Adelaide, 20 May 2012: The ‘city of churches’ now has a monument commemorating the loss of millions of Hellenes, Armenian and Assyrians, the indigenous peoples of Anatolia. Located in the Mausoleum of the Holy Family in Salisbury Downs, the memorial is a joint effort of Adelaide’s Pontian Brotherhood and Armenian Cultural Association, the monument is dedicated to the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides.
The Australian Hellenic Council has joined the Armenian National Committee of Australia and the Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australia Chapter – in welcoming the unveiling of a Genocide Memorial Monument in South Australia.
Supported by over 20 Federal and state parliamentarians, as well as over 400 members of the Adelaide community at an official ceremony to mark the occasion. Interstate visitors included ANC Australia representatives from South Australia and Victoria and AHC and AUA delegates from NSW.
The unveiling of the monument comes three years after both chambers of the South Australian Parliament. Sponsored by the Hon Michael Atkinson MP (Croydon), the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly unanimously passed resolutions recognising the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides in 2009, recognising and condemning the events of 1914-1924.
Newly-elected AHC (NSW) Coordinator John Petropoulos stated that ‘South Australians donated generously to the international efforts to assist the survivors. It is appropriate that Adelaide now hosts a memorial to those same victims’.
ANC Australia Executive Director Vache Kahramanian congratulated the South Australian Armenian, Greek and Assyrian communities on this historic event. ‘The unveiling of this monument is testament not only to the memory of the victims of genocide but also to descendants of survivors who have called Australia home’, Kahramanian said.
The AUA’s Hermiz Shahen said: ‘Today’s unveiling of this extraordinary monument, which honours the victims of the Greeks, Assyrian and Armenian genocide, is a significant event in the life of the three nations and our communities in Australia and abroad; communities that have been established as a direct result of the continuous assaults on their nations.’
Particularly impressive was the attendance of His Grace Bishop Nikandros and Reverends Christos Tsoraklidis and Silouan Fotineas of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, the Consul-General for the Hellenic Republic in Adelaide, Mr. Christos Maniakis-Grivas, two Federal parliamentarians (Tony
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Zappia MP for Makin and Nick Champion MP for Wakefield) and eight state parliamentarians, and three local government councillors.
As emphasised by the Master of ceremonies, Mrs Anna Volis (President, Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia), the unveiling reaffirms the importance of recognition of the Genocides of Anatolia’s indigenous Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian peoples.
PHOTO 1: The moment of the unveiling of Australia’s newest genocide memorial.
PHOTO 2: Unity is strength: Australian Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian community representatives before the Genocide Memorial.