A red light drenched the Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street at Melbourne’s CBD on 19 May, symbolic of the 353,000 people who were killed by the Ottoman Turks.

Greek Community of Melbourne President Bill Papastergiadis, of Pontian descent himself, stated, “My grandmother was born in Asia Minor. She raised me here in Australia. She had made a huge journey from Asia Minor to Greece at the start of the 19th century. My grandmother was a strong, moral woman. She worked hard and reached Castoria, arising four children alone. Nonetheless, she carried the trauma of the Genocide and displacement deep within her. These painful memories never left her for the duration of her life.”

Litsa Athanasiadis, president of Pontian Ladies “Merimna”, said she was moved to see the red light cover the Greek Centre, stating that she hoped this would lead to a “discussion on the Genocide of Pontians and turn a new page in the focus of this in Australia”.

READ MORE: Why we should never forget the Pontian Genocide of 1919

Photo: K. Deves