The Greek Women’s Society of SA “O Taxiarchis” Inc was honoured to be part of the RSL Hilton West Torrens commemoration Anzac service this year which had a strong Greek presence. Greece’s Presidential Guard (Evzones) which arrived in Adelaide from Athens to pay their respects to the ANZACS was also in attendance along with representatives of the Greek Orthodox Community of SA Inc, the Greek Ex-Servicemen's Association Of Sa Inc, the Greek Archdiocese and the Pan Rhodian Society.
The Evzones presence at the Anzac ceremony was to commemorate role of the Australian soldiers who fought in Crete and Greece and honour the relationship between Greece and Australia. The Battle of Greece which commenced on 6th of April 1941 was one of the first engagements of the Australian Army against the Nazis in World War II.
There are 646 ANZACs buried memorialised in Greece, representing 83 per cent of the Australian soldiers captured by the Nazis during WWII. It is estimated today than more than 1.5 million people in Australia are connected to the Battle of Crete.
Finally but not least one must not forget the role that the Greek island of Lemnos and its inhabitants played in the Gallipoli campaign. It was through Lemnos, that 50,000 Anzacs passed on their way to Gallipoli in 2015. Lemnos was the place where the Anzac troops practised the landings for their disembarkation for Gallipoli and it was where the Australian nurses and medical staff established their hospitals, and where the sick and injured returned for treatment and other soldiers returned for periods of rest after the horrors of battle.
Moreover it is also where the first Anzac cemeteries were established. 148 Australians and 76 New Zealanders are buried in the two military cemeteries on opposite ends of the island, at East Mudros and at Portianou.
The 11 Evzones of the Presidential Guard marched along Sir Donald Bradman Drive accompanied by the Scottish Band playing behind them, until they reached the Cross of Sacrifice monument in the Memorial Gardens, where they stood guard while official procedures for the 104th commemoration of ANZAC Day Dawn Service took place.
Thousands of people gathered at Memorial Gardens and observed with reverence the official ceremony during which the memorial wreaths were placed over the steps of the monument, by officials who attended the service.
Our organization, as the oldest Greek Women’s Society of South Australia (est.1937) was proud to be able to pay its respects by laying a wreath representing the Greek women’s role and connection with the ANZACs both in Greece and Australia. The Society was represented by the Vice President, Mrs. Helen Bogias (pictured below)
At the close of the ceremony the attendees were invited to the Hilton RSL hall.
On the 11th of Monday which was “ Clean Monday” or Kathari Deftera approximately members and friends of the Greek Women’s Organization gathered on the foreshore of Glenelg in front of the Stamford Hotel for a picnic, fun and games,
For decades now, the Association has been organizing this event every year with the main objectives being to celebrate Kathari Deftera true to Greek tradition. Clean Monday apart from marking the first day of Great Lent is also considered in Greece to mark the first day of spring with Greeks celebrating it with outdoor activities.
Many Greek families, young and old, will picnic in parks or by the seaside and fly kites which is said to symbolize happiness and family unity
Food is also a very important part of the Clean Monday celebration with shellfish, fasting food and laganas (azyme bread) being consumed.
This year once again, the weather for our celebration was perfect. It was pleasantly warm and sunny and the huge pines on the grassy Glenelg foreshore provided ample shade and the local facilities facilitated the games and competitions.
In true picnic style everyone brought their blankets, folding chairs, and their picnic baskets filled with “ nistisima” food of Len, Food, such as Laganas, olives as well as halva which everyone shared.
The only thing missing was the kite flying … but there were plenty of other outdoor games and activities which fostered socializing, physical activity, and fun.
And of course the event would not have been complete without the hat competition. The ladies lined up with their hats to be judged. The day would not have been complete without the traditional banter and of course the telling of jokes. Everyone gathered together to enjoy jokes and spontaneous anectdotes.
All in all everyone had a wonderful time and promised to be back next year. See you all there next year. Perhaps there will even be some kite flying..
Mary Mangos longtime member and former President of our organization was honoured by the West Torrens Council for her services at their Australia Day Awards Ceremony which took place on the 26th of January 2019.
The West Torrens Council conferred the Anniversary Award 2019 to Mary Mangos for her services to the Greek migrants and their families as well as the community at large.
For more than 70 years Mary has been raising funds to support the Greek and wider communities and providing not only her time to worthy causes, but opening up her home and its garden as a fundraising venue for afternoon teas, fashion parades and other charitable events.
She has served on the Board of the Greek Women’s Society of SA (founded by her mother more than 80 years ago) and for many years was considered as the ‘quiet achiever’ and support for her late mother.
For more info please click here
On the 30th of November the Greek Women’s Society of S.A. O “Taxiarchis” Inc held its customary Christmas party luncheon for its members at the Goodwood Community Centre.
This year, the Society instead of offering the traditional free lunch to its members opted to make it a fundraiser for the victims of the fire in Mati Greece (July) earlier this year.
For a small fee, a two course meal was served together with wine.
Lunch was served immediately after the arrival of our VIP guests, who included Mr. Michael Keenan and Mr. Bill Gonis President of GOCSA.
The President Mrs. Chrisoula Heisler welcomed the guests and thanked the City of Unley for supporting the Greek Women’s Center which has been operating at the Goodwood Centre for over 30 years.
Mr. Michael Keenan and Mr. Bill Gonis also addressed the guests and expressed their appreciation for the work done by the Greek Women’s Society of SA Inc. O Taxiarchis.
As is customary the cooking, preparation and serving of the lunch was carried out by the Executive Committee members.
It is a tradition dating back many years and is done as a sign of appreciation and recognition for the support received from its members (monetary and in kind) for the Society’s philanthropic work. Its aim is to provide recreation for its members and celebrate the Christmas period blending Greek customs with the local ones.
The delicious lunch was enjoyed by all but most of all it was the friendly and welcoming faces of our members and their warm exchanges that put everyone in the Christmas spirit.
The final highlight of the event was the raffle draw which included many prizes all of which had been contributed by the members of organization.
We are extremely grateful to all our members for the generosity and support and to all our volunteers and committee members for their hard work.
The annual church service in honour of the Feast Day of the Archangels of Michael and Gabriel was held at the Cathedral of Archangels of Michael and Gabriel “ Taxiarchis”on Thursday November 2018 08.30 a.m. to 11.30a.m.
The connection between our organization and the first Church, the Archangels of Michael and Gabriel “ Taxiarchis” is a historic one. The Greek Women’s Society of SA bears the name O Taxiarchis in honor of the fundraising efforts of its first members which helped build the original church in 1937.
The original church was rebuilt in 1967 (now heritage listed) and is the Cathedral Church of the Greek Orthodox Community of S.A.
After the service lunch was served at the Olympic Hall at 288, Franklin St for the church goers. The lunch was prepared by the Women’s Fellowship of the Cathedral of Archangels of Michael and Gabriel.
The Greek Women’s Society always participates in this celebration.
It is one of our long standing traditions to prepare and sell “loukoumades” after the service. This sweet is actually the traditional Greek honey puff served warm. Our members prepare the traditional honey puffs loukoumades as the dessert as well as the coffee which are made available after the church service and during the lunch at the Olympic Hall.
A special mention and thanks to the ladies of the Women’s Fellowship of the Cathedral of Archangels of Michael and Gabriel who worked hard in the kitchen frying the loukoumades which are served warm with a drizzle of honey syrup and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
On the 8th of June 2018, The Greek Women’s Society SA partnered with the Travelling Table to present an evening of Greek popular cuisine. This pop up restaurant was held at the Unley Town Hall and was sponsored by the City of Unley and the Migration Museum.
The event was advertised on ABC RADIO and feature was also made for ADELAIDE TODAY TONIGHT on Channel 7.
There was also a feature write up in the Adelaide review see link here
With the help of our Greek grandmothers – yiayias and their families, the Travelling table presented a dinner based on the home cooking of the post war Greek immigrants.
The menu included Keftedes, Tzatiki, the classic Fasolada(bean soup) as well as Arnaki Lemonato (Lamb casserole with potatoes and lemon), Stuffed tomatoes and Peppers and finally the Diples- honey rolls which is a sweet served on special occasions and Christmas.
All these recipes have been preserved by the current generation of Greek-Australian immigrants by watching their Greek grandmothers cook.
There are no written recipes as these dishes are cooked with the skills acquired from observation and instinct.
The guests were welcomed by the organizers with live bouzouki music
Ouzo, the famous Greek aperitif was available. The evening was hosted by the ABC presenter Deb Tribe who explained in detail to the 120 guests the menu and introduced the Greek yiayiades of our association. The Vice President, Hellas Lucas addressed the guests on several occasions and provided more information on the dishes which were served.
The guests also heard the Vice President’s own personal migration story
Hellas also had the opportunity to speak about her own personal migration story.
The highlight of the evening’s cultural entertainment consisted of Greek traditional dances from the region of Crete, which were performed by the GOCSA Dance Academy.
The feedback from people that attended the Greek dinner was very encouraging. The guests said that they really appreciated the welcome and insight into Greek culture.
A huge thank you to all our volunteers and the volunteers from the Flinders University Nutrition School who helped make this evening such a great success.
More photos from the evening below
More photos from the food preparation before and on the evening
The Greek Women’s Society SA “ O Taxiarchis” celebrated Mothers Day once again with members of the organization and their friends. The event which was a buffet lunch was held on Wednesday the 9th of May at 1200p.m. at the Watermark hotel, a favourite with our members. The Mother’s Day lunch is one of the organization’s annual fundraisers. This year all the proceeds went to BREAST CANCER SA.
The Mother’s Day Lunch takes place every year and holds great significance for he Greek Women’s Society of SA “ O Taxiarchis”
The event honours and acknowledges its members' dual role as mothers and wives serving their families and community at the same time.
During the course of the luncheon a beautiful bouquet was presented, to the oldest mother present. After lunch the door prize and raffle was drawn.
The President of Greek Women’s Society of SA “ O Taxiarchis” would like to thank all those members who donated prizes for the raffle for this event. Our
raffles are made possible through the generosity of our members and friends. For more photos please see below