On Sunday, 7 January 2024, in the presence of hundreds of faithful, the service of the Blessing of the waters and throwing of the Holy Cross took place at the Bogey Hole ocean pool in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales. This is the location where the Blessing of the Waters for the Feast Day of the Epiphany has been repeated for 65 consecutive years.
The Blessing of the Waters was conducted by the Parish Priest of the Church of the Holy Apostles, Father Nicholas Scordilis, along with Deacons Mark and Evangelos, in the presence of the members of the Parish Council, members of the Church Choir, and well as the Honorary Consul General of Greece in Newcastle, Mr. Zisis Antoniades and many faithful.
From the group of twelve pious youths who dove into the sea for the Holy Cross, Mr. Panagiotis Athanasiou had the blessing of retrieving the Cross. All those who dove for the Cross were given an icon of Christ, as a blessing from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, as well as a commemorative t-shirt bearing the inscription “Epiphany 2024” and the special logo for the centenary celebrations of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
It is noted that the ceremony was covered by the local media networks, including the television station NBN3, who praised and congratulated the Greek community for its devotion to its religious traditions.