(Brunswick, Australia) – Last week, Brunswick Australia took the time to honor the Anzac Greeks who fought to defend Greece and Crete during World War II, which was around 75 years ago. On April 18, 2016, around 200 people gathered at the town hall in Brunswick to pay tribute to those citizens who supported Greece and Crete all those years ago. At the time, Crete hadn’t become a part of Greece yet. This gathering was put on by theGreek Anzacs and the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council. The ceremony took place in Moreland Hall, which also has a bronze sculpture commemorating those who served in Greece and Crete and several who were of Greek descent. People who are part of the Greek community were also part of the assembly, many of whom were dressed in traditional Greek dress, including Spartan Hoplite costumes and people wearing Evzone uniforms. Other members of the community were present, such as WWII veterans and members of the local Greek community.
The main goal of the night, however, was to honor the Greek Anzacs who served at the Battle of Crete all those years ago. During the Battle of Crete, allies from all over the world helped Crete and Greece defend the island against Nazi Germany and Italy, who were allies. Crete was considered a strategic island and the Germans wanted control. Although the island eventually did succumb to the Nazis, it wasn’t without a valiant fight by the Cretans, Greeks, and their allies, which included the Greek Anzacs from Australia and New Zealand. This battled helped change the tide of the war because it was one the first time the allies truly believed that the Germans could be stopped.
The main speaker of the evening was Phil Cleary, a popular footballer who has done a lot of research into his own family roots concerning the battle. He told several moving stories that he uncovered in his research. Other speakers included Litsa Athanasiadis, who talked about the Christian refugees that came out of Asia Minor during World War II and Cr Lambros Tapinos, who talked about the tie that the Greek Anzacs have with the influx of Greek immigration to the area. The night occurred a week before Anzac Day, which gives Australians a chance to honor all those who have fought in foreign wars.