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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, 10 April 2014

Victorian Students Commemorate Anzac Soldiers and Nurses on Lemnos


The tour party at the memorial at East Mudros Military Cemetery.
Photo Spirit of Anzac Prize (SOAP) 2014
An important milestone in Greece’s build up to the Centenary of Anzac in 2015 occurred last week. For the first time an official delegation of Victorian school students was welcomed to the northern Aegean Island of Lemnos to appreciate its connection to Anzac.


The students took part in the annual Anzac commemorative service conducted at East Mudros Military Cemetery, which was held on 7th April.
Ms Jenny Bloomfield, Australian Ambassador to Greece, and Australian Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen were in attendance, along with senior representatives of the Hellenic Military as well as local Lemnian authorities and church and representatives.

Beaufort student Bianca Gerrard placing a poppy at the grave of Private Chisholm, East Mudros.Photo SOAP 2014
A moving part of the service was the speech prepared by Beaufort Secondary College student, Bianca Gerrard. She recounted the story of an Anzac from near her home town of Beaufort, 19 year old Private Donald Chisholm of the 23rd Battalion, who is buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery – along with 97 other Australians.
Her speech included a moving poem she had written for the occasion, ending with the following touching words:
“On the beautiful island of Lemnos a safe haven was found,
The relief of relaxing on a temporary sporting ground,
Wounds were tended to,
And the nurses touch a blessing,

We remember you today,
Thank you for your sacrifice and service, 
The ANZAC’s that fought for us,
Lest we forget.”
 
The Victorian Veterans, accompanied by one of the students, pay their respects at East Mudros Military Cemetery. Photo SOAP 2014

Commemorative wreaths were laid, including by the two Australian veterans who accompanied the tour, Peter Colliver and David Gilroy.
The twelve secondary school students hailed from across Victoria were all selected by the Victorian Government as the Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize Winners for 2014. Along with the students and two teachers, the delegation was led by Dr Bill Sykes, MP, representing the Victorian Government. Tour historian is Monash University’s Professor Bruce Scates, Chair of History and Australian Studies at Monash University.
The students were made very welcome on Lemnos – with one of the students ending her blog post with καληνύχτα.
The Victorian students are interviewed by local Lemnian radio. Photo SOAP 2014
The students were welcomed to Lemnos on arrival at a special dinner. Demetri Boulotis, Deputy Mayor of Lemnos, welcomed the students on behalf of the Lemnians municipality. This was held at the beautiful Myrina harbour – where the Anzac’s sat and enjoyed Lemnian hospitality in 1915.
Bill Sykes, MP, Government Tour Leader, hands Deputy Mayor of Lemnos, Demetri Boulotis,
a framed photo of the Shrine of Remembrance, depicting the olive tree from the World War I
courtyard in the foreground.
Photo SOAP 2014
Dr Sykes presented the Municipality with a specially framed picture of the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance – the design of which was based on the famed ancient Greek Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

The students were also welcomed by the Moudros Senior High School community, including head teacher Ms Papapanagiotou and her students. Hopefully this will be the first of many links between Victorian and Lemnos students researching the Anzac and Gallipoli story.
The students meet some new Greek friends at East Mudros Military Cemetery. Photo SOAP 2014
The students were also able to appreciate some of Lemnos’ history, with a tour of the ancient settlement of Poliochni and Myrina’s Venetian castle.

Some of the Victorian students at the Ancient site of Poliochni, with the remains of the world's first parliament in the background.Photo SOAP 2014
Mr Jim Claven, historian and secretary of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee, worked with the organisers and liaised with the Lemnians authorities to make the student’s visit a good one.
The view from Myrina's Venetian fortress. Photo SOAP 2014
“We worked hard to make sure the student’s visited the key Anzac sites on Lemnos – from Myrina’s harbour and castle, through East Moudros harbour, the 148 Australian graves across the two Commonwealth Military Cemeteries and Portianou’s “Anzac cafe” to the sites of the Australian Hospitals and the hot baths of Therma”, he said.
Enjoying a break at Portianou's "Anzac Cafe". Photo SOAP 2014
Mr Claven said that this has given the students a great understanding of the role of Lemnos in Australia’s Anzac story and the continuing relationship between Australia and Greece.
“It was particular good to see that the some of the students researched some of the diggers who died and are buried on Lemnos as well the nurses who served there in 1915.”

Laura Bishop of West Footscray remembers Sister Kit McNaughton and the nurses of Lemnos by placing a poppy on the grave of Canadian Nurse Munro at Portianou Military Cemetery.
Photo SOAP 2014
Apart from Bianca, Laura Bishop of West Footscray who attends Westbourne Grammar School, selected Nursing Sister Catherine McNaughton who served as one of the 130 Australian nurses on Lemnos.
And Michael Manoussakis, from Mill Park who attends Marymede Catholic College, chose to research the story of the Greek Australian digger, Peter Rados. Private Rados was the one of the twelve Anzacs of Hellenic heritage who saw service at Gallipoli. Born in Athens, he was a 24 year old cook from Melbourne when he enlisted into the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. He was killed at Gallipoli on 19th May 1915 and lies at in Ari Burnu Cemetery, along with another 150 of his Australian comrades.
Mr Lee Tarlamis MP and President of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee added that the Lemnos authorities and Mudros Senior Secondary School were very happy with the visit and hoped it would be the first of many.
“It’s great that Greek authorities like those on Lemnos are telling the story of Anzac and the ongoing link between Australia and Greece. This can only be good for both countries”, he said.
Mr Tarlamis said that the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee was committed to working with Australian and Greek authorities to make sure that successful tours like this were only the first of many more to come.
The students will now go from Lemnos to visit Gallipoli, where Michael Manoussakis visited Peter Rados’ grave at Ani Burni Cemetery near Anzac Cove, and then on to Western France. 
The Lermnos  Gallipoli Commemorative Committee would like to congratulate the Victorian students on their successful commemorative tour of Lemnos and the Victorian Government and Tour organisers (especially Professor Scates and Patricia Pollard) for including Lemnos in this years tour. We would like to thank Ms Papapanagiotou and her students at Moudors Senior Secondary School.
And we would especially like to thank Demetri Boulotis, Deputy Mayor of Lemnos and a good friend of our Committee and the Anzac story for supporting this important tour. Well done Demetri.

 
The Victorian students, a field of Lemnian poppies and Mudros harbour beyond. Photo SOAP 2014

Readers wishing to follow the student’s tour can read their daily reports on their tour blog at -
2014 Premiers Spirit of Anzac Blog

Neos Kosmos recently ran a story about Michael Manoussakis, whose family trace their heritage to nearby Imbros Island, close to both Lemnos and Gallipoli. Click here to read this story.


Jim Claven
Secretary
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee

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