The Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia officially launched on Saturday the 27th of March its events program to celebrate the 200th Year Anniversary of the Greek Revolution
The official launch was marked with a Gala Evening at the Olympic Hall, a glamorous reception attended by many Members of Parliament, the Consul General of Greece, representatives of local Greek Associations and members of the Community.
The event also celebrated the 90th Year Anniversary of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia since last year’s celebrations had to be cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.
During the formal part, the Hon David Pisoni, Minister for Innovation and Skills, talking about the successful outcome of the Greek Revolution mentioned that the Greek success story inspired many other countries towards their independence.
“Greek migrants had the same effect in Australia setting up the model to success,” he said.
Beginning his message with a verse from the famous poem ‘Thourios’, by Rigas Fereos, the President of the Greek Community Mr. Bill Gonis said that the Community follows the steps of the Heroes and their sacrifice, as they shape the course of history of our nation.
“By remembering and honouring the Great Struggle and its heroes, we make sure their legacy continues to lead us and inspire us not just within the Greek borders, but in every corner of the globe where Hellenes live and thrive,” Mr Gonis said.
On the occasion of the 200th Year Anniversary and the Gala Evening, the Community was honoured to receive a video message from the President of the Hellenic Republic, her Excellency Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou.
The video message was presented on the giant screen that was set up on the side of the stage.
“It was the Greeks of Diaspora who ignited the sense of Greek national identity just before the Revolution broke out.
“In this historic conjuncture, the Greeks of Diaspora have a special place in our collective memory,” she added.
The Consul General of Greece in South Australia, Hon George Psiahas had a similar approach in his message to that of the President of the Hellenic Republic.
“Hellenism always finds a way to survive and to maintain a strong sense of national identity, no matter what the situation is, either being under foreign rule or in the Diaspora,” he said.
On the aesthetic side of things, the Olympic Hall radiated its Hellenic character through the colours of the Greek flag and under the musical hues by ‘Meraki’ band, inspired by tradition and tale from the Great Struggle.
The aesthetic approach could not be complete without featuring the Great Heroes of the 1821 Revolution.
Images of some of the great legends of the Greek Struggle covered the covers from one end to the other, reminding everyone that Greece’s freedom was written with their own blood.
The cultural part of the evening featured performances by the students of the Community’s Dance Academy.
Performing traditional dance and songs inspired by the Greek Revolution along with the traditional costumes, the Academy added to a particularly moving atmosphere.
Other official guests who attended the Gala Evening were, the Hon Jing Lee, MLC, Assistant Minister to the Premier, the Hon Irene Pnevmatikos, MLC on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition Mr Peter Malinauskas, the Hon Connie Bonaros, MLC, the Hon Frank Pangallo MLC, the Hon David Ridgway, MLC, Mr Tom Koutsantonis, Member for West Torrens, Ms Jayne Stinson, Member for Badcoe, Mr Steve Georganas, Federal Member for Adelaide, former Attorney General of South Australia Hon Michael Atkinson, the Lord Mayor of Adelaide Hon Sandy Verschoor, the Mayor of the City of Unley Mr Michael Hewitson, Deputy Mayor of Adelaide Ms Mary Couros, Councillor Paul Alexandrides on behalf of the Mayor of Charles Sturt Ms Angela Evans and Ms Adriana Christopoulos, Member of the South Australian Multicultural & Ethnic Affairs Commission, on behalf of the Chair of the Commission Mr Norman Schueler.
The Greek Orthodox Community has scheduled a series of commemorative events throughout the year, with the Gala Evening being the first on the list.