The Australian Justice for Cyprus Coordinating Committee (SEKA) have hosted a series of commemorative events with organisations and members of the Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities of Australia holding liturgies and wreath-laying ceremonies across the country.
Last Sunday New South Wales honoured the fallen of the 1974 coup that led to the Turkish invasion and occupation of 40 per cent of the island of Cyprus by the Attila troops. A memorial service and prayer for the missing person was held at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in Redfern, followed by a Trisagion and a march ending at Sydney Town Hall. There was also an anti-occupation gathering at the Cyprus community club of NSW in Stanmore. Many community and state officials attended the events, including Greece’s Consul General in Sydney Stavros Kyrimis; Sophie Cotsis, MP; and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Senator Arthur Sinodinos who represented Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia called upon everyone to remember the tragic events of the 1974 Turkish invasion on Cyprus whilst conducting the memorial service for the repose of “all those who fell in battle since 20 July 1974, a date which marred and divided a nation till today.”
SEKA, in association with the Cyprus community of SA, also organised a series of memorial events that began with a memorial service at the Church of St George in Thebarton followed by a wreath-laying ceremony and doxology at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, paying tribute to those who went missing during the 1974 invasion.
“These events are an expression of our solidarity and support to the people of Cyprus, wherever they may be and a mark of respect to those who lost their lives for liberty,” said Professor Andreas Evdokiou, president of the Cyprus community in South Australia, who at the tender age of 11 years, experienced the tragedy first-hand.
The SA commemorative events culminated with a forum discussion on the current position of the Cyprus issue, at the Cyprus Community of SA club rooms in Welland on the evening of Wednesday 19 July, with this year’s official representative of the Republic of Cyprus, Michael Sofokleous, director of the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ office as keynote speaker.
Mr Sofokleous was accompanied by High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Martha Mavrommatis. Together they will attend the commemorative events in Melbourne over the weekend.
Melbourne’s Greek and Cypriot Greek communities gathered at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Domain Gardens for a Trisagion and wreath-laying ceremony on Thursday.
The events will conclude tomorrow morning with a protest starting from Lonsdale Street and progressing to Parliament House.