This year’s Oakleigh Glendi surpassed all expectations regarding attendance and community participation. The sun shone drenched the event and all who came to enjoy a weekend of Greek music, dance, food and drink.

The president of the Greek Community of Oakleigh, Chris Damatopoulos, was delighted when he spoke to Neos Kosmos and said he had foreseen a success; however, it was much more; it was a “triumph.”

“The turnout exceeded all our expectations,” Christos Damatopoulos, president of the Greek Community of Oakleigh, told Neos Kosmos.

“Not only were there many people, but the Diaspora are enjoying it, which gives us great joy.”The two-day Glendi categorically upheld that in this Greek-dominate area, Greece is here,” Mr Damatopoulos added.

Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto in deep discussion with the Bishop. Photo: Con Deves

Before the panegyric fervour, a service was held at the church of Agioi Anargyroi for a doxology commemorated the anniversary of OHI day on October 28, which was presided over by Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopol.

The Glendi festivities then commenced with a parade by Oakleigh Grammar students and the laying of wreaths in respect for the Greeks and allies who sacrificed all in World War II.

Conversation of Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopol with the Greek Australian Victorian Minister Steve Dimopoulos. Photo: Con Deves

Among the many VIPs present at the Glendi were Minister for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles, Minister for Sports and Events and Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto, Consul General of Greece Emmanuel Kakavelakis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Union of Communities and Parishes Antonis Tsourdalakis, and numerous others.

Various dignitaries at the Glendi, including Bill Papastergiadis (c), Fed Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles, Victorian Minister for Events, Steve Dimopoulos and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Nick Staikos. Photo: Con Deves

This year marks Oakleigh Glendi’s fervent comeback after a hiatus due to the pandemic in recent years. Thousands from the Diaspora flocked to Oakleigh’s Warawee Park on Saturday and Sunday, where a two-day festival unfolded, continuing until Sunday afternoon. The Glendi showcased a diversity of Greek musicians, Greek folk-dance groups, roving troubadours, and a competition for loukoumades (Greek doughnuts), as well as a raffle for two round-trip airline tickets to Greece.

The Glendi retained the authentic tastes, aromas, and sounds of Greece in Oakleigh. It featured an open-air fête with numerous stalls, offering visitors the chance to purchase Greek handicrafts, along with an array of Mediterranean food and beverages.

And, for the adults, there was a bar that served all the essential things, like Greek beers, tsipouro, masticha, and ouzo.

More photos below:

All the VIPs at the Glendi. Photo: Con Deves

The Oakleigh Grammar School Choir. Photo: Con Deves
Leader of the Opposition John Pesutto addressing the Glendi attendees. Photo: Con Deves

Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopol addressing the Glendi. Photo: Con Deves
The Oakleigh Glendi in full flight. Photo: Con Deves

Oakleigh Grammar School students on parade, with flags high. Photo: Con Deves

Roaming troubadours at the Glendi. Photo: Con Deves