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Our Committee is raising funds to create a lasting legacy telling the story of Lemnos' link to Gallipoli and Australia's Anzac story. Our projects include the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, the publication of a major new historical and pictorial publication and more. To make a donation you can also deposit directly by direct debit into the Committee's bank account: Account Name: Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee Inc; Bank: Delphi Bank; Account No: 204299-020 BSB No: 941300; Include your surname in the reference section. For further information on our legacy projects or to make a donation please contact either Lee Tarlamis 0411553009 or Jim Claven 0409402388M

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Their Journey is our Story - Christina Despoteris tells her family story to Neos Kosmos




Soldier Dimitrios Despoteris, Greek Army, WW2. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014
Today's  Neos Kosmos has a lovely story re-telling the family story of one of our Committee members, Chrirstina Despoteris.
It is the story of Lemnos, Egypt and Australia - a story of migration which will resonate with many Greek Australian families. It is also a story of how war affected the Despoteris family. And it tells of the importance of our project to enhance awareness of the role of Lemnos (and Greece) in Australia's Anzac story.
Christina's father Dimitrios served in the Greek Army in World War 2, seeing action in Greece, the Middle East, Syria and Europe. She has kindly let us reproduced some of the photographs of her father from the war.
Well done Christina and thanks again to Neos Kosmos.
If you would like to view and/or download the article, for page 1 click here, and for page 2 here.
Dimitrios' unit, Greek Army, WW2. Dimitrios is right rear. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014
Christina has provided the following short report in English on the article: 
"Their Journey is our Story"
Christina Despoteris was interviewed by Vivienne Morris, Features Editor of the Greek newspaper Neos Kosmos. 
The role that Lemnos played in the Gallipoli campaign is something that Christina Despoteris is keen to promote, having had many years experience in public relations. Following her attendance at the conference on Lemnos in July 2013, she became involved with the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee (LGCC). During her time on the island, she walked in the footsteps of the soldiers, noted where the invasion forces assembled, where they were trained and later where the Australian nurses in the Australian Hospitals looked after the many who had been injured. There were 50,000 Australians who either served on Lemnos or who were at Moudros Harbour in ships. There are 1,200 soldiers buried on Lemnos of which 148 are Australian. 
The LGCC's vision is to see an ANZAC trail on Lemnos.
The LGCC is fundraising to erect a statue, which has been designed by Peter Corlett, to be placed at Albert Park.
On the weekend, at Princes Pier where there were events to commemorate the departure of the WW1 convoy in 1914, the LGCC had a stand to fund raise for the statue. Christina was present and spoke to lots of people who had stories to tell about their grandfathers or their uncles who had being involved in the Gallipoli campaign.
She believes that in the future Lemnos will become better known for its involvement with the Gallipoli campaign.
Christina Despoteris was born in Egypt, an only child, she came to Melbourne with her parents at the age of seven. She had a distinguished career in the Victorian Public Service working with various departments including the Premier's. She has always been involved in promoting the Greek culture and traditions to the broader community. She is currently involved with several community groups.
Christina's sensitivities about war stem from the fact that her father, Dimitrios,  served in the Greek Army during World War 11. As a young child, she would sit on her father's lap, as a teenager and as a woman she would often listen to her father's stories about his experiences. Having witnessed so many atrocities and so much bloodshed, her father valued life and was very passionate and considerate about family, friends and relatives.
In hindsight, she feels that this was a form of cleansing, by reminiscing and reviving all the stories of the war. Christina concludes: "As far as we are concerned, the least we can do is not forget them, because their journey is our story."
Dimitrios' unit, Greek army, WW2. Greek Army, WW2. Dimitrios is kneeling at the front, on the left. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014
Dimitrios' unit , Greek Army, WW2. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014
Dimitrios' unit in the Middle East, Greek Army, WW2. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014
Dimitrios' unit marching, Greek Army, WW2. Reproduced with permission. Private Collection of Christina Despoteris 2014






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