Parelasi 43

The grand march to the Opera House led by Archbishop Makarios of Australia and the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Greece

Parelasi 43

The central streets of Sydney were “flooded” with the Greek blue and white colours, on Sunday, 24 March 2024. On this day, the Greek Community of the Australian City of Sydney festively celebrated the National Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821 en masse.

The anniversary events culminated in front of the iconic Sydney Opera House, after a Doxology was held at the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, and a Memorial Service was chanted and wreaths were laid in honour of the Heroes of 1821 at the Cenotaph located in Martin Place, and a grand parade took place with the participation of many young students, various groups of Greek associations and organisations and thousands of Greeks.

The march was led by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Greece Mr. Theodoros Livanios, who were joined by other officials, among whom were: Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, the Ambassador of Greece to Australia His Excellency Mr. Stavros Venizelos, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to Australia His Excellency Mr. Antonios Sammoutis, the State Minister for Finance, Industry, Government Procurement and Natural Resources in New South Wales, Ms. Courtney Houssos, the State Minister for Industrial Relations and Health & Safety at Work in NSW Ms. Sophia Cotsis MP, President of the Greek Community of New South Wales Mr. Harry Danalis, the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, the Trade Commissioner Ms. Chrysoula Prokopaki, the NSW Shadow Minister for Finance, and Shadow Minister for Sport Ms. Eleni Petinos MP, and the President of the NSW Intercommunities Council Mr. Kosmas Dimitriou.

Upon the arrival of all the groups of the procession to the Opera House, the students of the schools of the Holy Archdiocese spread great emotion and caused feelings of pride and national upliftment, as they sang the National Anthems of Greece and of Australia.

This was followed by the delivery of anniversary speeches by the officials, first of all was His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who at first welcomed the reinstatement of the institution of the parade for the National Anniversary of Greece. “With great joy and emotion,” he emphasised, “after a five-year break due to the pandemic, all Greeks and Philhellenes gathered at the well-known Sydney Opera House, on the occasion of the beginning of the 1821 Revolution and the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady”.

“We have gathered to shout out with pride: Long live Greece!”, His Eminence pointed out and continued: “We have all gathered here, not to prove that we are strong, but to give the message and testimony of unity to everyone. We are united because this is what the history of our ancestors taught us. We are united as Greeks because with unity we move forward and are led to the light.

We are united as a people, as a Nation and as Orthodox because we have the same blood, the same history, the same sufferings, the same pains, the same sighs. Together our ancestors went through war, joys, sorrows, births and deaths. Together we go through the pleasant and unpleasant things of life. Together, our children will move forward.”

The Archbishop of Australia repeated the exhortation to the Greeks, not to forget that “in our veins flows the blood of saints and heroes”, as well to walk with national pride, since “we Greeks do not kneel, except before icons and before our dead”.

Before concluding his speech, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked all the Greeks for their enthusiastic participation in the celebration of the National Anniversary, while he also welcomed the presence of the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Greece, Mr. Theodoros Livanios, who represented the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “I assure you that the Greeks of Australia are an extension of Greece,” he said, among other things, addressing Mr. Livanios, while asking him to convey everyone’s appreciation to Prime Minister Mr. Mitsotakis and the Greek Government.

After the speeches, the celebrations were completed with the presentation of traditional dances of the homeland, by dance groups of the local Greek associations and organisations.

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