The much-anticipated arrival of 12 Evzones, elite soldiers of the Hellenic Presidential Guard, is upon us. The elite infantrymen will arrive in Australia on Tuesday (23 April), accompanied by their Lieutenant General, Head of the Military Office of the President of the Hellenic Republic.
Andrew Andrews, member of the Foundation for Hellenic Studies, could not be prouder of the men’s arrival in Adelaide following his initiation and coordination of the visit. “These young men are bringing Greece to Australia showcasing the best that Greece has to offer. We just feel so proud that, for the third consecutive year, Adelaide will have the honour of hosting them. They really make us all feel so proud to be Greek,” Mr Andrews said.
They will march to commemorate the role of the soldiers of Greece and Crete in the war efforts. Known as the ‘forgotten Anzacs, their presence at the parade emphasises the special relationship between Greece and Australia.
Unlike previous years, Adelaide will be the only Australian city to have the honour of welcoming Evzones to the parade. In the absence of any Government support, a two-day fund-raising campaign was spearheaded by former SA Treasurer and Member for West Torrens Tom Koutsantonis and sufficient funds were raised from members and organisations within the Greek community.
“The Evzones’ visit to Adelaide has been made possible thanks to the generous support of our local community. It is the first time that the Evzones will be commemorating both Anzac Day and Easter with us, so we encourage everyone to attend,” Mr Andrews said.
“If there is one thing that unifies our community here in South Australia, that is the outpouring of love and respect that we all experience when we welcome the Evzones to Australia. They make us feel like we are home away from home.”
The Evzones will remain in Adelaide for seven days and will also take part in Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations.
Wednesday, 24 April
9.30 – 10.30am Private visit to the Consulate Office of the Hellenic Republic, Grenfell Street, Adelaide.
11.00am – 12.30pm Visit to St Basil’s Homes (SA) – Winchester Street, St Peters.
Thursday, 25 April
5.45– 6.45am Dawn Service at the City of West Torrens Memorial Grounds, Brooker Terrace, Richmond.
9.30 – 11.30am Anzac Day Parade through the streets of Adelaide.
12.00 – 12.30pm Cross of Sacrifice Service in Pennington Gardens held after the conclusion of the Anzac Day march
Friday, 26 April
3.00 – 4.00pm ‘Apokathylosis’ service at St George Church, Thebarton.
7.30 – 10.30pm Good Friday service at St George Church. Evzones will escort the ‘Epitafio’ around the surrounding streets of Thebarton.
Saturday, 27 April
11.00pm –midnight Orthodox Easter Saturday Members of the Guard will attend three different Churches: St George Church, The Nativity of Christ and Prophet Elias.
Monday, 29 April
9.30am – midday The Guard will attend Church service at St George Church, to commemorate the Saint’s day.
2.30 – 3.30pm Adelaide High School Assembly – Assembly in honour of visit to SA of the Hellenic Presidential Guard.
5.00 – 7.00pm Open Public Reception at the Thebarton Theatre, hosted by the State Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Peter Malinauskas MP and with the generous support of the Thebarton Theatre.
Tuesday, 30 April
9.30am – midday The Guard will attend Church service at Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Church, to commemorate the Saint’s day.
2.00 – 3.00pm St George College Assembly in honour of visit to SA of the Hellenic Presidential Guard.
Visit concludes on 1 May. More info on Facebook.com/HellenicStudies.