submitted by Peter Makarthis on 26.05.2009
Foregather At Armidale
Service at St. Peter’s Cathedral
A large number of members of the Australian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association from all parts of the North and North-west, and from as far south as Gosford met in conference at Armidale today. The members were, in many cases, accompanied by their wives and families and about 200 people were included in the party.
Prior to going into conference a full service, according to the rites of the Greek Orthodox Church, was held in St Peter’s Cathedral and the service was well attended not only by Greeks, but by a number of Anglican Church members.
His Grace Archbishop Timotheos Evangelinides, was assisted by the Revs. Nicodemus, Dimopolos and Mitrofanis. The service, which was chanted thoughout, was most impressive in its solemnity.
At the conclusion of the service Holy Communion was dispersed and then the visitors proceeded to the Soldiers Memorial where the Archbishop and Mr Andronicos, president of the association, laid wreaths on the edge of the fountain.
Adorned with blue and white and red, white and blue ribbons, the wreaths were of laurel leaves only. One of the ribbons bore in gold lettering the following words:
“The Greeks – in Homage to the Unknown Soldier. October 10th 1934”
The Archbishop delivered the following eloquent address:
“ In this presence and in this sacred and memorial place, we are gathered to-day to pay homage and tribute to the glorious dead, and with this branch of laurel, to adorn the tomb of the Australian heroes who sacrificed their lives in the faithful performance of duty, and passionate love of their King and country.
“ It was with laurel that our forefathers used, not only to adorn the tombs, but to crown the heads of victors, and, we, their descendants, offer this moment the same emblem of honour to the victorious children of this country as a token of our deep reverence to their immortal memory. These brave sons of Australia, these heroic souls, did not hesitate to answer the call of their country, and shed their blood for a noble cause, adding by their gallantry and supreme deeds, golden pages to Australian history, and proving to the whole world that Australia is a healthy and vigorous nation, a nation with high ideals and aspirations, a jewel in the British Crown, and a country where the patriotic sentiment is cultivated in its purest form.
“Australians, during and after the war, have proved to be worthy descendants of the great Anglo-Saxon race, to which we the Greeks are so much indebted. If we are in existence as a nation, we owe this to a great extent to the British race, to the British, to the altruistic deeds of the forefathers of the Australian people.
“There is not a single Greek soul today who cannot but pay the highest tribute and deepest gratitude to your nation for what you have done, and are still doing for our country, Greece.
“In the pantheon of our national heroes, many of your countrymen have the most honourable position. We might have our faults as a nation, but one of our merits is gratitude, and time will never erase from our hearts such names as Byron, Gladstone, Codrington and many others.
In these hard and difficult times, in times of stress and sorrows, let our actions be guided by the spirit of these noble men who gave their lives for a common cause. Let us cultivate in us that spirit of unselfishness that made Australians so glorious.
“It is for us now, that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation under God shall always have freedom and progress. We Greeks who live in this hospitable land, and enjoy all the privileges of its civilization, following the examples of our ancestors, spiritually gather this moment, unfading flowers of glory and crown the heroes of this country. Hail, glorious heroes! The crown of your glory will remain immortal and humanity with reverence will bend the knee at your at your tombs as it does at Thermopylae, where Leonidas and the Three Hundred Spartans are dead, and where it is written the immortal Duty’s Law in the new epigram :
‘Go tell to Sparta, thou that passeth by,
That here, obedient to her word, we lie.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, luncheon was partaken of in the Parish Hall and the A.H.E.P.A. met in conference this afternoon.
Mr A.G.Grivas, of the “Hellenic Herald,” stated to-day that the Australian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association has as its objective, first of all, the gospel of good citizenship among its members and the teachings of education, tolerance, benevolence, chivalry, brotherly love, charity, truth and justice.
“In Australia, our adopted country, teeming with so many possibilities of progress and development, we observe marching in harmony and triumph with the good ideas and examples of all ages and people the current of Australian life; and the members of the A.H.E.P.A. will endeavour at all times to create a better understanding among the Australian people.
“The members have common interests to live and serve, and the watchword is “Service,” not for themselves, but for others and the benefit of the general community. To be loved, is to love, and to rise is to lift up the fallen; also to gain the greatest objective in life, is to give the best we have to a deserving brother.”
Reported in The Armidale Express
Wednesday,October 10, 1934
A dinner was held at Sam Sourrey’s White Rose Café Beardy Street Armidale at the conclusion of the A.H.E.P.A. gathering for the Archbishop and visiting dignitaries.
Researched by Peter McCarthy(Makarthis),
Inverell May 2009
This research was made possible from Chris Maina and assistance from the Armidale Historical Society.
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