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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 October 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER 2016 21 COMMUNITY The Society of Kratero launches its community book The dancers of the Pontiaki Estia perform at the reception. PHOTO: JIM CLAVEN. On Sunday 9 October, the Society of Kratero (Syllogos Kraterioton) celebrated its annual Repatriation Function at Firenze Receptions by launching its eagerly awaited publication, Kratero – An Epic Story of Heroism. The launch of the book coincides with the 60th year of the founding of the Society of Kratero in 1956. The members of the society annually mark the repatriation of their people back to Kratero, on 10 October, 1950 after their village was torched and destroyed during the Civil War on 6 June, 1947. The Krateriotes, though heroic in their defence, spent three years as displaced people in the town of Florina and its nearby villages. Many of the men of the village remained engaged in military service for Greece, while others commenced the sad event of migration to the new lands. With the assistance of the Greek government, Kratero rose from the ashes and was rebuilt. With the launch of their community book, the members are honoured to share their proud story with the younger generation of their village association and preserve the memory and knowledge of their beloved village to posterity The Kratero book, an initiative spearheaded by Mark Giantsis, whose maternal family is descended from Kratero, was compiled with the assistance of the greater community in Greece and those currently in the executive committee of the Society of Kratero. These include the club’s youngest president, Anthony Dimkopoulos, committee members Alexandra Boicos, Margaret Fermanis and Jacqueline Taskas, whose fathers and grandfathers were once committee members in the society. Historian Jim Claven, former MP the Hon. John Pandazopoulos, writer and journalist Konstantinos Kalymnios and former MP Lee Tarlamis, secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. PHOTO: JIM CLAVEN. It is fitting that the proposed statue of George Treloar will be erected in the avenue of memorials on Ballarat's St Sturt, alongside that of Albert Coates and Pompey Elliott. Speaking on behalf of the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee, Litsa Athanasiadis said: "As the descendent of one of the families helped by George Treloar, I can speak on behalf of all Australians of Pontian and Asia Minor descent and thank the City of Ballarat for supporting our memorial project. Erecting a lasting memorial to this great refugee worker is paying homage to someone who literally saved our families. Without his dedication, they would not have survived and we would not be standing here today. We thank you George Devine Treloar and Ballarat." Mr Kalymnios then spoke of the story of Mr Treloar and his vital assistance rendered to more than 108,000 Christian refugees from the former Ottoman Empire. While he spoke, a visual display created by Mr Claven illustrated his talk with many photographs taken by Mr Treloar during his service in northern Greece. Ms Athanasiadis thanked all those who worked so hard to bring us to where we are – especially John and Maria Salpagtidis – who began their journey all those years ago. The event was crowned by a performance of traditional Pontian dance and music by Pontiaki Estia, with explanations by Penny Tsombanopoulos. Mr Kalymnios spoke for all when he said that the performance was especially moving as this was the first time that the dance and music of the refugees helped by Mr Treloar had been performed in his birthplace and at such a historic and important location. On behalf of the committee, Ms Athanasiadis presented framed commemorative posters to Cr Hudson, Geoff Howard MP, Alex Tascas and Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis. On receiving her commemorative poster, Ms Tascas stated that it was important that we remember the service of our local servicemen and women, and that this new memorial will fill an important gap in Ballarat's remembrance: "Those of us who are called up to serve in war are deeply affected by the experience. George's story shows how this brave and highly-decorated soldier, who saw the horrors of the First World War at the frontline, went on to help the victims of conflict. His service and work for others should be better known." The event resulted in over $11,000 in donations to go towards the memorial project. Ms Athansiadis specifically thanked Stan Papayianneris of GVP Fabricators and the Australian Greek Community of Moreland for their significant contributions. The event was followed by a lunch held at Ballarat's leading Greek restaurant – Frangali's Kafeeneo in Sturt Street. The committee would like to thank Kosta Tsepraidis and Sakis Athanasiadis for supporting this luncheon. The committee has now raised nearly $120,000 for the erection of the memorial but more is needed. To make this dream a reality, the committee is urgently seeking funds from the public. If you would like to support its work or make a donation to the memorial fund please contact Committee Secretary Penny Tsombanopoulos on mobile 0409 850 109 or via email on GDT.memorial@ gmail.com For further information, please contact Litsa Athanasiadis, chair of the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee, on 0421 804 968.
8 October 2016
22 October 2016