Over 200 delegates from outside Tasmania flocked to the state capital earlier this month for the 31st national convention of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand.

The event, which was hosted by the Cretan Association of Tasmania, included the Annual General Meetings (AGM) of both the association and the youth sector of the group.

The convention also included a barbecue and party for the youth, which was attended by over 90 delegates, a cocktail party, a blessing of the waters, and the annual soccer game, which saw Melbourne defeat Hobart 5-4.

Following the AGM, 2011 looks set to be a busy year, President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Tony Tsourdalakis, said.

“We decided that the high ranking officers from the Hellenic armed forces will be invited for the battle of Crete commemorative activities in May this year,” Mr Tsourdalakis said. “Also, the federation will send a group of 40 Australian children to Crete for a 21 day cultural and education tour, and Australia will nominate for presidency of the World Council of Cretans.”

Donations were also collected by individuals and organisations for assisting the Cretan association of Florina in Macedonia to raise funds to save their building. “We rallied and raised $6000,” Mr Tsourdalakis said.

The Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand has also decided it will participate in the 70th anniversary of the battle of Crete, along with Australian veterans and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in May this year.