The cloudy sky and the rain didn’t stop the Greeks of Melbourne from celebrating the 25th March National Anniversary. Many Greek students as well as members of Greek organizations took part in the annual parade which was attended by more than 15,000 people.
During his speech, Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Akis Gerontopoulos noted that he chose to celebrate National Independence Day in Melbourne as it is a welcoming place with a large Greek community. The commemorative events were also attended by the Premier of Victoria, Denis Napthine, the leader of the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party, Daniel Andrews, Helen Kroger, representative of the Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, Maria Vamvakinou, representative of opposition leader, Bill Shorten, the Consul General, Christina Simantiraki, Bishop Ezekiel of Dervi and Bishop Iakovos of Militoupolis.
The General Secretary of the Organising Committee, Kostas Nikolopoulos, thanked the Greek community of Melbourne and the Greek schools for participating in the celebrations. The parade was followed by a wreath laying at the Australian War Memorial. The National Anniversary was also celebrated with major parades in the center of Sydney, Adelaide and other big cities of Australia.
March 25 marks the day in 1821 when the Greeks decided to revolt against the Ottoman Empire. After several years and many battles, they eventually gained their independence and founded the sovereign Greek state.