Help us promote Lemnos' link to Anzac - Make a donation now

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

Monday, 13 February 2017

Remembering Melbourne's Massive Greek Day - 76 years ago today

'Young women waving paper flags for the Greece War Victims Appeal on the 14th February, 1941': The Argus (Melbourne), 1941. Photos: State Library of Victoria Collection
On this day 76 years ago, 100,000 Melbournians crammed the streets of Melbourne to support Greece and its resistance to Mussolini's invasion.
4,000 diggers came down from their camp at Bonegilla and marched up Swanston Street passed Melbourne's Town Hall. The crowds waved special Greek Day flags, replete with reproductions of the Australian and Greek national flags.
'The A.I.F. Marches – Australian Holds out a Helping Hand to the Heroic Greeks', The Australasian (Melbourne), Saturday, February 22, 1941, page 20. National Library of Australia Collection.

Over 700 volunteers helped sell the special Greek Day badges, with stalls set up throughout the route selling gifts and toys - all to raise funds for the Greek War Victims Fund.
This Fund was backed by the Australian Government and local fund-raising efforts were organised across the country. The Melbourne march and fund-raising day was the biggest effort in Victoria, and possibly Australia.
To read the full story, click on the following  link.
It is important to remember that these fundraising efforts took place across Australia when no Australian troops had yet been sent to Greece itself. The people of Australia were supporting Greece's fight itself. Soon tens of thousands of Australian soldiers would be sailing to Greece in March and April 1941 to help in the defence of Greece as it faced the coming German invasion.
All who value the service of Australia's soldiers who fought in the Greece and Crete campaigns - as well as the enduring link between Australia and Greece stretching back to Lemnos in 1915 - should remember this important day in Melbourne's, Australia's and Greece's history.

Greek Day
Following the Italian invasion of Greece, major fundraising efforts were organized across Australia, supported by the Australian government, to assist Greek war victims. Special fundraising days were organized which became known as Greek Days. Special buttons and badges were produced - Greek Day badges - and flags combining the British and Greek flag. These were sold throughout Australia as fundraisers. This is the first of many posts commemorating Australia's Greek Days.

Lest we forget

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
Member, The Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign Commemorative Council

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