When Greek ex-servicemen get together, the topic of conversation inevitably goes to history, politics and civic duty.
At the Hellenic RSL Sub Branch’s Father’s Day lunch in South Melbourne on Sunday, the focus was less on heroic deeds and more on the enjoyment of good food, entertainment, conversation about Greek holidays and family life, and the essence of all it is that servicemen risk their lives to protect.
Current Hellenic RSL Sub Branch President Steve Kyritsis said: “Today we are here with our dads to show gratitude for all they have done for us and have a drink in their honour.”
A Vietnam vet himself, Mr Kyritsis stressed the importance of honouring the past but also looking to the future. “We are very proud to have Ken Tsirigotis (vet from Afghanistan),” he said. “We hope young people will continue to give the example.”
The Hellenic RSL Sub Branch was founded in the ’70s and promotes the contribution of Greeks to the Australian War Effort over the 20th century and beyond. Mr Kyritsis has written two books highlighting the contribution of Greek Australians that fought as part of the Australian military forces in WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. Anyone interested in exploring the long connection between the Hellenes and Australia’s Military is welcome to contact the Sub Branch.