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

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Lemnos Square - Port Phillip

Cr Voss, Mayor of Port Phillip, announces the naming of Lemnos Square. Photo Peter Ford 2017.
Last week the Mayor of the City of Port Philip, Cr Bernadene Voss, announced the naming of the location of our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial as Lemnos Square.
The name was formally gazetted in the Victorian Government Gazette on the 18th May 2017.
As far as we know, this is the first time that Lemnos has been gazetted as a name for a location since the 1920's when the soldiers settlement outside Shepparton in Victoria's north east was named Lemnos - and it remains so to this day. An important achievement for our generation.
The erection of our Memorial and the naming of Lemnos Square are important legacy projects - which will go some way to ensuring that the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign will not be forgotten.
Excerpt from Victorian Government Gazette

This has been the culmination of a lot of work by our Committee to re-inforce awareness of the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign and its local connection to the area where our memorial is located.
Our submission was based on our putting forward detailed evidence explaining the deep connections between Port Phillip, Lemnos and Gallipoli. Some of these links we identified are:
  • The estimated nearly 5,000 diggers and nurses who volunteered in the First World War, many of which served on Lemnos as part of the Gallipoli campaign like Albert Park electrician Corporal George Finlay Knight and St Kilda's Private Cyril Leishman;
  • Local nurses like Elwood's Nurse Clarice Daley and Potter who were among the 37 Victorian nurses who served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos in 1915 - and among the 30 nurses who departed on the RMS Mooltan from nearby Princes Pier;
  • To the soldiers who came to Lemnos' Anzac camp at Sarpi (modern day Kalithea) to rest after the bitter months of fighting and privation the peninsula like Brigadier John Monash (the commander of the camp) and Corporal Albert Jacka VC (who would survive the war and become a local Mayor in Port Phillip);
  • And many of these diggers and nurses wandered Lemnos during periods of leave, meeting the locals and enjoying their hospitality, like Brigadier John Monash and many others;
  • The many local diggers who remain on Lemnos to this day in its Commonwealth War Cemeteries at East Mudros and Portianos having paid the ultimate sacrifice for their service - like Corporal Knight, Private Leishman and South Melbourne's Driver Ralph Berryman - to name a few; and,
  • And finally, but by no means least, Port Phillip's Princes Pier was the arrival port for many of the thousands of Greek migrants - including those from Lemnos - who made their new lives in  Australia, transforming Melbourne into the largest Hellenic heritage city outside of Greece.
These were also the reasons that we had submitted in support of our original proposal to locate our Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Melbourne's bayside suburb of Port Phillip.
To read our submission in support of the naming of Lemnos Square and to learn more about the connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and Port Phillip, click here.
For more on the announcement, click here.
We look forward to the possibility of a reciprocal naming on Lemnos.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

Friday, 26 May 2017

Stop Press! - Lemnos Square Announced - Congratulations to the City of Port Phillip

Members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee with their guests at the commemorative service. Photo Peter Ford 2017
The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee is glad to announce that the location of the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial has been named Lemnos Square.The announcement was made today by the Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr. Bernadene Voss.
The Mayor was welcoming the visit of a number of important guests from Greece to our Memorial, who came to take part in a short commemorative service.

The Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr. Bernadene Voss, announces the naming of Lemnos Square. Photo Jim Claven 2017
The naming has been one of the key objectives of our Committee ever since we erected our Memorial at the reservation at Foote Street in Albert Park. Since late 2015, the Committee has been pursuing this outcome, myself preparing our major submission to the Council in support of naming the square - Lemnos Square. The Council supported our proposal and in the last few days was successful in having the new name gazetted.
Lemnos Square now joins the township of Lemnos, near Shepparton, as two locations connected to Lemnos in the northern Aegean through the Gallipoli story and post-war migration.
There were shouts of bravo in the air around our Memorial when the Mayor surprised the assembly with her announcement.
Cr. Voss said that she was proud to announce the naming on behalf of the Council given the strong connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and the local area - from 1915 on to the waves of post-WW2 migration.
She pointed to the many diggers and nurses who had departed from nearby Princes Pier who served on Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign – diggers like Port Melbourne’s Corporal George Finlay Knight of Port Melbourne and nurses like Elwood’s Clarice Daley.
The President of the Committee, Mr. Lee Tarlamis, congratulated the Mayor on behalf of our Committee and noted the strong support that we have received from the Council ever since we originally proposed the erection of the Memorial.
Lee - along with our MC for the days event - Ms Christina Despoteris, our Vice-President - pointed out that not only did they both have Lemnian heritage but that their families had indeed arrived in Victoria at nearby Princes Pier - from where the diggers and nurses had departed in 1915.
The day included the visit of two senior members of the Hellenic Armed Forces - Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros (Deputy Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) and Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis (Deputy Director of Public Relations Directorate of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff) - as well as two Councillor's from the Municipality of Malevizou on Crete - Cr. Georgios Aerakis and Cr. Kostas Trigonis. The guests are in Victoria as part of the battle of Crete commemorations being organised by the Battle of Crete and Greece Commemorative Council. Also in attendance was Mr Tony Tsourdalakis, Secretary of the Council and members of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee.
The international guests were impressed with the Memorial and the Mayor's announcement.

Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros addresses those assembled, MC Ms Christina Despoteris on the right. Photo Jim Claven 2017
Lieutenant General Floros addressed the assembly noting the importance of the role of Lemnos in the Gallipoli campaign as well as to the modern history of Greece. He then went on to lay a wreath at the base of the Memorial - a wreath handed to him by Ms Deb Stewart, the grand-daughter of Sister Evelyn Hutt, a nurses who served on Lemnos in 1915.
Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros salutes the Memorial, Ms Deb Stewart centre. Photo Jim Claven 2017
I was able to explain to the guests the design of the Memorial, including its Hellenic aspects from the face of the nurse figure having been inspired by a sculpture of the Greek God Artemis to the names of the Lemnian villages visited by the Anzac's cut into the memorial’s stone plinth.

Mr. Lee Tarlamis presents Lieutenant Colonel Christos Anastasiadis with a token of the appreciation of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee. Photo Jim Claven 2017
The service concluded with the exchange of gifts.

Lieutenant General Konstantinos Floros presents the Mayor of Port Phillip with the Battle of Crete Commemorative Medal. Photo Jim Claven 2017

Cr. Voss also announced that a formal unveiling of the Lemnos Square sign will take place as part of the coming annual Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial commemorative service in August later this year.
There was much discussion of the need now to have the square planted with olive trees to complete its connection between Lemnos, Gallipoli and Port Phillip! And there was universal support for the proposal for a reciprocal acknowledgement of Port Phillip on Lemnos!
The Memorial has been visited by Ambassadors and other dignitaries but this is the first time that senior representatives of the Hellenic Armed Forces had visited the Memorial. The Committee thanks Mr. Tsourdalakis and the Council for facilitating the visit amongst an otherwise busy schedule.
Thanks to Mr. Peter Ford for again taking such great photographs of the event.
This is indeed a great milestone for our Committee and our supporters - and the wider community both of Hellenic background and the broader Australian community connected to Australia's Anzac tradition.
To read my article from Neos Kosmos on this event, please click here.

Jim Claven
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee