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Melbourne: Greek Independence Parade

Melbourne: Greek Independence Parade

The annual parade for the Revolution of 1821 returned to the city of Melbourne after a three-year hiatus, on Sunday, 19 March with pride. The impressive parade began 1pm at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium. Greek Australians, officials and members of the clergy paid their respects, celebrating Greece’s National Day of Independence.

The parade is held at this venue after the decision by the custodians of the Shrine of Remembrance not to allow it to be held there due to incidents in the recent past by far-right activists against the former Syriza Greek government spokesperson George Varenos. They protested the Prespes Agreement in which the name North Macedonia was accepted as the official nomenclature for the jurisdiction north to Greece which had been a focus of conflict between Greece and its northern neighbour after the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s Balkan Wars.
South Melbourne FC president Nick Maikousis addresses the crowd as Chairman of the Victorian Council for Greek National Day Tony Tsourdalakis looks on.

Students and members of the community attended the customary Doxology for the National Palingenesia at St. Eustatius Cathedral, presided over by the Archbishop of Australia, Archbishop Makarios of Victoria.

Students won – again this year – the hearts and applause of proud parents and their ancestors who came down to the stadium to cheer on their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The special feature of this year’s parade as well was the strong participation of young people.

At the same time, congratulations are due to those who worked hard to organise the parade, especially our children who brought life and color to the celebration. And of course to the head of the Organising Committee, Tony Tsourdalakis and his colleagues.

The main stand at Lakeside Stadium was at capacity to enjoy proceedings.

The parade began with a procession of the Dormition of the Theotokos, followed by the Greek, Cypriot and Australian flags held high and a recitation of the revolutionary oath sworn by the liberation leaders of 1821 at the monastery of Agia Lavra.

Greek schools and organisations from across the state paraded into the stadium, including NUGAS.

Drumming bands from Greek community schools marched in performance for the parades honorary opening. At the Lakeside Stadium Hall, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne Emmanuel Kakavelakis held a reception for our national anniversary, attended by Australian and Greek Australian politicians, Archbishop of Australia Makarios, representatives of Greek Community, guests and dignitaries.

Some of the attendees complained about the lack of parking in the area and the “traffic jam” that inconvenienced them.

Members of Victoria and the Australian Federal Police, and State Ambulance, Fire and Emergency services personnel took part in the parade followed by delegations from over 60 community federations, organisations, schools and various other bodies of the Greek community.

Archbishop Makarios of Australia was in attendance, alongside State and Federal Governments.

Source: neoskosmos.com