For the second consecutive year, with the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, in the Parish of the Entrance of Our Lady in the Temple in North Balwyn, Melbourne, the memory of the late Archbishop Kyprianos of Cyprus, Bishop Chrysanthos of Paphos, Bishop Meletios of Kition and Bishop Lavrentios of Kyrenia was honoured, along with those of the 470 clergy and laity who were executed by the Ottomans in Cyprus, on July 9, 1821.
On Sunday morning, 9 July 2023, after the Matins and the Divine Liturgy, where Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis presided over, and being assisted by the Parish Priest Father Nicholas Georgiou, a National Memorial was held for the repose of the souls of Archbishop Kyprianos and those who were martyred with him.
Hundreds of faithful believers attended, including Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Andreas Kouloupas, Vice President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria, as a representative of the President Mr. Theo Theofanous who is abroad, Mr. Nicholas Stavrou, Councillor of Boroondara Council, and Mr. Anthony Kyriakou, President of the Justice For Cyprus Co-ordinating Committee (SEKA). Unfortunately, due to the sudden cancellation of his flight from Canberra to Melbourne, the Deputy High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to Australia, Mr. Stavros Nikolaou, was unable to attend the memorial service.
Students from the Oakleigh Grammar school and the “Pegasus” Dance Academy were also present, who, with their dynamic presence, proved that our Greek heritage remains rooted in the hearts of the young people of the Greek Diaspora.
After the Divine Liturgy and the Memorial Service, an anniversary celebration followed in the Parish hall, during which members of the “Pegasus” Dance School performed traditional dances from Cyprus and students recited poems, with an emphasis on the heroic sacrifice of the late Archbishop Kyprianos.
In his speech, Bishop Kyriakos emphasised that the selfless sacrifice of Archbishop Kyprianos was a true proof of his love for Christ. “He refused to leave and did not allow the fear of death to lure him into betraying his flock or his faith in Christ, but rather chose to die, so that others might live in a free and orthodox Cyprus,” His Grace Bishop Kyriakos pointed out.
Finally, the Consul General of Greece, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, addressed the congregation in which he analysed in detail the historical events of 9 July 1821 and the lessons we are called to learn from the selfless sacrifice of Archbishop Kyprianos and those who were martyred with him.