The Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea recently conducted the blessing for the beginning of the new academic year at the Greek Orthodox Day School of St Andrew’s Grammar in Dianella, WA. The blessing service was conducted outdoors with only a select few students and staff due to the prevailing COVID restrictions in WA.
The Bishop conveyed to all the students and staff the blessings of the Archbishop Makarios of Australia and his best wishes for the year ahead.
Following the blessing, the Bishop cut the Vasilopita for the new year. This was then followed by the distribution of the school badges to all of the elected leaders in the student cohort, including the new head boy. His Grace reminded the new school student leaders of the great responsibility they carried because like every Hierarch who is elected by the Synod of the Church, these student leaders were also elected by their fellow students. To be elected means you must show respect, loyalty and care for all those who elected you while at the same time be attentive.
School Principle, Mrs Dawn Clements, thanked the Bishop for blessing the school with his presence and expressed how appreciative the whole school was to receive a blessing for the new year during the difficult time of the pandemic.
Following the conclusion of the service, the Bishop, joined by the school Parish Priest, Fr Terry Gerovasilis, visited every classroom in the Junior and Secondary Schools and blessed all students and staff. The students, in particular, greeted the Bishop with much excitement and enthusiasm. The Bishop answered many questions from the students, such as “why are you holding a staff?”, to which His Grace answered, “because it is symbolic of the staff of the Shepherd and we all know that the Great Shepherd for all of us is Jesus Christ?”.
The Bishop was also very pleased to see the new classrooms that had been built to accommodate the increase in student numbers at the school. St Andrew’s Grammar, owned by the Hellenic Community of WA, has almost doubled the number of students attending the school in the past 3 years. The significant growth in students numbers has given rise to the need for new classrooms and other infrastructure to support the school.