Greek-Australians Honor Asia Minor Catastrophe

asia minorAlthough many Greek-Australians who live in the country were born in Australia, as did their parents and grandparents, they always have their real homeland in their hearts, which they can’t forget.

Every year, the descendants of Greeks from Asia Minor who now live in Australia, organize commemorative events to mark the Asia Minor Catastrophe.

This year the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society, which operates in Queensland, will organize a three-day commemorative event in Brisbane from September 21 to 23.

This year’s events include speeches by Sofia Kotanidis and Dr Nicholas Al-Jeloo, on Friday, September 21, at the Greek Orthodox Community of St. George; a memorial service in the English language at St. George church on Saturday, September 22; a memorial service in Greek at St. George church on Sunday, September 23, and wreath laying at the monument located in the churchyard.

Brisbane and the West End neighborhood are of particular importance for the Greeks of Asia Minor.

The first Greeks arrived in Australia before 1922 and immediately settled in West End. At the end of the Asia Minor catastrophe, 2,000 refugees arrived in Australia after two months of travelling and settled in West End as well. They mainly came from Alatsata, an economically and culturally blooming Greek city. Therefore, the West End is also called “Small Alatsata.”

The Greeks from Alatsata and other Asia Minor regions founded a cultural association and a Greek school to keep their traditions and culture alive. This is also the target of the Asia Minor Greek Historical Society, which collects and records historical material, and organizes lectures and other commemorative events.