Members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee with their guests at the commemorative service. Photo Peter Ford 2017
The Mayor was welcoming the visit of a number of important guests from Greece to our Memorial, who came to take part in a short commemorative service.
The Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr. Bernadene Voss, announces the naming of Lemnos Square. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Lemnos Square now joins the township of Lemnos, near Shepparton, as two locations connected to Lemnos in the northern Aegean through the Gallipoli story and post-war migration.
There were shouts of bravo in the air around our Memorial when the Mayor surprised the assembly with her announcement.
Cr. Voss said that she was proud to announce the naming on behalf of the Council given the strong connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and the local area - from 1915 on to the waves of post-WW2 migration.
She pointed to the many diggers and nurses who had departed from nearby Princes Pier who served on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign – diggers like Port Melbourne’s Corporal George Finlay Knight of Port Melbourne and nurses like Elwood’s Clarice Daley.
The President of the Committee, Mr. Lee Tarlamis, congratulated the Mayor on behalf of our Committee and noted the strong support that we have received from the Council ever since we originally proposed the erection of the Memorial.
Lee - along with our MC for the days event - Ms Christina Despoteris, our Vice-President - pointed out that not only did they both have Lemnian heritage but that their families had indeed arrived in Victoria at nearby Princes Pier - from where the diggers and nurses had departed in 1915.
The day included the visit of two senior members of the Hellenic Armed Forces - Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros (Deputy Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) and Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis (Deputy Director of Public Relations Directorate of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) - as well as two Councillor's from the Municipality of Malevizou on Crete - Cr. Georgios Aerakis and Cr. Kostas Trigonis. The guests are in Victoria as part of the battle of Crete commemorations being organised by the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council. Also in attendance was Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, Secretary of the Council and members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
The international guests were impressed with the Memorial and the Mayor's announcement.
Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros addresses those assembled, MC Ms Christina Despoteris on the right. Photo Jim Claven 2017
|Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros salutes the Memorial, Ms Deb Stewart centre. Photo Jim Claven 2017|
Mr. Lee Tarlamis presents Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis with a token of the appreciation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros presents the Mayor of Port Phillip with the Battle of Crete Commemorative Medal. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Cr. Voss also announced that a formal unveiling of the Lemnos Square sign will take place as part of the coming annual Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative service in August later this year.
There was much discussion of the need now to have the square planted with olive trees to complete its connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and Port Phillip! And there was universal support for the proposal for a reciprocal acknowledgement of Port Phillip on Lemnos!
The Memorial has been visited by Ambassadors and other dignitaries but this is the first time that senior representatives of the Hellenic Armed Forces had visited the Memorial. The Committee thanks Mr. Tsourdalakis and the Council for facilitating the visit amongst an otherwise busy schedule.
Thanks to Mr. Peter Ford for again taking such great photographs of the event.
This is indeed a great milestone for our Committee and our supporters - and the wider community both of Hellenic background and the broader Australian community connected to Australia's Anzac tradition.
To read my article from Neos Kosmos on this event, please click here.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee