Let us rewind to the early 1950’s and the decades that followed.

Many of our parents and grandparents arrived in this beautiful country and immediately immersed themselves into hard work which resulted in creating the perfect setting to raise families which have grown to become the very fabric of Australia. They created flourishing communities which started with the building of churches to practice their faith.

These very churches became not only a place of worship but places where the community comes together to celebrate important events on the religious calendar, important events such as Greek National Day and OXI Day. As part of these churches, schools were also built to teach their children the Hellenic language, faith and culture.

These bold and heroic people, our mothers, fathers and grandparents are now reaching ripe old age and all too often we are beginning to bid them goodbye on their final journey.

What is not widely known, is that the majority of these churches which our parents/grandparents created have outward ministry programs which provide assistance to our elderly.

Whether it be nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and home visits we try to visit each and every one of them on a monthly basis for their religious needs but also for a chat and companionship.

2019 will be a challenging year in this space, with limited resources we will strive to make a difference, however, assistance is needed in each and every Parish. Therefore the call is put out to each and every one of you to approach your local priest and offer some time to make the remainder of the lives of the elderly in our community a little easier and to give something back to the very people that created the fantastic communities of which we are a part of.

Let’s make 2019 a year of focus on our elderly and offer them the companionship and dignity they rightfully deserve.

Each of your local churches run or are associated with an elderly citizens club and many localities have several of them operating on different days. These clubs offer our elderly the opportunity to socialise with other elderly members of the community, share a meal, play some bingo, cards or Tavli. Encourage your parents/grandparents to attend, it will do them a world of good and let us embrace and support these clubs which offer such an important service to our elderly.

Greek Australians are renowned for their hospitality and good will. Let us continue these virtues and extend them to our very own who need our support and companionship.