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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 April 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2016 7 NEWS Greek Independence Day commemorations The Hellenic RSL commemorated Greek Independence Day last Thursday 24 March. Traditionally observed on March 25, the annual service took place a day early ahead of Good Friday celebrations. Commencing at the Australian Hellenic Memorial, the ceremony later continued at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance. A well-attended event, 20 organisations officially took part, laying wreaths in honour of those who fought and lost their lives. Among those gathered on the day was Greek Consul General to Australia Christina Simantirakis. In her address, the Consul General took the opportunity to highlight the day's importance, and recognised those who sacrificed their lives for Greece's freedom. Also taking part in the day's proceedings were students from Preston's St John’s College, Alphington Grammar, and Oakleigh Grammar School. ‘Hellenic Threads’ opens in Canberra Lyceum exhibition reveals precious collection MICHAEL SWEET Oakleigh Grammar School students taking part in the Greek Independence Day commemorations. A unique collection of Hellenic costumes and jewellery, some dating back more than 200 years, has been revealed for the first time outside New South Wales, with the opening in the national capital of an exhibition curated by the Hellenic Lyceum of Sydney. And it's a show that goes to the heart of the Greek Australian experience, because ‘Hellenic Threads’ reveals not only scores of beautifully embroidered garments, but the story of how Australia's first generation Greek migrants brought their precious family heirlooms, dating back centuries, to their new homeland, and which are now being recognised widely for their historic cultural value. The show, brought to Canberra by the Hellenic Club, is the product of years of voluntary research by Sydney's Hellenic Lyceum that was formed in 1951, 40 years after the pioneering female Hellenic cultural association was created in Athens. Students from Preston’s St John’s College gathered at the Australian Hellenic Memorial. In his opening speech, Hellenic Club director and treasurer Peter Peppas said: "We're passionate about this kind of initiative. We spend a lot of time focusing on the classical age, but sometimes perhaps we don't spend so much time on our modern history, and that defines who we are today. This exhibition brings that idea to life." Olga Kremesis and Maritsa Micos-Dragonas of the Sydney Hellenic Lyceum with Paul Levantis, board member of the Greek Orthodox Community of Canberra. PHOTO: MIKE SWEET. Kathy Liogas-Sojanovic, president of the Lyceum in Sydney, thanked the club for its "foresight in bringing the exhibition to the national capital". "It was a great success in Sydney and we want to bring this show to other states so they can experience it. "While lyceums in the United States have very active dance and cultural groups, there are no collections like this of costumes and jewellery." A long-held ambition of the Hellenic Lyceum is to find a home for its continually growing collection. "We'd love a permanent exhibition space, but we just don't have the funds," said Ms LiogasSojanovic. "We raise funds by putting on functions and all the money raised goes towards buying costumes." The ‘Hellenic Threads’ exhibition comprises about 50 costumes set against jewellery, furniture and other antique artefacts, all depicting a rich kaleidoscope of regional cultural expression across Greece. Many of the Lyceum's costumes have come from the A piece of Melbourne in Thessaloniki Continually looking for ways to strengthen the sister-city relationship, a proposal has been made to name a street, or better yet, a town square after Melbourne in Thessaloniki. The suggestion was formally made by president of the Thessaloniki Asso- ciation 'The White Tower', Paul Mavroudis, in a letter to the governor of Thessaloniki Vasilios Georgiou. Greek composer and director Constantine Athirides has already expressed his support for the idea. The creator of the acclaimed play Alexander the Great Rock Opera was welcomed by the association Down Under earlier last month, where he gave an insightful presentation on his work, granting attendees the chance to view a promo video of the opera and partake in discussion about the story and portrayal of Alex- ander the Great. Taken by his overwhelmingly positive experience at the association, Athirides formally thanked organisers in a letter on his return to Greece, adding that he "had the chance to witness first hand the strength and dynamism of the Macedonian di- aspora". The idea was put forward to help honour the 32nd anniversary of the sister-city relationship. Members have already organised a stellar program for 2016 to mark the occasion, including a festival set to take place later this year on November 27. e already or- attics of Greek Australian families in Australia - handed down through the generations. Canberran Nick Bogiatzis, a private collector of Hellenic artefacts, who is of Kastellorizo heritage, described the exhibition as "extraordinary". "The range and quality is remarkable we should be making more of this collection. Many of these original items were brought to Australia by the first Greek migrants, there's not much left in Greece, so Australia is a major repository."
26 March 2016
9 April 2016