On Sunday evening, 21 January 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia received in person the wishes for his recent Patronal Feast Day from from hundreds of faithful of the “Greek City” of Melbourne, who were present at the official Dinner given in his honour at the Cretan Village Reception Hall.
The event was graced by the presence of Metropolitan Ezekiel of Dervis, Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolus, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis and Bishop Themistocles of Nicopolis (Patriarchate of Alexandria), the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, representatives of the political leadership, including the Federal Member of Parliament Ms. Maria Vamvakinou MP, who represented the Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Anthony Albanese, the President of the Intercommunities Council of Victoria Mr. Tony Tsourdalakis, the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne Mr. Bill Papastergiadis, Presidents and representatives of Parishes-Communities, institutions of the Archdiocese and Greek Organisations and Associations, the brother of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Mr. Nikolaos Archontonis, with his wife, Katerina, among many others.
The evening included greetings from official guests and an address by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who, focusing on the current milestone year, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Holy Archdiocese, addressed a unifying message and asked for everyone’s mobilisation in light of the challenges that accompany the dawn of the new centenary. “Let us be united in the name of Christ and under the roof of our Archdiocese. Let us all move forward together for the glory of Christ, our Nation and our Faith”, urged His Eminence paternally, while also making special mention of the Apostolic Visit of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the fifth continent, next October.
As the proceeds of the event are to be allocated to the needs of the Drug Rehabilitation Centre called “Elpis”, during the evening, a briefing was held on this newly established structure of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, by Ms. Maria Gakopoulos, Managing Director of the “Agape” Organisation.
Also, Archbishop Makarios cut the celebratory cake surrounded by students of St. John’s College and Oakleigh Grammar School, while he honoured distinguished members of the local Church, for their valuable contribution to Greek Orthodox parishes in Melbourne and the State of Victoria more widely, with the Distinction of the Order of the Christ-Loving.
Finally, the event was brightened by the participation and presentation of Greek traditional dances by the members of the Florina Association’s “Aristoteles” dance troupe.