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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 March 2018
2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 MARCH 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM The Evzones visited Adelaide for Anzac Day and Battle of Crete commemorations. PHOTO: NK ARCHIVE Evzones coming to Melbourne for Greece’s National Day The Hellenic Presidential Guard will participate in celebrations on Sunday 25 March Greeks in Melbourne are getting ready for the annual celebration of the Revolution of Independence, which is to take place at the Shrine of Rememberence on Sunday 25 March. This year's celebration is particularly special, as it will be marked by the presence of the Hellenic Presidential Guard. The iconic ceremonial infantry unit bears a significant value for Greek people all over the world, who regard the 'Evzones' as symbols of the highest Greek values: democracy, freedom and bravery. The 13-person unit will open and close the parade, which is set to begin at 12.30 pm sharp (all participants are expected to be ready by 11.30 am for assembly at Tom's Block, on the service road of St Kilda Road). The Evzones will lead the parade, following after the flag-bearers, carrying the 1821 revolutionary banner, and the Australian, Greek, and Cypriot flags. They will be followed by Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police, the Greek Australian Ex-Servicemen Association of Melbourne, the Federation of Greek Elderly Associations, Fronditha Care, the Pan Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, Alpha Children's Centre and Kalimera Kids Kindergarten. NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by ACM Printing, 126 Fairbank Road, Clayton South 3168. No. 6014 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Web: www.neoskosmos.com letters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: Editor-in-chief: Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a day time telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Christopher Gogos Sotiris Hatzimanolis Editorial director: Nelly Skoufatoglou Journalists: Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis Contributors: Con Stamocostas, Theodora Maios, Dean Kalimniou, George Stogiannou, Billy Cotsis, Jim Claven Graphic design: Peter Kelidis, Vangelis Karakasis Proofreader: Allyson Griffith The next section of the parade will be comprised by the Schools of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria, followed by the Federation of Greek Communities and the Schools of the Association of Greek Orthodox Parishes and Communities. They will be followed by the Education Committee Greek Language Schools (Zenon, Mavraganis, Platon, Nestoras, Pedia, Panhellenic College, Protypo, Ariston, Alpha and Ahepa Greek School), the Independent Schools (Omiros, Pythagoras, Lexi and Pegasus Dance Academy) and the state schools (Victorian School of Languages, Clarinda Primary School, South Oakleigh Secondary College, Northcote High School). The final sections will be comprised of various federations and organisations, with the Hellenic Presidential Guard marking the departure. At the completion of the parade, all flag-bearers will be directed to turn right at the steps of the Shrine and assemble at the eternal flame for the official ceremony. The organising committee’s notes from the trustees of the Shrine have advised that no weapons or replicas of any weapons, including guns, swords, or knives will be permitted in the area. All participants are expected to show respect to the Shrine and the surrounding area, which Greeks have been honoured to be using to celebrate the anniversary of the Independence and be mindful of their conduct, as well as their appearance. Participation is expected to be higher this year, particularly since the announcement of the Hellenic Presidential Guard visit has sparked the curiosity of many in the community, who will want to come and see the iconic unit from up close. This year marks the third time that the unit visits Melbourne: the first time being in 1980 and the second in 1992. Since then, anyone wishing to see the guard would have to visit Athens, where the Evzones are a living landmark of the city, standing still in front of the Presidential Residence and the Unknown Soldier monument, and hourly demonstrating their trademark synchronised gait, while changing guard. Their uniform has been admired by millions of visitors, but very few of them are aware of its historical nod to the Homeric-time warriors, as well as the revolutionaries of the 1821-1829 war of independence. The foustanella part of the uniform is made of a 30-metre-long white cloth, forming 400 pleats (one for every year of Ottoman rule), while the whole uniform is handwoven. But there's a lot more in the Evzones' history than a symbolic value. The unit was founded on 12 December 1868, mere decades after the modern independent Greek state was founded. The combattant force comprised of a series of light batallions, engaging in every war Greece has fought up until WWII. Post-war, only one battalion remained active, stationed in front of the Presidential Residence. It is still considered a great honour among army officers to be chosen to serve in the Presidential Guard. The Evzones must be taller than 1.87m and be in excellent physical state, able to go through long, strenuous training that allows them to stay perfectly still for an entire hour. During their stay in Melbourne, the Hellenic Presidential guard will take part in a series of events, functions, and official visits. Their visit to Melbourne was made possible with the financial support of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, along with a series of community organisations and it is deemed as a symbolic acknowledgement of the strong ties that bind Greece and Australia, galvanised by the history of 170 years of Greek migration to Australia and the 119-yearstrong Greek and Australian alliance.
17 March 2018
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