The annual memorial service for the Battle of Crete and the Pontian Genocide took place at the Church of St Nektarios on Sunday the 30th of May. The service was officiated by His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon in the presence of the Consul of Greece in Perth, Mrs Georgia Karasiotou. Presidents from various Greek Organisations/Brotherhoods together with the principal, staff and students of St Andrew’s Grammar were also present.
A message from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia was read out referring to the Battle of Crete. His Eminence reminded all that:
There is no better way to honour our heroic forefathers than by aligning our path with the direction they have shown us by their example. In other words, by maintaining unity between us, keeping our faith in the values of our predecessors and being ready to defend them, whatever the cost and whenever this is deemed necessary…….On the occasion of today’s anniversary, we respectfully bow our heads to the thousands of Australians who fought and fell during the Battle of Crete and we renew our commitment to continue building bridges of friendship and solidarity between their two homelands… between our two homelands!
This was then followed by the reading of a second message from His Eminence which related specifically to the Pontian Genocide. In this message, His Eminence mentioned how:
We await the just recognition of this historical reality throughout the parliaments of Australia and amongst the international community – not out of spiteful retribution and hate but because such recognition is a way of ensuring that similar crimes perpetrated against humanity are prevented from recurring in the future. Like the just recognition of the Armenian genocide, we remain steadfast in our request to also see the Pontian Genocide receive its rightful acknowledgement on the local and wider political spheres.
Following the Divine Liturgy, an official Wreath Laying Service followed at the State War Memorial in Kings Park.