The Messinian Association of South Australia held its customary Christmas BBQ which is dedicated to the children of the Messinians and their friends. The event took place on the 29th of November 2017 at the Messinian Hall which was filled with families and children of all ages.
The atmosphere was festive and the décor reminded us that Christmas was around the corner.
The junior and intermediate members of the Messinian Dance Group delighted the guests with a performance of Greek traditional dances opening their performance with the Messinian favourite, Mantili Kalamatiano. Not long after the adults joined in and continued dancing till late in the afternoon.
Messinians and their friends gathered to share a meal and kick off Christmas festivities.
The children were served their meal prior to the adults, giving them the opportunity and time to enjoy the many activities which had been organized for them which included face painting and an entertaining balloon twister.
And of course Father Christmas himself dropped in to see the children and delivered personally a Christmas stocking to all the lucky children present.
Amongst the many friends was the Consul General Mr. Andreas Gouras with his family the Vice Consul Athanassios Mourousias who is also of Messinian descent.
Our sincere thanks to all our members for their support and to our tireless volunteers without whom these events would not be possible.
To see more photos from this event please click here
The first BBQ for spring took place on the 24th of September.
Once again many Messinians and friends attended the BBQ to enjoy the Greek cuisine and socialize.
The guests were treated to a performance by the junior/intermediate members of the Messinian Dance Troupe. The Consul General of Greece in Adelaide Mr Andreas Gouras also attended and met with all the Messinians present.
On October 26th more than 200 Messinians, with their families and friends gathered at the October BBQ to celebrate and remember two significant events, namely the 58th anniversary of the establishment of the Messinian Association in 1959 and the commemoration of Oxi Day on the 28th of October 1940.
As we already know on this day the Greek nation led the way in resistance against Hitler and his allies. In honour of Oxi Day and the Greek people’s brave resistance, the Messinian Hall was decorated in blue and white the colours of the Greek flag.
The President Ms. Martha Ioannides welcomed the Messinians and friends and spoke of the importance of the October 30th BBQ which was commemorating Oxi Day and the 58th anniversary of the establishment and origin of the Messinian Association in October 1959
This year out October BBQ was of particular importance for two of our female volunteers Mrs. Theodora Michalopoulos and Mrs. Voula Moutzouris. Both ladies who have been with the women’s auxiliary from its inception, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary
Once again she congratulated and thanked all the volunteers and supporters for their hard work, without which the association would not have achieved its objectives or fulfilled its mission.
To honour the occasion, the Messinian Dance Group in full traditional costume performed a number of Greek traditional Dances inspiring all the guests to follow suit.
The band Notes entertained the guests with live Greek music and the celebration concluded with the drawing of the raffle.
On the 17th of September the Messinian Association of South Australia held its Annual General Meeting for 2017
The AGM took place at the Messinian Association’s headquarters at 68 Stephens Avenue and was well attended. Pre AGM activities included an informal lunch where members had the time to gather until the necessary quorum was obtained.
The meeting was chaired by the President Mrs. Martha Ioannides who welcomed all the members and at 1.30 p.m and opened the meeting.
The AGM received reports on progress made by the Association in all its major activities, financials and other core matters.
At the end of her report the President stressed the importance of the Association ‘s volunteers and thanked each one for their support and dedication without which the Association’s success would not be possible.
After the Financial report was adopted the election for new a Auxillary/Audit Committee for the period 2017-2019 was announced. The members were also was briefed on the performance of the MA HAWKS Football Club as well as the Messinian Dance Group.
The floor was then opened to the members for discussion and all 5 members of the previous Audit Committee were unanimously re-elected.
At the conclusion of the meeting many members expressed their satisfaction at the positive progress made during the last 2 years and congratulated all the members of the Management Committee.
Special thanks goes to all members who attended the 2017 AGM and for their continued support and trust.
Officially, Greek Independence Day is celebrated on 25 March in Greece, where it is also known as Greek National Day. It marks the Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek uprising in 1821
“FREEDOM OR DEATH” - “ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ Η ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ”
On Sunday the 26th of March the Messinians of Adelaide celebrated the liberation of Kalamata and the 196th anniversary of the Greek Independence Day. Independence Day has major significance for the Messinians as the Greek War of Independence began with the liberation of Kalamata on the 23rd of March 1821 and ended with the battle of Navarino, on October 20th 1827.
The Battle of Kalamata took place on 23 March 1821 between the Greek irregular revolutionary forces and the Ottoman forces of the city. It was one of the first events of the Greek War of Independence. This was a historic victory for the Greeks who were able to capture the city making Kalamata the first city to be liberated from the Ottoman yoke. It is also important to mention that on the same day on March 23, 1821, when the Greeks seized Kalamata they founded the Messinian Senate, the first independent (albeit rudimentary) government in Greece in the modern era.
As is customary the event began with the commemorative ceremony at the Memorial Gardens of the City of West Torrens and was followed by a celebration at the Messinian Function Centre which was attended by hundreds of Messinians and their friends.
The memorial service was conducted by the very Reverend Father Diogenis Patsouris at the Memoria Gardens and concluded with the laying of the wreaths by the President of the Messinian Association and the dignitaries who attended
The official guests included the Hon. Mr. Tom Koutstandonis, Treasurer and Minister of Finance, Mr. Steve Georganas Member for Hindmarsh who are both of Messinian descent. The Hon, Mr John Gardner MLC, Honourable Jing Lee, and Mr. George Dimitriou, Councillor of the City of West Torrens also paid their respects and laid wreaths to mark their observance for the Greek Independence Day.
The ceremony concluded with the national anthems of Australia and Greece.
The dignitaries then proceeded to the Messinian Hall, to join the guests who had already assembled there. The Hall which was decorated in the colours of the Greek flag was packed with Messinans and friends young and old all eager to join in the festivities.
The traditional lunch consisted of a sumptuous barbeque buffet lunch which included the traditional Greek lamb, pork, fish as well many other Greek dishes such as spanakopita and stuffed zucchini flowers. Of course the lunch would not have been complete without the traditional honey puffs- loukoumades which were served for dessert. We owe a huge “thank you” to the tireless members of women’s auxillary who worked for days to be able to prepare the food. A special mention must be made to our men - volunteers who man the spits or souvla. Not only do they spend many roasting the lamb and pork but afterwards see to the carving of up of the meat
After lunch, the President Mrs. Ioannides welcomed the dignitaries and addressed the guests on the significance of the Greek Independence Day and the role that the liberation of Kalamata played in the course of events. As a mark of respect to the fallen at the battle of Kalamata, an excerpt (translated in English)of the 1st revolutionary proclamation of Kalamata was recited by a youth from the Messinian Dance Troupe.
The excerpt read “The legs of the Greeks that once walked only to the bidding of the oppressor are now running to secure their rights. “Their heads bowed till now, will shake off the yoke from their shoulders and can now only think of freedom. The words spoken by the Greeks which were once only futile entreaties to the occupier now cry aloud and echo the sweet name of freedom”
The first revolutionary proclamation of Kalamata is the official foundational text of our Great Revolution and bears immeasurable weight and importance and is also considered to be the first official diplomatic missive of the Greek Government.
The State treasurer the Honorable Mr. Tom Koutsandonis who is a proud Messinian also addressed the assembly highlighting the significance of the occasion. The Honourable John Gardner, MLC in turn spoke to the gathering and conveyed his congratulations congratulated everyone present for the Greek Independence Day.
Once the formalities were concluded the adult members of the Messinian Dance Group Association entertained the guests with a number of Greek traditional dances including the Kalamatiano and the “Tsamiko”. Immediately after the guests joined in the dancing to the live music provided by the band “ Notes” For those who preferred a less strenuous activity, there was time and opportunity for socializing and catching up with old friends.
At the Messinian Hall on the 29th of January the Messinian Association held its January BBQ which also commemorated Australia Day.
Australia Day is a very important day for the Greek Australians of Messinian descent.
After 1953, Australia became home to thousands of Messinians who left their home country to start afresh in a country literally across the other side of the world in another hemisphere.
It was a brave and risky move at the time as there were very few facilities for immigrants. Although they possessed was determination and grit , nevertheless the Messinians who settled in Australia made it their home, a home which gave them a great deal, safety, freedom of speech and opportunities.
On Australia Day we the Messinians celebrate the National Day of our adopted homeland and thank Australia for embracing us.
On this special occasion around 300 Messinians, friends, Greek Consul General and Greek Consul in Adelaide attended this event which was the first for 2017.
The Women’s Auxillary prepared a spectacular buffet which included apart from the regular, fish, meat, salads, chips many other Greek delicacies such as stuffed zucchini flowers, tzatziki, Greek Greens (chorta) as well as fried aubergines.
As usual there was plenty of dancing to the Greek traditional music provided by the band “ Notes” For the less energetic, chatting and socializing was the order of the day.
Since the early days of the Association the New Year’s Eve Dance has been an annual event. True to the Association’s tradition, the Messinian Association of SA held a dinner-dance at Messinian Function Centre on New Year's Eve to farewell 2016 and welcome 2017.
Approximately 200 members with their family and friends chose to spend their New Year’s Eve with our association which offered a four course meal with live entertainment in a family friendly environment at the very reasonable cost of $35 per adult. The ticket included a door prize and participation in the cutting of the New Year cake- Vasilopita. Each table also was given a bottle of bubbly in order to welcome in the New Year.
The Function Centre was decorated with blue and white balloons and the tables were set with the Holiday season’s colours and traditional New Year’s crackers.
As midnight approached, Vasilis Ioannides from the band Notes live and the evening’s M.C. made the countdown. As the clock struck 12 you could hear the corks of the champagne bottles popping and the guests celebrating and welcoming 2017.
It was also a fun night for the children as well who were given glow bracelets, sticks, and necklaces. Families and children and guests of all ages after enjoying a sumptuous meal joined in the revelry and danced non-stop.
Shortly before midnight the door prize was drawn followed by the draw for the Vasilopita. The cake was cut in 12 pieces, one for each month of the year.
12 lucky people were given a piece, and a bottle of wine. The lucky winner who found the coin was given a special prize.
The Women’s Auxillary prepared the 4 course meal based on the traditional Greek food served at this time of the year.
There was something to satisfy everyone’s palate, from salads, dips, seafood and meat platters which included the traditional lamb as well the refreshing summer fruit and filo pastry sweets.
The event would have not been complete without the traditional lottery with many prizes. The winners were announced shortly after midnight.
For those who had the stamina to stay on the festivities went long into the night.
The New Year’s celebration culminated a successful 2016 and launched 2017. We would like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors and members of the club who contributed to making this event possible and of course to all our volunteers who work tirelessly and support all the Association’s activities in 2016.
To see more photos from this event please see below