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Visit to the Hellenic Center by the high-ranking delegation of the Armed Forces of Greece

Visit to the Hellenic Center by the high-ranking delegation of the Armed Forces of Greece

GREEK COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA
24 May, 2024

Today, May 23, on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete, a high-ranking delegation of the Armed Forces of Greece visited the Hellenic Center.

The delegation is headed by Vice Admiral Christos Sasiakos, (Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the National Defense of Greece) and is flanked by Captain Pavlos Angelopoulos, (Staff Officer of the Directorate of Bilateral Relations of the General Staff of National Defense of Greece), Captain Pavlos Angelopoulos, (Staff D3 of the Directorate of International Relations GEETHA) and Admiral Stylianos Mitsiotis, (Staff Officer of the Directorate of Public Relations of the General Staff of National Defense). The delegation is accompanied by the Military Attaché of Greece in Canberra, Colonel Ioannis Fasianos.

Upon their arrival, they were welcomed by Mr. Vassilis Papastergiadis, President of the Hellenic Community of Melbourne (HECM), who after informing them about the history of HECM and the timeless and strong ties with the Cretan community stated "We are deeply moved that they are near us again this year, the delegation of the Armed Forces of our country. Your presence underlines the importance of this anniversary, not only for the Cretans, but also for the entire Greek diaspora, keeping our memory and historical heritage alive."

Mr. Papastergiadis continued by saying "May 1941 is a historic moment for Crete, Greece, and the whole world. The indomitable spirit of the Cretans, their courage and faith in Freedom moved and still move today. We honor the heroic spirit of the Greeks and the Australian and New Zealand allies and pay tribute to all those who selflessly sacrificed. As we were comrades in war, we are comrades in peace. Only in this way can we move forward, with our eyes fixed on the future. A future shaped by the valor of the past.”

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Vice-Admiral Christos Sasiakos, (Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the National Defense of Greece) emphasized "In the framework of the anniversary of the Battle of Crete, we came to Melbourne and in the following days we will visit Perth, Sydney and Canberra. However, in addition to the events of honor and memory for this historical event, our presence here comes to strengthen the ties of the Greek community with the Greek armed forces, but also with the wider Greek society."

For one more year, the Hellenic Ministry of Defense, as a sign of recognition of the sacrifice of the Anzacs in 1941 and the enduring international friendship between Greece and Australia, organized the mission of a high-level delegation to Australia for the commemoration events.

Ms. Natasha Spanou, president of the Coordinating Council of the Remembrance of the Battle of Crete and the rest of Greece, commented, "We are very happy that for another year, we have the armed forces with us to commemorate the Battle of Crete and of course not only the Greeks who lost their lives but also the Australian and New Zealand allies where they stood by our side when Greek history was written in red ink. Through the battle fought with honor, a deep friendship was formed. It is a chapter of bravery and selflessness that connected Australia, Crete and the whole of Greece forever. But we also honor the civilian population of Crete, who with insurmountable self-sacrifice fought for the greatest ideal, Freedom."

The Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, in his turn said "We are especially happy every time we receive representatives of the Armed Forces. The celebrations for the Battle of Crete are among the biggest events for the Greek community, which are held with great splendor in Melbourne every year and contribute significantly to further strengthening the already excellent relations between Greece and Australia. Our responsibility today is to keep intact the sacred heritage that was bequeathed to us and to fight our own battles for the unity, harmony and progress of our Motherland."

 

About the Greek Community of Melbourne
Founded in 1897, the Greek Community of Melbourne is a prominent organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Greek history, culture and heritage in Australia. Through various initiatives, events and educational programs, the Community aims to strengthen the links between Greek Australians and their rich cultural background.

 

 

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