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The Philhellenes and the Greek Revolution was the theme of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society’s 5th Presentation, which took place on Friday the 18th of June, 2021 at the Greek Orthodox Mission Centre – Kingsgrove. It was presented by the young ladies and men of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society as part of the celebrations by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for the 200 Year Anniversary of the Greek Revolution.

The Philhellenes who were grateful for what the Ancient Greeks contributed to civilization, and who wished to assist the modern Greeks to free themselves from the tyrannical burden of Ottoman rule, fought alongside Greeks and assisted in many other ways towards the creation of a modern Greek state. Many of them ended up dying in the struggle for Greek independence.

We learned about the contribution of the great Romantic writers, Lord Byron, Perche Bysshe Shelley and Victor Hugo. We learned about how the Swiss doctor, Jacob Meyer; the English officer Frank Abner Hastings; and the Philhellenes in the Battle of Peta, fought and died for Greece. We were moved by the efforts of the distinguished soldiers, the German, General Norman; the Frenchman, General Fabvier; and the Englishmen, Sir Richard Church and Sir Edward Codrington. We were inspired by the great philanthropic energy of the Swiss banker, Gabriel Eynard and the Americans Samuel Gridley Howe, George Jarvis and Jonathan Miller who prevented thousands of Greeks from starving to death at the end of the Revolution and in the years which followed the creation of a free Greek nation.

All of this was conveyed with poems, drama and powerful songs, all of which reflected those aspects of the Revolution which drew the attention of Europe and America to the struggle in Greece and inspired the Philhellenes to volunteer: like the long Siege and Exodus at Messolonghi; the Battle for the Acropolis; heroes like Markos Botsaris and Ioannis Makriyiannis; the destruction of Chios; and the thousands who were butchered or sent to the slave markets under Ibrahim’s policy of extermination in the Morea.

The presentation was received enthusiastically by the audience and all the clergy who were present.

His Eminence, our Archbishop Makarios was represented by the Abbot of Pantanassa Monastery, Fr Eusebios, who expressed how moved he was by the fact that this Concert was presented by young people who are third and fourth generation Greeks living in Australia. He also expressed how honoured and happy he was to represent His Eminence, knowing how much His Eminence loves and cares for the young people. He conveyed to the young people that he will share everything that he saw and experienced at the Presentation with His Eminence. Fr Eusebios also congratulated the Greek Orthodox Christian Society for their contribution to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese 1821 Program of Events with their excellent Presentations.