On Sunday, 30 October 2022, in the crowded Archdiocesan Church of “Axion Estin” of the Archdiocesan District of Northcote, the Orthros and the Divine Liturgy were celebrated, officiated and presided over by His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, with the participation of the holy Clergy of the Archdiocesan District.
Following this, a Doxology was conducted on the Greek National Anniversary of October 28, 1940, where Bishop Evmenios read the message of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia and conveyed his prayers and blessings to the congregation.
This was followed by the reading of the chronicle of the historical “OXI / NO” and the recitation of poems by students from the two Greek schools, St. John’s College Preston and Oakleigh Grammar.
Afterwards, all who were present made their way to the monument located in the forecourt of the Church, where a Memorial Service was held for the heroes of the Epic of 1940, Conducted by His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta and assisted by Fr. Konstantinos Apostolellis. The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, offered a brief greeting at the memorial service.
This was followed by the laying of wreaths at the memorial site, by: His Grace Bishop of Kerasountos Evmenios on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, on behalf of the Hellenic Republic, the Federal Member of Parliament for Calwell, Ms. Maria Vamvakinou, on behalf of the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Anthony Albanese, The Minister of Tourism, Sports and Major Events Mr. Steve Dimopoulos, on behalf the Premier of Victoria Mr. Daniel Andrews, Shadow Minister for Arts, Creative Industries and Member for the Southern Metropolitan Region Mr David Davis, on behalf the Leader of the State Opposition Mr. Mathew Guy, Councillor Emily Dimitriades, on behalf of the Darebin City Council, Councillor Helen Pavlides-Mihalakos on behalf of the Moreland City Council, Councillor Theo Zografos on behalf of the Monash City Council, The President of the Intercommunities Counciil of Victoria, Mr. Tony Tsourdalakis, Vice-President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Mr.Marinis Pirpiris, The President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne, Mr. Theo Theophanous, The President of the Greek Australian Ex-Servicemen Association of Melbourne, Mr Panagiotis Dourios, The Vice-president of the Hellenic RSL Sub-branch, Mr. Con Dimaras, The President of the Australian Federation of Pontian Organisations, Mrs. Simela Stamatopoulos, The President of the Federation of Pontian Organisations of Australia, Mr. Peter Stefanidis, The President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Mr. Manuel Starakis, The President of the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne, Mr. Milton Stamatakos, The President of the Thessaloniki Association “White Tower”, Mr. Paul Mavroudis, The President of the Central Pontian Association “Pontiaki Estia “, Mr. Con Tseprailidis, The President of the Dodecanesian Federation of Australia, Mr. Jim Tseros, The President of the Kalamata Society 23rd March, Mr. Sam Vlahos, The President of the Panepirotic Union of Melbourne, Mr. Evangelos Porfyris, The President of The Hellenic Medical Association of Australia, Mr. Marinis Pirpiris, The President of the Hellenic Womens Federation, Ms. Sofia Mastoris, The President of the Pan Messinian Brotherhood “PAPAFLESSAS”, Mr. Steve Gotsis, Mrs. Parthena Tsompanopoulos of the Merimna Pontian Ladies Australia, The President of AHEPA Victoria, Mr. Peter Mercoulias, The President of the Halkidiki Association of Melbourne, Mr. Lefteris Kourtis, The President of the Pontian Association ‘Akrites tou Pontou’, Mr. Harry Zairis, The Principal of the Aetolian College & Hellenic Culture, Ms. Stella Pisera, as well as from the Leaders of the Student Body of the College of Saint John Preston, Kaila Zachos and Louiza Marakis, and Oakleigh Grammar College Student Body Leaders, Olivia McLeod and George Zikas.
Present, among others, was the state Labor MP, Mr. Lee Tarlamis.
This was followed by a reception for all the officials hosted by His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta.
Then, under the sounds of the Macedonian brass, the Cretan and Pontic lyre and with the amazing presence of the dance groups of the Local Greek Community, this year’s festival was held in the forecourt of the Archdiocesan Church, the Holy Monastery of “Axion Estin”.
In order of appearance the “Akritai of Pontos”, the Cretan Associations, the Cultural Association of Florina “Aristotelis”, the Greek Community, the Central Union of Pontian Associations “Pontian Estia” and the Cultural Association “Periklis”, dances with all their hearts. Over 150 dancers took part in this year’s ‘OXI’ Day Anniversary celebration.
People began to arrive en masse from the morning hours, after the church service. The participation of the congregation in what was organised by the officials of the Archdiocesan District of Northcote. From very early on, the area filled and there left very little space, with the participants enjoying songs and dances from all over Greece.
The most important thing is that this program was implemented by people of all ages, with endless passion and love for the culture of the Homeland of Greece, and this certainly promises a lot for the future.
The dance groups showed once again that they are justly among the best of the Greek diaspora. Dance teachers Parthena Tsombanopoulos, Michael Vassiliou, Despina Levoyannis, George Kyriakidis, Evangelia Starakis, Joseph Tsombanopoulos, take their responsibilities very seriously and this is distinguished by the style and dancing ethos of the young performers.
Many congratulations are also due to the ladies of the Philoptochos of “Axion Estin” Parish, as well as all the volunteers for their tireless efforts, in order to serve all the visitors of the events in the best way.
See more photos on the ‘Vema’ Facebook page.