On Sunday, 10 December 2023, His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea travelled to the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Bunbury, located 170km south of Perth, for its annual parish celebrations.
The day commenced with the Matins and Hierarchal Divine Liturgy followed by a delicious seafood lunch in the church hall.
Present at this year’s celebrations for the feast day of Saint Nicholas were the Ambassador of Greece to Australia, His Excellency Mr. Georges Papacostas together with his wife, Ms. Gohar Badalyan. Both visitors were escorted by the Consul of Greece in Perth, Mrs Georgia Karasiotou. In addition, the President of the United Hellenic Association of Bunbury, Mr. Aristos Papandroulakis, was also in attendance together with members from the local Greek Orthodox Community of Bunbury.
Many people also travelled from Perth for this year’s festivities which also coincided with the 6-month memorial service of Father Sotirios Vlahopoulos. Father Sotirios served the Church of Saint Nicholas in Bunbury for 23 years. Before this, his father, Fr Athanasios Vlahopoulos, had also served the parish for over two decades.
In his homily, His Grace Bishop Elpidios stated: “Every year, the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas is celebrated on the 6th of December; however, it has always been the local tradition here in Bunbury to conduct the official celebrations on the Sunday after the 6th of December. I remember coming to Bunbury for the annual Saint Nicholas celebrations as a young boy. It was truly one of the highlights of the year. I recall serving as an altar boy in the sanctuary each time I would come”.
Following the Dismissal, His Grace Bishop Elpidios conveyed to all the faithful the paternal love and blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.