Greek Australians attended moving ceremonies around the country, remembering the day the Greeks said ‘no’ to the Italian invading forces, an action marking the beginning of Greece’s military participation in WWII.

Commemorative events and parades took place on Sunday in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast, among others, with both young and old gathering to pay their respects.

In Melbourne, the main event was organised by the Association of Greek Orthodox Communities and Parishes of Melbourne and Victoria at Northcote’s Greek Orthodox Church, Axion Esti where the 152nd anniversary of the Holocaust of the Monastery of Arkadi was also commemorated by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne.

Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis led the church service, which was then followed by a wreath-laying ceremony and the annual paniyiri of the church, while attendees also had the opportunity to listen to students’ recital of poems paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the war.

Among those present at the Sunday commemorative events and festivities was Greece’s Consul General in Melbourne, Dimitris Mihalopoulos who also attended the Oakleigh Grammar celebration of ‘ΟΧΙ’ Day last Friday.

A memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony was also held at the Shrine of Remembrance by the Hellenic RSL and was preceded by a church service at St Efstathios.