War through Hellenic eyes
Ex-warrant officer Peter Adamis shares with us his personal account of what it’s like to be a Greek Australian soldier fighting for your country and what the spirit of ANZAC means to him
Before embarking on a passionate subject such as ANZAC Day, a word that is close to my heart and what it means to me as an Australian of Hellenic origins, it’s important that I begin with a disclaimer in order that my thoughts are not misrepresented. I am fully cognizant with the Australian tall poppy syndrome that is always waiting in the shadows to pounce on the gullible and therefore beg forgiveness if my thoughts are misconstrued, have erred in any matter of historical interest or have forgotten a vital point relevant to the meaning of ANZAC Day.
It is after all my personal point of view, free of any political influences and much based on my personal experiences as an Australian of Hellenic origins, who has worn the uniform of Australia.
I am also aware that there are many individuals whose origins are from a country other than Australian or New Zealand. who have served and/or are currently serving in the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces this day. I gladly accept any constructive criticism that will enhance the article in form or shape.
However, before I move on, it is important to mention that we must not forget what the letters ANZAC (always capitalised) stand for: Australian New Zealand Army Corps and that ANZAC Day is always commemorated on the 25th April of each calendar year. With due respect to our Kiwi brothers across the ocean and for the sake of this article, the words ANZAC Day are in relation to Australian experiences and I acknowledge that there are many migrant similarities.
Despite the odd person who may scoff at my point of view, I do not believe that ANZAC Day is about glorifying war, claiming battles were won or lost; be they, right or wrong, who wears the most medals and certainly it was not meant to be celebrated that War in itself is just. I am also mindful of the huge sacrifices that this nation (despite its small population) we call Australia, has made to global peace and continues to do so by contributing its fair share of manpower and resources to maintain a balance in the world of man.
I can only express my own thoughts which I hope are shared by others of the Hellenic race of people who have made Australia home.
However having said that, one would expect that the same thoughts are felt by all those who were born in the mother country or whose origins are other than Australia. It is relevant to note that the reference to the mother country could infer Scotland, Italy, Wales, England, Ireland, Greece, and Germany, Baltic countries, Africa, Middle East, Asia, India, China, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey, America and a host of other countries that contributed to the fabric of the Australian society.
Having gone thus so far it is also worthy to note the indigenous population of Australia the aboriginal people with their many nations of tribes and those of the Torres Straits Islanders.
Such tribes were here at the beginning of Dream Time and after the arrival of the First Fleet they have been very much part of the fabric weaved on the loom of Australian society.
This article is a but a random jumble of thoughts and threads (gathered in no certain order) covering over a period of forty years, containing the full version of my personal account of what ANZAC Day means to me as an Australian of Hellenic origins. A shorter condensed version is available for those wish to be spared the boredom of reading a lengthy account of one’s experiences. However, despite its length, this article on ANZAC Day and its meaning to an Australian of Hellenic (Greek) heritage may be of significance to others who may encounter or have similar engagements and maybe worthwhile comparing those experiences at some future date.
Therefore, this article is one person’s perspective (mine and mine alone) and it is dedicated it to all those men and women who have worn the uniform of Australia; with particular emphasis on my cobbers (mates) and those superb leaders who helped to develop me as an Australian.
The leaders were: Maurice Barwick, John Best, Jack Currie, Peter Phillips, Ron Lovelock, Bob Anderson, Brian Cooper, Dave Dalton, Ray Purdon, “Bluey” Peter Roberts, Tony “Harry the Hat” Hammett, “Warrie” George Mansford, Barry French, Eddie Black, Tony Kelly, Clinton Breeze, Doug Ball, “Yank” Bill Akell, Peter Thomas, David Lewin, “Pup” Elliot, Peter Alkemade, Ron Hill, Barry Tolly, Jock Smith, Barrie Daniels, Mick Hardless, Warren Payne, “Lofty” Eiby, Bert Franks, Ron Lunt, Mick Strong, Peter Rosemond, and many many others whose faces I remember but their names elude me. IT is of relevance to note that the above list does not include my colleagues, acquaintances, friends, comrades in arms, mates, my best cobbers and/or the many Australian Defence civilians being the subject of another story.
I have travelled across this wide and beautiful land of ours, admiring its beautiful sunsets and sunrises, crystal clear streams, harsh deserts, long and winding roads and the sandy beaches and felt the cool sea breezes and breathed the crisp cool mountain air. How could one forget the many towns, farms, remote and outback places and the busy sprawling cities? No matter the size or location of such habitation there is every chance you will find war memorials in varying forms, be it a towering cenotaph or a small modest statue of a digger.
Perhaps a wall with the names of those long gone, a highway or road lined on either sides with trees dedicated to past serving members of the Australian Defence Force.
- Register Now
- Fans make the Wanderers a good investment
- Do it like the Greeks says German consul
- Turkey condemns NSW's genocide recognition
- Tailor made coffee
- Mykonos: Something to 'Crowe' about
- Sisterly love to the end
- Greek community pays tribute to Hazel Hawke
- Fitch upgrades Greece's credit rating
- Recognising genocide
- Political history in the Arts
- 8 May 2013 | 13 Votes
- 3 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 15 May 2013 | 9 Votes
- 13 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 8 May 2013 | 8 Votes
- 22 May 2013 | 6 Votes
More from this Section
- Angelopoulos' Greek drama
- Political history in the Arts
- Marxist reporter won praise for his work
- Eurovision 2013: The kitsch and the high notes
- Myth versus reality: Athens during the peak of the crisis
- The Constantinople spirit
- The outfit says it all
- Unravelling Greece's crisis
- Crossing into the unknown
- Tall tales
A musical passage from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia
Senator claims Labor's asylum seeker policy is the reason for the government turning a blind eye to the Malaysian election result
Golden Dawn's aspirations to open an Australian chapter will be the feature of this Tuesday's Dateline on SBS
Greece finishes up in sixth place at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with Denmark taking the top gong.
Wellington Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie will play for Major League Soccer club Toronto FC
NSW parliament "condemns the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance"
An anti-racism bill aimed at reining in the ultra-right Golden Dawn party by imposing tougher penalties on the incitement of racist violence has caused a major rift
Greek Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) found that 25.6 percent of businesses and individuals whose books were checked for tax infringements were found to be in violation
Campaigner for the Cypriot community for years, Mr Toumbourou was beloved by many in the Greek and Cypriot community
Greek artist-architect, sculptor and philosopher Kostis Velonis talks to Neos Kosmos as he visits Melbourne for the opening of the exhibition Direct Democracy
With one of the largest Kytherian populations living in Sydney, the small Greek island has seen a steady flow of Australian tourists visiting its shores
Greek Australian artist Anna Pappas took part in 2013 Art-Athina, determined to aid long-term Greek Australian cooperation in art
The Victorian Premier League returns this weekend with Round Five, and South Melbourne welcome Richmond Eagles, and their new coach, in their first home game this season
Nick Giannopoulos, Vince Colosimo, and Alex Dimitriades take over The Party, presented by DJ Krazy Kon.
AEK Athens said it was preparing to declare bankruptcy and seek relegation to the third division
The plight of migrants in the fields of Greece
Research is on history, literature, or archaeology, in the Egyptian, Greek, Roman or post-Roman worlds.
The conclusion of the A1 basketball league’s regular season saw the relegation of Peristeri to the A2 after a dramatic battle with Ilisiakos