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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 September 2018
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2018 Merimna’s fundraising luncheon a success The Pontian women’s club raised $5,675 for the commemorative George Devine Treloar project Members and friends of Merimna Pontion Kyrion (Oceania), community representatives and distinguished guests gathered this week at a Springtime Luncheon fundraiser in support of a project commemorating the humanitarian efforts of Major George Devine Treloar. The function, organised by Merimna, was held at Eleni's Kitchen and Bar in Yarraville by Stylianos Amanatidis' family who hosted and sponsored the event at their restaurant. Attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch with all proceeds directed towards the public artwork to be erected at Treloar's birthplace, Ballarat. Their generous contributions amounted to a total of $5,675. Major George Devine Treloar has been recognised for his active role in resettling Greek refugees from Asia Minor following 1922 in his capacity as the League of Nations High Commissariat for Refugees in northern Greece at the time. It is estimated that he helped more than 108,000 people during the years 1922-1926 and has received many accolades for his work, including an appointment to the Order of the Saviour and having the village 'Thrilorion' near Komotini named after him. In a bid to honour his contribution, the Merimna Pontion Kyrion of Oceania, along with the Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria's 'Pontiaki Estia' started working closely with the City of Ballarat in 2015 for the commemorative project. Merimna's president, Litsa Athanasiadis spoke highly of the people involved in the collective efforts and thanks all supporters of the project. "The journey started three years ago with many people giving their generous time and energy to final see the fruits of their labours. A special thanks to all the George Devine Treloar committee without whom none of this gallant project would have eventuated. "My gratitude goes out to the young Merimna members who always work hard at our functions. As a very proud president, I watch the new generation who will carry on our legacy." Artists are currently submitting their final proposals for the memorial, with the unveiling expected to take place mid 2019. Guests who attended the event included the Victorian Greens' leader for the northern metropolitan region, Samantha Ratnam, Lee Tarlamis, representing the south eastern metropolitan region, historian and secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Jim Claven, Tony Tsourdalakis representing Melbourne's Pancretan Association, national coordinator of the PanMacedonian Federation of Australia Peter Jasonides, president of Pontiaki Estia Con Tseprailidis and former president of Federation of Pontian Associations Roma Siachos. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM A call for grass-roots activism to raise awareness for the reunification of the Parthenon marbles Melbourne barrister Jim Mellas stages a silent protest at the British Museum; his video goes viral NIKOS FOTAKIS For most of the Greek people visiting the British Museum, the first moment they step into the Greek antiquity gallery and face the Parthenon Sculptures for the first time, is a highly emotional and confronting experience. For Jim Mellas, this happened on Friday 22 June. "I've been to Athens many many times, I've been to the Parthenon and the Acropolis museum, but this was my first time in London and the British Museum," the Melbourne-based barrister tells Neos Kosmos. "I didn't know what to expect, and it was raw and original. On a personal level, it was a very emotional moment. They don't belong there, they belong in Athens." Despite not knowing what to expect, Mr Mellas went to the museum determined. "I have been passionate about the Parthenon Marbles and what the British did for many many years and I had decided that if I ever went to London, I was going to the British Museum first to see them and second to make some sort of protest," he explains. "I didn't know exactly what I was going to do." What he did was have a T-shirt made, sporting the slogans 'Return the marbles' and 'I am Greek and I want to go home' on the front and back. "I had seen that slogan in another campaign a few years ago," he explains. “I thought I'm going to get the T-shirt made and I'm going to walk around London and go to the museum and see what happens." What happened far exceeded his expectations. The actual protest was rather uneventful. The guards were unfazed, only a tour guide showing some concern - but was quickly reassured when the barrister explained that he was not someone going around to cause trouble - while many people came and expressed their support, praising Mr Mellas for his silent protest. The real impact of this silent protest started showing in social media. "I had decided from the beginning that if I'm going to do a protest, I would videotape it and post it on Facebook and Twitter," he explains, "for my friends and other people to see it, but I didn't expect the response that I got. Within three weeks, his video was seen by more than 73,000 people, then Facebook took it down for some reason. Then in August, Mr Mellas reposted it, asking his friends to share; it quickly gathered 142,000 views. At the moment, the viral video has "got close to a quarter of a million views around the world," according to Mr Mellas. "And I've been getting about 100-200 messages away from people around the world," he says. "Most of them come from people in Greece, also Greeks from the UK, the US and Australia, but there are a lot of non-Greeks as well sending their support." The video has also received some negative feedback, mostly from people in Greece saying that the country is facing other problems and has other priorities, at the moment. "It's true, it is not the most important issue," Mr Mellas agrees. "But it is an issue, and the more messages I get, I feel that I'm making a small contribution to raising awareness about it. Having been to Greece a lot of times, I found that the attitude amongst the Greek people is kind of defeatist; they say 'it would be good, but we are never getting them back'. That is why, If we can get a grass-roots movement happening at the same time, I think it can only add to what is being done on a politi- cal level," he says, praising the work of the groups and committees in Australia, the UK, the US and all around the world that campaign for the return of the Parthenon Scuptures. "They are doing a great job on a political and diplomatic level," he says, stressing the need for them to convince not only the British government, but also the Greek one, because "the Greek side is not that straightforward either," he says. This is where a grass-roots movement comes into. "There are hundreds of thousands of Greeks in Australia and all around the world," he says. "If there are enough people going to the British museum with a t-shirt or making another sort of protest, maybe there will be some effect." Delphi bank hosts a celebration of Greek wine President of Pontiaki Estia, Con Tseprailidis, president of Merimna Pontion Kyrion (Oceania) Litsa Athanasiadis and Samantha Ratnam, leader of the Victorian Greens for the northern metropolitan region. PHOTO: SUPPLIED As part of its ongoing effort to engage with various segments of the Greek community, Delphi Bank recently held a special 'Introduction to Greek Wines' event at their South Yarra branch. Presented by Federico Lazaridi, owner of Nico Lazaridi Winery, the event gave guests the opportunity to experience a unique selection of wines, and get familiar with the wines of the Drama region of Greece. Mr Lazaridis gave a fascinating presentation of the history of Greek wine and major wine regions in Greece, while sharing the story of Château Nico Laza- ridi, which bottles approximately 1.1 million bottles a year. The Greek wine industry is on a constant rise during the past decades, with a new generation of winemakers producing wine of high quality and distinct character, that is being exported and in demand all around the world. What was confirmed during the presentation was that a lot of Greek wine-makers are actually coming to Australia to pursue training opportunities and benefit from the experience and expertise of the Australian wine industry.
15 September 2018
29 September 2018