The 80th anniversary of Greek’s heroic “OHI” (October 28, 1940) was celebrated in Sydney.
The official celebration of the anniversary took place at the Cathedral of the Annunciation on Sunday, October 25. The COVID-19 restrictive conditions did not allow the mass gathering at the anniversary events this year. However, as reported by vema.com.au, representatives of the Greek consulate and the Greek diaspora organizations of Sydney and New South Wales were present, while young men and women of the Greek Diaspora who proudly raised the flags of Greece, of Cyprus and of Australia paid tribute to the heroes of the Epic of ’40.
The Protosyncellus of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, presided over the Doxology for the national holiday, who also presided over the Divine Liturgy performed in the Cathedral, accompanied by the priest in charge of the cathedral, Archimandrite Christoforos Krikelis, and other priests. The Apolitikion of the Agia Skepi (Holy Protection) of the Most Holy Theotokos was chanted with emotion, as a sign of gratitude to the Virgin Mary for her protection in the struggle of the Greeks. At the end of the Doxology, the national anthems of Greece and of Australia were sung. The emotion was intensified by the recitation of a poem for the Epic of ’40 by a young student of the Greek Orthodox College of Saint Euphemia.
Bishop Emilianos stressed in his message the value of preserving the historical memory and paying tribute to those who fought and sacrificed themselves for freedom. Although, as he acknowledged, a simple and not massive celebration of the anniversary events are required due to this year’s special conditions, nevertheless “our hearts today are where they should be,” he pointed out.
Finally, the representatives of the Greek diaspora organizations laid wreaths at the Monument to the Fallen, which is located in the courtyard of the Cathedral, followed by a simple reception.