The second and third generation Greek children moved the community with their performances at events for 157th anniversary of the Holocaust of the Arkadi Monastery.
An annual Dinner Dance was organised by the Pancretan Association of Melbourne as part of this year’s “Arcadi Festival”, collaborating with the Cretan Association of Sydney and the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne under the auspices of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand.
The event featured performances by two young artists from Crete, Michalis Stavroulakis (Lute) and Christos Dounis (vocals), who were accompanied by Antonis Iliou on guitar as they collectively enchanted the many young people in attendance with the sounds of Cretan music.
The artists, who had earlier performed in Sydney as well, entertained everyone well into the early hours of the morning.
The events for this anniversary were capped off with the Gala Ball in Melbourne’s “Cretan Village” which saw over 300 people attend.
The crowd warmly applauded the teenage dance group of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, taught by Ms Anna Tsourdalakis and Mr Christos Stavrinidis, with the youngsters wearing costumes and special capes that had arrived from Crete.
The highlight of the night was a big dance sequence that saw a combination of the youth from the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, the Cretan Association of Sydney and the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne to send a message of unity and cooperation for this year’s events.
The dance teachers for these groups included the aforementioned Ms Tsourdalakis and Mr Stavrinidis as well as Mr Pavlos Spanoudakis and Ms Stefania Houdalakis.
Greetings were extended during the night by the Reverend Fathers Kyrillos Zisis and George Adamakis, representing the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, the President of the Cretan Federation of Australia & New Zealand Mr. Antonis Tsourdalakis and event’s host and President of the Pancreatic Union, Ms. Argyro Michelakis.
Also among the attendees were the President of the World Council of Cretans Mr. Nikolaos Markogiannakis, the President of the Cretan Association of Sydney & New South Wales Mr. Manolis Vitetzakis, the former President of the Cretan Brotherhood of Queensland Mr. Michalis Arvanitakis, the President of the Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne Mr. Miltiadis Stamatakos, the Vice President of Federation of Pontian Associations of Australia Mr. Yannis Pilalidis, the President of the AGAPI Foundation Ms. Athanasios Evryniadis and the director of the Greek College “Kosmas Etolos” Ms. Natasa Spanou.
A memorial service was held the following day at the Church of Panagia “Axion Esti” by the Bishop of Kerasounta Evmenios, assisted by Reverend Father Phillip Papagiannopoulos in honour of the 961 who voluntarily sacrificed themselves 157 years ago.
The service included a memorial prayer, a minute’s silence, the national anthems, and a wreath laying ceremony at the Heroes’ Monument.
Among those that laid wreaths were Bishop Evmenios, the special guests who attended the Dinner Dance event the day prior as well as the President of the Cretan Youth of Australia Eirene Kyriakakis and the School Captains from Oakleigh Grammar, Michael Kaniadakis and Theone Stathopoulou.