The 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete will be remembered this week with a packed program organised by the Pancretan Association and Cretan Brotherhood.
The program begins on Friday 23 May with the arrival in Melbourne from Canberra of representatives of the Hellenic Armed Forces including Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Georgios Petkos (Hellenic Airforce) and his wife Erifilli Metalidou as well as Colonel Athanasios Zafiropoulos (Hellenic Airforce). The Pancretan Association book launch of The Battle of Crete; The Untold Stories by historian Dr Peter Ewer will take place followed by a dinner in honour of the delegation of the Hellenic Armed Forces and the Cretan Organisations by the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne Christina Simantiraki.
On Saturday 24 May will be the official visit and school ceremony at the Saturday Morning Greek Schools of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne, followed by a luncheon. Then the official dinner to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Crete will take place under the auspices of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand and in honour of our Veterans. Musicians Sifis Tsourdalakis, Adonis Xylouris, Nikos Xylouris and Nikos Alygizakis will entertain those attending, with the Pancretan and Cretan Brotherhood Dance Groups also performing.
After the church service on Sunday 25 May a parade and wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Shrine of Remembrance with the participation of the Hellenic and Australian Armed Forces, local groups, community organisations, Australian schools and, more importantly, the Australian Veteran Associations. A visit to the olive tree planted in the gardens of the Shrine of Remembrance will be followed by a ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in the Domain Gardens hosted by the Australian Hellenic Memorial Foundation. The day will finish with a luncheon hosted by the Cretan Brotherhood and the Pancretan Association at the Cretan Centre.
On Monday 26 May, the official visit to Parliament House, hosted by the Friends of Greece-Victoria Parliamentary Committee in the presence of the President of the Legislative Council, will take place, then the official visit to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese with Bishops Dervis Ezekiel and Militoupoleos Iakovos. Afterwards, there will be a luncheon in honour of the delegation of the Hellenic Armed Forces by the President of the World Council of Cretans Antonis Tsourdalakis. This will be followed by a visit to the Victorian Army Barracks to meet with Australian Defence personnel.