Perth Honours Battle of Crete Heroes with Unveiling of New Memorial

2024 05 Battle Crete Perth 179

On Saturday, May 11th, a ceremony was held in Kings Park, Perth, to unveil the first monument in Australia dedicated to those who fought in the Battle of Crete against German forces in 1941.

His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the enduring importance of freedom and the sacrifices made to defend it. He declared the monument a symbol of the clash between freedom and tyranny during World War II.

Archbishop Makarios highlighted the heroism of the ANZACs, particularly those from Western Australia, who fought alongside the Cretans. He acknowledged the protection offered to Allied soldiers by Cretans, clergy, and monks after the evacuation. He emphasized that this shared struggle forged lasting bonds of friendship and solidarity.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries including the Governor of Western Australia, the Premier of Western Australia, the Greek Ambassador to Australia, representatives of political and military authorities, veterans, and community leaders.

The 105-year-old Arthur Leggett, the last remaining Battle of Crete veteran in Western Australia, was also present and shared a conversation with the Archbishop.

Left / Right His Excellency Stavros Venizelos, Arthur Leggett, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios

The Archbishop commended the sculptors, Smith Sculptors Group, and expressed gratitude to the State Government, the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand, the Committee for the Remembrance of the Battle of Crete, donors, and Richard Sandover for their contributions in making the monument a reality.

The Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand

VIPs:

  • His Excellency the Honourable Christopher Dawson AC APM, Governor of Western Australia
  • The Honourable Roger Cook MLA, Premier of Western Australia
  • The Honourable Matthew Keogh MP, Commonwealth Minister for Veteran's Affairs (representing the Prime Minister of Australia)
  • His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia and co-patron of the Battle of Crete Memorial Committee
  • His Excellency Stavros Venizelos, Ambassador for the Hellenic Republic of Greece to Australia

Special Guest:

  • Mr. Arthur Leggett OAM, sole surviving West Australian Battle of Crete Veteran

Officials:

  • Mr. Gary Mitchell, Master of Ceremonies
  • Ms. Di Ryder OAM, Noongar Elder (Welcome to Country)
  • Mr. Bill Evangel, President of the Greek Australian Returned and Services League (WA)
  • WA State War Memorial Sub Wardens
  • Chaplains: Wendy Robertson (11/28 RWAR), Matthew Hall, Thi Lam
  • Bugler (Last Post)

Family and Friends:

  • Families and friends of veterans who fought in the Battle of Crete

Community Groups:

  • Representatives from various community organizations

Photo Gallery of the days events

Images Copyright Nick Bourdaniotis / Greek City Times

Nick Bourdaniotis

Director of Photography

Greek City Times Director of photography

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