|Australian Parliamentary Study Tour participants at Anzac memorial, Mudros Harbour, Lemnos, April 2013. Photograph Jim Claven|
With representation from Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Western Australia, the Study Tour took part in commemorative services on Lemnos Island, at Gallipoli, and at Vevi in northern Greece, and Athens.
The Tour followed the footsteps of the Anzacs from Lemnos to Gallipoli, as well as the sites of the Salonika campaign in First World War. The Tour then followed the Second World War Anzac trail in Greece, from the battlefield of Vevi-Xinon Nero in northern Greece, down through those of Platamon, the Vale of Tempe, Brallos and Thermopylae, to Athens, Corinth and to one of the key embarkation sites in 1941, Nafplio.
Highlights of the Tour included:
- Attendance at the Portianou Military Cemetery Anzac Service (including the Greek Red Cross' commemoration of the two Canadian nurses buried there);
- Attendance at the various commemorative services on the Gallipoli peninsula. Highlights were the Anzac Cove Dawn Service, the Commonwealth Service at Cape Helles and the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair at Gallipoli;
- Tours of Hagia Sophia, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and other important sites in Istanbul, including those associated with the Anzacs;
- Community celebrations in Thrylorio Komotini in Thrace in honour of the Australian refugee helper Major George Treloar, as well as a visit to the museum at Ouranoupolis to honour Joyce and Sidney Loch, two more Australians who helped re-settle refugees to Greece;
- The battle of Vevi-Xinon Nero commemorations in northern Greece;
- Visits to important sites and museums in Thessaloniki, Vergina and Athens;
- Our delegations wreath-laying service at Athens' Commonwealth War Graves, at Phaleron Military Cemetery.
The Tour also held discussions with senior members of the Australian and Greek Military, Government authorities, University bodies, community organisations and businesses to promote Lemnos' link with Anzac and the coming Centenary in 2015.
And of course, the key highlight was walking the Anzac trail on the beautiful Island of Lemnos!
Tour participants were also very appreciative of the opportunity to take part in traditional Easter Services in Athens.
|Tour participants at our wreath-laying service at Phaleron Military Cemetery in Athens, May 2013. Photograph Jim Claven|