On Friday, May 19, the day of commemoration of the Genocide of the Greeks of Pontus, at the Archdiocesan Church “Axion Esti” in Northcote, Victoria, a memorial service was held, after the Divine Liturgy, for the repose of the souls of all victims of the Genocide.
The Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote, Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, presided over the services, representing Archbishop Makarios of Australia while the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Melbourne, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis was present.
At the end of the Memorial Service, Bishop Evmenios read Archbishop Makarios’ message for the Genocide Remembrance Day and conveyed his blessing to the congregation. In addition, the Bishop recalled the decisive role played by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in preserving the monuments of Orthodoxy in Pontus, making special reference to the great struggle personally given by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in order to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the historic monastery of Panagia Soumela in Trabzon. Finally, he referred to a blessed tradition maintained by the Ecumenical Patriarch, to give the Bishops of the Ecumenical Throne titles of the erstwhile dioceses of Pontus, which, as he pointed out, contributes to the strengthening of the historical memory and the bonds of the young with the homeland.
Present at the Divine Liturgy and the Holy Memorial Service were the Chief of Staff of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (HNDGS) of Greece, Lieutenant General Georgios Kyriakou, and the Commander of the Hellenic Navy, Stylianos Mitsiotis, members of a delegation of the Hellenic Armed Forces visiting Australia on the occasion of the 82nd Anniversary of the Battle of Crete, as well as the Permanent Military Attaché of the Greek Embassy in Australia, Colonel Ioannis Fassianos, the Vice Consul General of the Greek Consulate in Melbourne, Georgia Botsiou, as a representative of the Consul General, Emmanuel Kakavelakis, representatives of Pontian unions of the State of Victoria and delegations of students from the College of St. Andrew Preston and from the “Oakleigh Grammar” high school.