Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 October 2016
20 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Australia’s first refugee aid worker honoured in Ballarat Some of the reception’s attendees, with Litsa Athanasiadis and Cr Des Hudson, Mayor of Ballarat at centre. Also in the photograph is Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, John Salpigitidis, Geoff Howard MP, Murray Thompson MP, former MP Lee Tarlamis, Jim Claven, former MP the Hon. John Pandazopoulos, Konstantinos Kalymnios and Cr Samantha McIntosh. PHOTO: JIM CLAVEN. A major civic reception was held at Ballarat Town Hall last Saturday 8 October, to honour the service of one of the city's famous but less well-known sons, George Devine Treloar. The reception was convened by the Mayor of Ballarat Cr Des Hudson on behalf of the City and councillors and was attended by over 100 guests, including local MPs, the Ballarat RSL, the local Greek community, many members of Victoria's Pontian community as well as descendents of Ballarat soldiers and nurses who served in Greece in the First or Second World War. Along with the mayor, those attending included His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, Alex Tascas, secretary Ballarat RSL, Cr Samantha McIntosh, Geoff Howard MP, Murray Thompson MP, former MPs Lee Tarlamis and the Hon. John Pandazopoulos, Ange Kenos, secretary Essendon RSL, Arlene Bennett representing the Melbourne's Nurses Memorial Centre, Con Tseprailidis, president Pontiaki Estia, Savvas Athanasiadis, president of the Greek Community of Moreland and Chris Vlassakakis, president of Panthracian Association of Melbourne. Writer and journalist Konstantinos Kalymnios was master of ceremonies for the reception. Ballarat-born George Devine Treloar was a highly-decorated World War I veteran who went on to help over 108,000 Christian refugees fleeing persecution in the former Ottoman Empire. As the official League of Nations – the precursor to today's United Nations – representative in northern Greece, George accepted the responsibility for providing immediate aid and assisting in the re-settlement and integration of these desperate refugees into their new homeland, Greece. George Treloar was honoured by the Greek government with the award of the Order of the Redeemer by the Greek King and by the naming of one of the refugee villages after him – Thrylorion. The reception included addresses detailing the life of George Devine Treloar and Ballarat's connection to Greece across both world wars by Mr Kalymnios and historian Jim Claven as well as an exhibition of traditional dancing and music from the region of Pontus, one of the key areas from which the refugees fled. An overhead pictorial slideshow re- produced many of the photographs from the time, again accompanied by the distinctive music of the refugees. The function of the reception was to launch the campaign to erect a memorial statue to George in his home town. The project is the brain-child of the Melbourne-based George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee, which has been working for the past year or so to raise awareness of George's work and promote and fundraise for the erection of a memorial in his honour. The memorial will consist of a statue of George Treloar aiding a young refugee child, surrounded by interpretive signage explaining his story and that of the refugees. The memorial will be created by a prominent sculptor selected by the council through a public tender and it’s anticipated it will be erected within the next two years, depending on how quickly funds are raised. The committee has already received the support of the City of Ballarat, which has allocated $50,000 to the project and selected a site on the central reserve in Sturt Street. This will complement the existing memorials already erected along this reserve. They are also supported by the Ballarat RSL and the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria. Most importantly, the patron of the committee is David Treloar, the son of George, who lives in Perth, Western Australia. Cr Hudson said that it was an honour for the City of Ballarat to support the erection of this memorial. "The story of George Devine Treloar should be remembered into the future. The son of one of Ballarat's prominent families, he made a huge impact on the world – not only as a soldier but also as a humanitarian. For too long his memory has been allowed to dim. Honouring him with this memorial will create a lasting legacy to inform future generations of this great man who saved the lives of so many." Mr Claven, who addressed the reception, pointed out George's service was part of a long and proud line of Ballarat people who served in war. He mentioned how Ballarat's Hellenic community went all the way back to the days of its goldfields, with the arrival of Andreas Lekatsas from Ithaca. He then went on to talk of the strong links between Greece and Ballarat through the Anzacs of the First and Second World War. "From the local diggers and nurses who served on Lemnos in 1915, like medical orderly Albert Coates and Lieutenant Colonel Harold Pompey Elliot and Nurses Isobel Curnow and Florence Hudson, through Nurse Gertrude Munro, who served and died on the Salonika Front and whose medals are displayed in the Ballarat RSL – the only Australian nurse to be buried in Greece in the First World War – to those who served in Greece in World War Two's ill-fated Greek campaign, like Corporal Henry Moran of the 2/8th Battalion – Ballarat and Greece have a proud connection through the war service of its sons and daughters. George Treloar is part of that tradition." Mr Claven also acknowledged the presence of Henry's son, Mick Moran, and added that it was particularly relevant to hold this reception at the Ballarat Town Hall, as the council chambers house the banner of the Henry Moran's 2/8th Battalion, recording its service in Greece in 1941.
8 October 2016
22 October 2016