The Greek Women’s Society of S.A. “Taxiarchis” Inc. held its annual general meeting on Sunday the 28th of July 2019 at Goodwood Centre , 32-34 Rosa St Goodwood 2 .30pm - 5.00 pm.
We thank all of those members who attended and demonstrated their support for the Organization and the Executive Committee as well as all our volunteers and supporters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1915. 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.
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.
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