The smiles of the little students of Oakleigh Grammar couldn’t be any bigger as they waved their flags, welcoming the Evzones to their school.
The second day started off with a Doxology at St. Anargiri Greek Orthodox Church hosted by Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis and Bishop of Militoupoleos Iakovos and six Evzones in uniform. The unforgettable presence of the Presidential Guards in the church was accompanied by the school choir singing the Greek and Australian National Anthem inside church.
When the doxology finished, drums were heard outside the church, and the school marching band started the procession, leading the Evzones back to their school, where they were greeted by little students in awe, waving their flags at the school hall where the rest of the students and teachers stood waiting to begin the special assembly.
A truly special moment was at the end of the School Principle’s speech, Mark Robertson, who said that at school assembly students aren’t usually allowed to speak, but for this special ceremony he wanted them to loudly and proudly say “Zito” after him.
Goosebumps were felt by everyone in the room as the young students sat and stared at the Evzones in admiration.
Following official speeches by the Principle, the School Board President Mr Angelo Sardellis, and Lieutenant General Grigorios Prezerakos from the Hellenic Armed Forces, Captain Paraskevi Sirmi enlightened the students of the College with a presentation on the history of the Evzones, where they are based, their costumes and explained in detail the different garments and how the tsarouchia (shoes) are made.
The Evzones also made a special appearance at Alphington Grammar School and later 4 Evzones, 2 dressed in the traditional costume and 2 in the Cretan outfit stood beside the Eleftherios Venizelos statue at the Cretan Brotherhood property in East Brunswick, where a wreath laying ceremony took place to mark the 82nd anniversary of the death of Venizelos.
Day two done and more wonderful memories to add over the next few days!
*Images by Nick Bourdo Photography for Greek City Times (Copyright 2018)