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Special Anzac Day visitors

Wednesday, 26th April, 2017

Secretary of the Joint Committee Nick Andriotakis holds the plaque with local RSL president Des Kennedy, surrounded by friends and supporters. Secretary of the Joint Committee Nick Andriotakis holds the plaque with local RSL president Des Kennedy, surrounded by friends and supporters.

By Kara de Groot

A group dedicated to the Anzac memory made the trip to Broken Hill just in time for Anzac Day commemorations - and they came bearing a gift.

Nick Andriotakis is secretary of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign, which commemorates the Australian and Greek soldiers, and the campaigns they fought in during WWII in Greece.

Mr Andriotakis and his friends decided to visit the city during Anzac Day, and brought with them a plaque commemorating the Greek campaigns, which they are gifting to the local RSL.

RSL President Des Kennedy said he and the League were very grateful for the gift.

“Broken Hill is a sort of United Nations, we’ve got Greeks, Italians, Yugoslavs, we’re all one big family,” he said.

“So to have this plaque is great, it shows us united, as we should be.”

The plaque bears an inscription which can also be found at the Australian War Memorial, written by the Athenians in the 4th or 5th Century BCE. 

“The inscription was written by the Athenians about a battle they had on the Hellespont, where Gallipoli is now,” Mr Andriotakis said.

“It talks about the people fighting and the honour, and how their acts create a memorial, it’s very appropriate and apt to the ANZACs that fought in Gallipoli,” he said.

“The problem is that this inscription is in the bowls of the Australian War Memorial so we thought it deserved to be out in the light and to be out everywhere throughout NSW.”

Fifteen men from Broken Hill and the Far West are buried in Greece, of the 686 Australians that were killed in WWII.

Mr Andriotakis said it is important to remember these second generation ANZACs, whose contributions to the Greek campaign sometimes gets overshadowed in remembrance of Gallipoli. 

“As an Australian of Greek heritage I’m very proud and very fortunate to live in this country, and this country has given us great opportunities,” he said.

“The least we can do is keep the memory of the ANZACs in Greece alive to educate, commemorate and just to give back a little to this nation.”

At this stage the plaque is expected to be placed in the Memorial Garden out at the cemetery, either in the wall with the other memorial plaques, or laid in a stone beneath the tree.

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