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Greek National Day Celebrations in the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide again held official celebrations for Greek National Day. Always held on or around the great feast of the Annunciation (25th of March), this year’s event was scheduled for the Sunday before, on 24th of March 2024.

As always, the day’s celebrations began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the Doxology service at the Archiepiscopal Church of St Sophia (Holy Wisdom of God), Bowden. The service was presided by the Archiepiscopal Vicar for the District of Adelaide, His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope, who conveyed the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, and made note of the fact that three special events were being commemorated together – the Annunciation (celebrating the forefeast), the Sunday of Orthodoxy (including the procession with icons), and the Doxology service for Greek Independence day.

His Grace also exhorted and encouraged the people to practice their faith – noting that it is not sufficient for us to merely be called Christian, but to be devout and Orthodox in our faith. The service was attended by the Consul-General from Greece in Adelaide Mr. George Psiachas, Federal MP Steve Georganas (seat of Adelaide) and local mayor Angela Evans (City of Charles Sturt), as well as representatives from all three branches of the Australian armed forces and from many of the Greek cultural associations.

After the Liturgy and Doxology service, the Inter-Communities Council (ICC) of the District of Adelaide hosted the memorial trisagion service in the traditional location at the State War Memorial on North Terrace (in the Adelaide CBD), in which faithful gathered from Greek Orthodox parishes and schools all over Adelaide to remember those who had fallen “for the Holy Faith in Jesus Christ and the Freedom of our Homeland”.

The trisagion was followed by the customary wreath laying, with wreaths being laid by various Federal, State and Local Government MPs – including the Premier Mr Peter Malinauskus, Minister for Transport Tom Koutsantonis, and Minister for Small Business Andrea Michaels. These were followed by representatives from the social institutions and schools of the Archdiocese, and many of the other Greek cultural organisations. The final wreath was laid by the president of the ICC, Dr Vladimyros Devrelis. The Consul-General for Greece in Adelaide, Mr. George Psiachas, also read the official letter by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

After the trisagion the faithful walked to the nearby Torrens Parade Ground where the third annual Greek Independence Day festival was held. The festival was held in an idyllic location amongst the shade of some significant gum trees, and showcased traditional Greek dance, song and poem performances by children of our Orthodox colleges and Greek schools.

The event was catered by the ubiquitous and tireless ladies of the Central Philoptochos, offering calamari plates, calamari yiros, Greek coffee and frappe – as well as the obligatory loukoumades. The festival has been steadily growing in popularity since its inception and was blessed with perfect weather this year, and the faithful responded accordingly. With the blessing of our Lord, who for us and for our salvation condescended to become incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, we pray that the event will continue to grow in popularity and become yet another showpiece of our faith – not only to the next generation of Greeks, but to all those blessed to live in this country.