Dr John Yiannakis
On Sunday, 19 June 2106, approximately 100 people attended an afternoon tea at the Yokine Bowling Club to help officially launch the campaign to raise funds for a designated memorial to commemorate the Battle of Crete. This being the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, an idea was born that the time had come for a specific war memorial to be created, at an appropriate location, befitting the significance that the Battle of Crete has in Australian and Greek history. A place where people can pay their respects, learn and reflect on the Battle of Crete, and where wreath laying ceremonies may be held in future.
Amongst those in attendance were the Consul for Greece Antonios Koliadis, the Vice President of the WA RSL Denis Connelly, Reverend Fathers Elpidios and Emmanuel, former WA Governor Dr Ken Michael AO, Battle of Crete POW Arthur Leggatt OAM, and various Greek association presidents including HCWA president Sava Papasavvas, and members of his committee. Special guests were the Honourable Joe Francis MLA, Minister for Veterans, and Marilyn Sadleir, daughter of Battle of Crete veteran and benefactor of the Prevelly chapel, St John the Theologian, Geoff Edwards OAM. Both guests addressed the attentive audience explaining in their own way the timeliness and importance of establishing such a memorial. Dressed in traditional Cretan costume, children from the after-hours Greek school dance program performed a couple of traditional Cretan dances to the delight of those present. The campaign to have an appropriate memorial approved, designed and erected will take time and money. Such a venture is worthy of the support of the Greek and Australian communities. This event, organised by the Battle of Crete Memorial Committee chaired by Greek-Australian RSL President Bill Evangel, is the first of a number that will be necessary into the future if a memorial is to be realised.