The Greek-Australians of Melbourne are preparing to proudly honour the 76th anniversary of the Ensomatosi this weekend, continuing to mark the date in which the Dodecanese islands were formally reunified into Greece.

The Dodecanesian Federation of Australia (DFA) will host its annual celebration of Ensomatosi on Sunday 3 March at the Holy Monastery of Axion Estin in Northcote, Melbourne.

The event will begin with a church service at 10.25 a.m. and will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the “Unknown Soldier”, which will include the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr Emmanuel Kakavelakis , along with other dignitaries and Greek community representatives.

Following the wreath laying service, there will be an official reception and luncheon held at the KOS Club in Northcote for the dignitaries and Dodecanese clubs’ members and guests.

The event itself serves as an acknowledgement of a major moment in modern Greek history, wherein the Dodecanese Islands were reunified shortly after World War II.

The islands had been outside the official territory of Greece for centuries, notably falling under the Ottoman Empire in 1552.

Their rule over the domain continued until 1912 when the Italian-Turkish War saw the islands fall under Italian rule and they became an important naval base during World War I for Britain and France (Italy’s allies).

The Dodecanese were also used as a staging area for various campaigns, including the Gallipoli campaign, and following the war it soon underwent an attempted process of Italianisation which was interrupted by the Second World War.

The islands were used as a naval staging area for the invasion of Crete during this global conflict, and they became a British military protectorate after the War’s conclusion before finally uniting with Greece in 1947.

The occasion is formally celebrated on March 7 in remembrance of the same date in the year 1948 when the islands were formally returned to Greece as part of the Treaty of Peace with Italy.