The Greek National Guard paid a visit to the Greek Community of Melbourne’s (GCM) Greek Centre in the historic Greek Precinct of Melbourne on Saturday 23 of April.
The President of the GCV Bill Papastergiadis OAM and members of the Board extended a warm welcome to the official party of the Greek Presidential Guard. On their first visit they were received in the Centre’s Library and 12th Level Club Lounge and served dinner at Fable, the Rooftop restaurant at the Centre.
During the event, the official party of the Greek Presidential Guard shared their impressions about their visit as well as the warm welcome by the Greeks living in Australia.
The official party of the Greek Presidential Guard consists of three officers and thirteen Guards:
Major Sakellaropoulos Vasileios, Captain Kouloumbas Stavros, Sergeant Major Theodorou Efthymios, Private Paterakis Nikolaos, Private Vlachos Ioannis, Private Ladas Konstantinos, Private Koukiadakis Michail, Private Pagonakis Marios, Private Basiakos Athanasios-Aristeides, Private Papathanasis Konstantinos,Private Mandalos Nikolaos, Private Grigoriadis Nikolaos,Private Stasinopoulos Sotirios, Private Evangelatos Panagiotis, Private Xenakis Dimitrios, Private Papakyriakidis Petros.
The President of the GCM greeted the official party of the Greek Presidential Guard and expressed his gratitude for their visit: “With great pride we welcome the Greek National Guard at the Greek Centre and we feel honoured for this unique opportunity to share with them this unbroken bond and love for our homeland. Their visit is significant not only because Greece and Australia have always been allies through difficult periods but because their visit marks the Holy Week of the Greek Orthodox Easter as well as the Commemoration of ANZAC DAY. Lastly I would like to thank the chairman of the Victoria National Anniversary Committee, Mr Antonios Tsourdalakis who made this visit possible”
On hand to greet the guards amongst others was also Vice Presidents of the GCM Dr Jim Bossinakis, Mr Michael Karanitos, Secretary Nick Koukouvitakis, Treasurer Assoc Prof Marini Piripiri, Cultural Committee Chair Mr Leo Vlahakis and newly elected GCM Board member Mr Kostas Stefanidis.
Mr Stefanidis was moved by the visit to Melbourne by the revered Greek unit and thanked the unit for its inspiration.
Major Sakelaropoulos thanked the GCM and President Papastergiadis and presented him with a special gift saying: “In 2018 the Presidency of the Republic of Greece in partnership with the Hellenic Post issued an anniversary stamp collection and today we are standing before you presenting this gift to Mr Bill Papastergiadis in memory of our visit”