This year the service of Commemoration was held on Tuesday 16th May. The weather, however, was not on our side. It rained very heavily. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather, our special guest, Mr Nikos Chardalias, the Deputy Minister of National Defence, was unable to make the journey from Athens to join us for the service
The Mayor, Mr Athanasios Vasilopoulos welcomed everyone and gave the opening speech. This was followed by an address by Captain Alex Bush, the Defence Attaché of the UK.
Janet Parkin then gave a short speech, reiterating that the Greek Campaign must not be forgotten, and thanking the City of Kalamata for continuing to be so supportive and for organizing “this important Annual Act of Remembrance”.
After this, Mrs Eleni Volonaki, Professor of Ancient Philology, University of the Peloponnese, gave a very interesting talk about the 1941 Greek Campaign. Barry Parkin gave the oration.
Laurel wreaths were laid by the Mayor and other Greek dignitaries. Poppy tributes were laid by Captain Alex Bush and by the following Brotherhood representatives: David Sanderson in Remembrance of the Prisoners of War; Mrs Margaret Stanbridge on behalf of the Widows; Doug (Buster) Beckett, in Memory of Deceased Members; Paul Hadwin on behalf of the Brotherhood of Veterans of the 1941 Greek Campaign and Mrs Di Billinge on behalf of the British Residents of Kalamata.
At the end of the service the town band played the national anthems. Then, the rain having stopped, we adjourned for refreshments in the Railway Park generously hosted as usual by the Kalamata City Council.
Many thanks to Astri Mavrea, Press and PR Officer at Kalamata City Hall for all her help and support.