Independence Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, justice, and equality for all,” Mr Mastrocostas told attending guests.

“Let us draw inspiration from the courage and determination of those who came before us, and strive to build a future defined by peace, prosperity, and unity.”

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Dignitaries including His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, MP John-Paul Langbroek, Adrian Schrinner 

The Greek revolt ignited on March 25, 1821, when Bishop Germanos of Patras boldly hoisted the revolutionary flag over the Monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese in an act of defiance against the oppressive Ottoman Empire, which ruled Greece for nearly four centuries. 

Since that historic moment, the resounding cry “Freedom or Death” has epitomized the spirit of the revolution.

Mr Mastrocostas said Greek Independence Day commemorated the courage, resilience, and unwavering spirit of the Greek people as they fought for their freedom and sovereignty.

“The struggle for independence was not merely a battle for territorial liberation, but a fight for the preservation of identity, culture, and the values that define the Greek nation,” said Mr Mastrocostas.

“It was a testament to the enduring legacy of democracy, philosophy, and art that originated in ancient Greece and continue to inspire the world to this day.

“We pay tribute to the heroes of the Greek War of Independence whose sacrifices paved the way for the birth of modern Greece. Their indomitable spirit and commitment to liberty serve as an enduring reminder of the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

“One group of such heroes at the time were The Evzones - an elite Greek combat regiment of mountain soldiers and who today serve as members of the illustrious Presidential Guard.”

“On this auspicious occasion, I extend my warmest wishes to the Greek community in Queensland, as well as to all those Philhellenes who share in the spirit of Greek Independence Day.

The Evzones Collection Brisbane
The Evzones Collection by Nick Bourdaniotis was the highlight of the evening's event.

On a day filled with pride and remembrance, the Queensland Greek community came together to honor Greece's Independence Day, commemorating the nation's liberation from Ottoman rule on March 25th, 1821. The event, held in the Greek Club, served as a poignant reminder of the enduring spirit of freedom and democracy.

Among the distinguished guests were esteemed dignitaries who graced the occasion with their presence, including Mr. George Mastrocostas, whose dedication to fostering Greek-Australian relations has been unwavering. His Grace, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, delivered a heartfelt message, emphasizing the significance of solidarity and shared values between Greece and Queensland.

Reverend Fathers joined the gathering, while Mr. John Paul Langbroek MP, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, and The Honourable Anthe Philippides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cultural ties and promoting mutual understanding.

The presence of His Honour Judge Nicholas Andreatidis KC, Mr. Peter Dowling AM, and Mrs. Linda Dowling underscored the importance of upholding justice and integrity in both societies. Colleagues from the Consular Corps of Queensland, including Ms. Melissa O’Rourke and Mr. Charlie Sandil, lent their support, highlighting the diplomatic bonds that bind nations together.

Moreover, the Presidents of various Greek and Cypriot communities, parishes, and associations across Queensland united in solidarity, reflecting the rich tapestry of Greek heritage and tradition woven into the fabric of Queensland society.

As the day drew to a close, a sentiment echoed by all resonated deeply: "May the bonds of friendship between Greece and Queensland continue to flourish and may the ideals of freedom and democracy continue to shine brightly for generations to come." In celebrating Greece's Independence Day, the Queensland Greek community not only honoured its past but also reaffirmed its commitment to a future built on the principles of unity, resilience, and shared humanity.

Photo Gallery of the evening. Photos copyright Geroge Karantonis / Image Smart

GCT Team

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

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