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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 July 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 JULY 2015 13 FEATURE student competition but for the entire world, since the struggle against Nazism and fascism had become a world matter," he stresses. Despite the Greek achievements, everyone knew that the war which was just beginning was destined to last . Although the Greek victories made things difficult for the Axis by delaying its plans and assisting e themselves and e, they were ome of the veryone therefore was expecting that the unsuccessful Italian attack would be followed by a ous attack from e needed esist for as long as possible. The period of time eece to e up their defensive positions to e for the German attack was , the time given to their ation was also insufficient, with esult being that as soon as the bombing and attacks by the German es began, the soldiers were forced eat under very difficult onditions. Apart from the obstacles to be dealt with in an The Australian Hellenic Memorial at King’s Domain, Melbourne Australia bears Evangelos Sakaris’ signature. unfamiliar area, they also had to cope with the daily bombing of Russia, which changed the outcome of the war. Britain, which up until December 1940 was bearing the greatest part of responsibility for this war, proceeded with plans to send troops to Greece to reinforce the Greek war effort - since this was also the common military strategy of the Allies. The British prime minister, Winston Churchill, raised this matter with Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, requesting the participation of Australia and New Zealand "towards the success of the Greek Campaign". "Both countries took part. Australia participated with its 6th Division, formed from volunteers in 1939, which is why the division historically is known as ‘the ThirtyNiners’," Sakalis continues. The first divisions of the ANZAC forces reached the Port of Piraeus at the beginning of March 1941 and after a few days' orientation in Athens, and after making the first acquaintances with their Greek colleagues, they proceeded north in order to take their posts at the foot of Mount Olympus, which was the home of the 12 gods of the antiquity. This is where the artist drew his inspiration from. The memorial incorporates four distinct, yet integrated elements: the Twelve Columns which mark the memorial's boundaries, the Crypt, the Oikos and the Ballot Vase. Each of the Twelve Columns has two fluted sides and two polished sides, creating a contrast that represents Greece and Australia. "On approaching the memorial from certain angles, visitors may see either the polished or the fluted sides," the artist adds, explaining how "the contrasting surfaces give the memorial site the appearance of being two columns in one". "In the centre of the memorial is the Crypt, which contains historically significant documents and objects which, in the future, will serve as a record of the events that brought two nations together for one cause." The Oikos is the focal sculptural element. It was inspired by the cliffside monasteries of Mount Athos and the temple of Poseidon at Sounio. Significantly, the Oikos is made from two stones. The upper limestone portion came from Crete, while the bluestone base came out of an Australian quarry. This represents Greece supported by Australia. The Oikos stands on pavement as if it were the island of Crete dropped like a stone in the waters of the Aegean. "The Oikos reminds us of two diverse experiences; the pivotal role of Australian forces, especially in Crete and elsewhere in Greece, and the experience of Greek immigrants in Australia," Sakalis explains. "Though the experiences are extremely different, they represent people from different parts of the world who are identified by life-changing events in each other's distant lands." The Ballot Vase, decorated with olive and gum tree branches, stands in memory of the events that brought Australians and Greeks together in a battle for justice and liberty. "The sculpture is filled with black pebbles, representing the democratic method exercised in ancient Athens where citizens voted on every issue by using a white pebble for 'yes' and a black for 'no'. "This vase commemorates the resounding 'NO' given by Greeks to the Italian invaders in World War II, a 'No' we must never forget." In that historic 'Oxi' lies the challenge for the students, who with their works, will have to portray why the Australia Hellenic Memorial for the Second World War was built in Greece. * Participants can submit drawings or paintings, poems, essays or even interviews with veterans. Students are urged to visit and write features about the memorial situated at Domain Gardens (Burwood Avenue) Melbourne, next to the Shrine of Remembrance. The competition is for all school age groups, and prizes range from $50 to $250 cash. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation and a badge. Closing date for submissions is Friday 12 September 2015. For any additional information contact 0418 571 800 or 0400 629 597. Mr Emmanuel Karvelas, senior vice president of the RSL Hellenic Sub Branch, addresses the crowd and students.
18 July 2015
1 August 2015