The function will be held in the Trench Room, Ballarat Town Hall, 225 Sturt Street, Ballarat.
The event is supported by Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria "Pontiaki Estia" and Merimna of Pontian Ladies of Oceania and the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee
The function will include a presentation by Konstantinos Kalymnios telling the story of George Devine Treloar and the need for a new memorial dedicated to his life and service. Historian Jim Claven will make short presentation on Ballarat's connection to Greece and has prepared a overhead presentation, featuring many of the photographs of George Devine Treloar and his work.
Dancers and musicians from Melbourne's Pontiaki Eastia will perform, honoring a person who was critical to the very survival of their relatives in the 1920's.
Refreshments will be served.
Along with those traveling from Melbourne, the reception will be attended by many from Ballarat's Greek, RSL and general communities, as well as many local politicians and representatives.
Goerge Devine Treloar was born in Ballarat and served with the British Army in the First world War, being promoted and decorated for his bravery.
He would be appointed the League of Nations representative in Thrace (Greece) with responsibility for re-settling 10,000 christian refugees fleeing persecution and expulsion from the former the Ottoman Empire. In the end, George would assist over 108,000 refugees between 1922 and 1926.
George was decorated by the Greece and a refugee village was named in his honor (Thrylorion in Thrace).
He would return to Australia and settle in Western Australia.
George was one of a number of Australian refugee workers who traveled to Greece to assist these christian refugees fleeing the Ottoman Empire. They have received little recognition of their service in Australia.
|Members of the George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee meeting with Ballarat RSL Secretary Ms Alex Tascas and a representative of the City of Ballarat, Feb 2015. Photo Jim Claven 2015|
Work began to promote awareness of George Devine Treloar and the new for a Memorial in 2014. John and Maria Salpagtidis – along with others - made numerous visits to Ballarat to promote the concept of a memorial for the City.
The George Devine Treloar Memorial Committee was formed in 2015 to work for the erection of a major new memorial honoring the work of George Devine Treloar and to promote awareness of the wider Australian effort to support the Christian refugees from the Asia Minor catastrophe from 1922. And what better location for the Committee’s Memorial than George’s home town of Ballarat.
The Committee was established by the Merimna of Pontian Ladies of Oceania, with involvement from the Pontiaki Estia (the Central Pontian Association of Melbourne and Victoria), historians and members of the public. Importantly, descendants of Asia Minor’s refugees play a key role in the work of the Committee. These supporters believe that the erection of the Memorial will honor an individual who in many ways ensured the survival of their ancestors and consequently themselves.
The Committee is honored to have George Devine Treloar’s son - David Treloar - as their patron. The Committee is also supported by the Ballarat RSL and the City of Ballarat.
|Possible location of the George Devine Treloar Memorial, Sturt Street reserve, Ballarat. Photo Jim Claven 2015|
Following representation from the Committee, the City of Ballarat has announced its support for the erection of the new Memorial. The Memorial will be located in the centre of Ballarat, complementing its “avenue of memorials” on Sturt Street.
While the detailed specifications for the Memorial are yet to be finalized by the City of Ballarat, the Committee hopes for the memorial to comprise a statue depicting Major George Devine Treloar, with a young refugee, possibly holding a suitcase and an olive branch. The statues will thus clearly depict George Devine Treloar, his war service and his connection to Greece and the Asia Minor refugees. To assist awareness, the statues will be complemented by information panels explaining the story of the Christian refugees, George Devine Treloar, his origins in Ballarat, his war service and his refugee work in Greece.
For a report on the Memorial in the Greek language published by Neos Kosmos, please click here.
You can purchase one of the special George Devine Treloar Memorial badges for only $10 (image above) by contacting Penny Tsombanopoulos too.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee