Greek ‘OHI Day’ or (‘No Day’) is a significant day in modern Greek History. On October 28, 1940, in response to a demand from the Italian Ambassador in Athens to unconditional surrender, Greek Prime Minister Metaxas said ‘Oxi’, which means no in Greek! Italy then invaded and so began the Greek Campaign which officially culminated with the Battle of Crete in May 1941. A well trained and resourceful Greek Army drove the much larger Italian Force out of Greece and it wasn’t till Germany invaded in April 1941 that Greece finally succumbed.
The following pictures were taken at this year’s Commemorative Service at the Shrine.
The 2/2nd Field Regiment Association has received an invitation to the 2019 ANZAC, Greece and Crete Reunion. There will be a special presentation from Ms. Megan Spenser on the AWM podcast ‘From a Whisper to a Bang’ which features the Battle of Crete.The reunion will be held at the Education Centre at the Shrine of Remembrance on Sunday 6th October 2019 at 2:00 pm. Entry is free and light refreshments will be served. RSVP is by Wednesday 25th September 2019 so please let our Secretary Mel Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) know ASAP if you would like to attend.
The Commemorative Service started with a colourful parade up the forecourt of the Shrine followed by a Service and laying of wreathes at the base of the ‘Eternal Flame’ Memorial. A wreath was laid on behalf on the 2/2nd Field Artillery Regiment Association by Secretary Mel Johnson and myself.
This was followed by a further Service at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Birdwood Avenue.
Vice President Derek Trewarne laid a wreath for the Regiment
The activities commenced with an official parade along the forecourt of the Shrine culminating in the laying of wreaths in front of the eternal flame. The parade involved various dignitaries, flag bearers, school groups, a band made up of school children, young men and women in Cretan National costumes and some banners of Australian Battalions. This was followed by a brief ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial in Birdwood Avenue.
It was wonderful that veteran Bill Rowe was able to take part again this year and although the numbers of descendants attending was a little down on the last year or two, there were sufficient of us to make a proud showing for the Regiment.
The Dedication Service took place in the ‘Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard’ and was opened by the Director of the AWM, Dr. Brendan Nelson. The President of the 2/2nd Field Regt. Association, Lachlan McPherson gave the main address. Lachlan and Justice Richard Refshauge (son of a veteran) unveiled the Plaque and Vice President Derek Trewarne thanked all those present for attending and those responsible for bringing this project to a most satisfactory completion, in particular, Association Secretary Mel Johnson, Dr Brendan Nelson and all personnel involved from the AWM. At the conclusion of the Service, Derek Trewarne and former Committee Member Anthony Gleeson laid a wreath at the Plaque and then all present proceeded to afternoon tea in nearby ‘Poppies’ Café.
I must acknowledge the official AWM photographer who took a number of photographs of the Ceremony thus providing an excellent record of the event for the Regiment.