With a memorial service held in the “heart” of Sydney, at the Martin Place Cenotaph, and a grand celebratory event hosted at the impressive Sydney Town Hall, the Greek Regeneration celebrations culminated on Sunday, 26 March 2023, organised by the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, the Parishes – Communities of Sydney and New South Wales and the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales.
The moving ceremony, which took place at Martin Place, was attended by a large number of Greeks of all ages, including many young people and students from Greek Orthodox Schools, as well as representatives of Commonwealth, state and local government, diplomatic authorities and Greek organisations and associations. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who was joined by Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia, performed a memorial service for the repose of the Heroes of the Greek Revolution of 1821, while wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph.
The celebratory pulse then moved to the Sydney Town Hall, which was awash with Greek sounds, while a large blue and white Greek National flag dominated the centre stage of its magnificent hall. The celebratory program included the recitation of poems and the presentation of traditional Greek dances, with their impeccable presentation by the new generation of Greek Australians evoking feelings of emotion, national exaltation and pride in the large audience.
During the event, speeches were delivered by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW, Mr. Harry Danalis, and the President of the Intercommunities Committee Mr. Kosmas Dimitriou. His Eminence, after referring to the special temperament of the Greeks, addressed a paternal plea to the Greeks of Australia to remember the values that unite Hellenism through time, which also united the fighters of the Revolution of 1821 in the common struggle.
“We are a people whose heart does not beat at normal rates,” he characteristically observed and pointed out: “We Greeks have a heart that beats fast. That is, we have more life in us than we should. That’s why we fought and always fight, that’s why wherever we go we give our “present witness”, that’s why we fight and then we meet again, we embrace one another. But we never forget our history and we never forget our faith. We do not forget that our ancestors fought, as they themselves said, for the Holy Faith of Christ and the Freedom of the Homeland. I want you to remember these two points.”