An exhibition showcasing the official visit of the Evzones, the highest ranked of military guard in Greece, who visited Australia last April to participate in the events that marked the anniversary of Anzac Day and the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, opened its doors on 6 August at St Basil Homes in Adelaide and will remain open to the public until the end of August.
Three well-respected Adelaide-based photographers, Paul Bradshaw, Shane Reid and Katina Rozaklis, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes following the nine Evzones and their lieutenant entourage around whilst in Adelaide, have put together an incredibly touching and much celebrated collection of images which captured the historic moments of the Evzones’ visit.
The artists together with the Foundation for Hellenic Studies have decided to showcase their work during the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA), whilst a series of books with all the images is scheduled to be released.
“Art feels good. Art feels sad. Sometimes it raises questions, other times it reveals answers. Feeling and engaging with one another are just a couple of the miracles that art brings to St Basil’s. We launched ‘Ψυχή (Psyche): Tell Me My Story and I Will Tell You Yours,” says PR coordinator, Connie Kosti in an interview with Neos Kosmos.
After obtaining special attendance permission from the Greek government, the nine Evzones and their two lieutenants visited two Australian cities; Adelaide and Sydney.
“Their presence bestowed the Foundation for Hellenic Studies with a sense of great pleasure and honour in being accorded the opportunity to introduce them to our community, to have them participate in significant ceremonies in Adelaide to honour the Anzacs, and to show them our state,” Harry Patsouris, trustee of the Foundation for Hellenic Studies, had said to Neos Kosmos during the official visit, that was organised in collaboration with the Office of the President of the Hellenic Republic.
During their stay in Adelaide, the Greek Presidential Guards also visited St George Orthodox Church for a Vespers and Divine Liturgy Service for its patron saint, St George, where His Grace Bishop Nikandros welcomed them and, after congratulating them on their ethos, thanked them for bringing such an important part of Greece to Australia.
During the speech, two of the Evzones became so overwhelmed with emotion as a result of their experiences in Adelaide and their overall Australian welcome, that they couldn’t hold back their tears.
This touching moment was captured by Paul Bradshaw’s photographic lens and the image of 25-year-old Evzones Konstantinos Lousias from Arta went viral in Australia, the US and of course Greece, sending a message of patriotism and unity to the Hellenes all over the globe.
“The heartwarming welcome and love we received from the moment we arrived in Adelaide, combined with Bishop Nikandros’ words, who spoke so highly of Greece and us, the Evzones, brought tears to my eyes; what the world witnessed was the culmination of all the emotions I have accumulated from the day I joined the Evzones until now,” Konstantinos Lousias had said the next day in an exclusive interview with our newspaper. “Exhibitions can be viewed between 12.00 pm and 3.00 pm over the remaining weekends in August and part proceeds from the art sales will be donated to St Basil’s Living Well initiatives,” explains Kosti.
“This is the first ever exhibition showcasing the Evzones’ visit in Australia and the response from the public has already been overwhelming. We are just incredibly proud that we are able to share this piece of art with our fellow Greek Australians who were touched by the Evzones’ visit and want to reminisce those historic moments of their presence in Australia,” said Kosti.
“If we can wish for one thing, that would be to have the Evzones come back to Australia soon.”