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Sydney: ANZAC Day Service held at the Saint Spyridon War Memorial Church

Ahead of ANZAC Day (April 25), a National Day of Remembrance in Australia, as well as in New Zealand, St Spyridon’s Parish in Kingsford, Sydney commemorated the men and women of the Corps who fought and sacrificed for worthy ideals during World War I and World War II, and in other missions over the past century and more.

At this commemoration event, which in recent years has been established as an annual event in the Parish of Saint Spyridon, last Sunday, 21 April 2024, after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a Memorial Service was held for the repose of the souls of the heroic ANZACs, which was conducted by the Parish Priest, Father Steven Scoutas and Assistant Priest, Father Stavros Ivanos.

St Spyridon College students impeccably carried the role of flag bearers and recited the Ode in both English and Greek, while wreaths were laid, in front of the Royal Doors of the Altar, by representatives of the Local Government, by the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, by the president of the Parish of Saint Spyridon, Mr. Elia Economou, as well as by Veterans of the RSL Association, by officers of the Australian Army and by representatives of other agencies and associations.

Photographs: Damascus Economou

At the end of the Memorial Service, Fr. Steven Scoutas spoke appropriately about the occasion, while, among other things, he recalled a speech delivered by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. In that speech, His All-Holiness emphasised that war and violence are never means used by God to achieve a result.

On the contrary, he judged it to be mostly the machinations of the devil, while clarifying that the Orthodox Church condones, only in a few cases, armed defence against oppression and violence. He added that “as a rule, the peaceful resolution of disputes and peaceful cooperation are more pleasing to God and more beneficial to humanity”. Father Steven concluded his address by affirming that “indeed, the peaceful resolution of international disputes is what we all pray for.”