Over 150 Messinians from Adelaide and Sydney met with their compatriots in Melbourne, in a climate of unity and optimism for the future, at the special gathering of Messinians of Australia held last Friday at the premises of the Pammessinian Brotherhood of Melbourne Papaflessas.
The special event was jointly organised by Messinian associations of Melbourne – the Pammessinian Brotherhood of Melbourne Papaflessas, Pantryfiliaki Union of Victoria, Society Kalamata 23 March, Panpyliaki Brotherhood Navarino of Melbourne and Association Pamisos, Navarino Society of Adelaide and Pan-Messinian Association of Sydney.
Attending the event were Victorian politicians of Messinian background, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Energy and Resources, Nicholas Kotsiras, and Shadow Minister for Community Services, Children, Seniors and Ageing, Jenny Mikakos.
On behalf of all Messinian societies of Victoria, the president of Papaflessas Brotherhood, George Kallianis, welcomed all the Messinians from interstate and Victoria.
“It’s a big day for the Messinians of Australia,” he said, emphasising that foundations for the unity of the Messinians have been laid.
Minister Nicholas Kotsiras addressed the attending crowd, saying it was his great pleasure to be invited to the gathering of Messinians of Australia.
“I admit that when I was invited to this meeting I couldn’t believe it – I am impressed that my dear Messinians are all here, together,” Minister Kotsiras said.
He also emphasised that community associations should attract young people and hand them over the reins.
“I know that it’s something very difficult, but we can make it happen, help them and make them feel that they can offer something to our communities.”
The gathering continued throughout the weekend with various events, including a visit to the Greek Lonsdale Street Festival.