1 THE GREEK AUSTRALIAN VEMA The oldest circulating Greek newspaper outside Greece APRIL 2017 Tel. (02) Fax: (02) OUR ARCHBISHOP S EASTER MESSAGE 2017 PAGE 5/29 A Journey to Pascha A daily guide through Holy Week PAGES 8/32-9/33 ST ANDREW S THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE Doxology to mark the commencement of the new Academic Year On 15 March, St Andrew s Theological College commenced its thirty-second academic year with its annual Doxology Service in the College Chapel of St John the Evangelist and Theologian. PAGE 2/26 Methana: A sleeping beauty This peninsula on the Saronic Gulf hosts a long-dormant volcano, hot springs and plenty of trekking opportunities. PAGE 20/44 We extend our sincere good wishes to our readers for a very Happy Easter in good health and family unity
2 2/26 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 ST ANDREW S THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE Doxology to mark the commencement of the new Academic Year On 15 March, St Andrew s Theological College commenced its thirty-second academic year with its annual Doxology Service in the College Chapel of St John the Evangelist and Theologian. The service was officiated by the Dean, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. At the conclusion of the service, His Eminence welcomed the Sub-Dean, His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Apollonias, the faculty members, students and all guests in attendance especially those who have held a longstanding association with the College since its earliest years: The Very Rev. Archimandrite Miltiades Chryssavgis, Dr John Lee, Dr Guy Freeland, and Rev. Alan Galt. His Eminence affirmed that the purpose of the gathering was to give thanks to God for making the College capable of spreading the message of the gospel and salvation during these turbulent times. Indeed, His Eminence asserted that the primary function of the College is to declare that God is alive despite the various problems throughout the world, and to bear witness to the common Christian heritage of the first millennium. Moreover, the operation of the College throughout its existence has always been a collaboration of Orthodox and non-orthodox people of faith and goodwill, and His Eminence noted this fact with particular sensitivity and gratitude. The Doxology Service was followed by the customary group photograph and the luncheon prepared by the generous volunteers of the Ladies Philoptohos. In 2017, the Colleges serves 51 students mostly from across Australia but also a few living abroad, studying courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, via either weekly on-campus lectures or by means of online distance education. New commencing students welcomed to the College this year include undergraduate students Father Lawrence Aleria (Goulburn), Georgia Anassis (Melb), Christopher Condoleon (Syd), Pantelis Fridakis (Adel), Sinisha Gavranov (Syd), Angela Kolistasis (Syd), and Nicholas Tsesmetzis (Melb). New postgraduate students include Nikodemos Beahan (Bris), Marie-Michelle Chalhoub (Syd), Samuel Kaldas (Syd), Sr Hannah Massy- Greene (Jamberoo), Alan Kendal (Peterborough), Nickolas Krikelis (Melb), and Ioanna Alkanani (Melb). Medical tourism has great potential Greece needs to tap the huge market of medical tourism that neighboring countries are already greatly benefiting from, the secretary-general of the Greek Medical Tourism Council, Paris Kokorotsikos (pictured), told the 2nd Tourism Conference, titled High Added Value Tourism and co-organised by five bilateral chambers, which took place in Thessaloniki recently. Medical tourism in Europe, with 2.6 million tourists a year, accounts for a quarter of the global medical tourism market, with Turkey and Croatia being the main two emerging destinations, while Germany and the UK are the top preferences for serious health issues. Greece remains a laggard in promoting medical tourism, while Turkey has 657,000 health visitors per annum, Kokorotsikos said. Greece s advantages include the high level of private health services, internationally acclaimed doctors and scientists, use of ultramodern technological equipment in healthcare and competitive prices. On the other hand its weak points are low state support, poor networking with international medical tourism brokers and facilitators, the lack of organized promotion of the country as a medical tourism destination, and the absence of cooperation between tourism and transport businesses and healthcare corporations, Kokorotsikos noted.
3 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 3/27 By Tom Ellis - Kathimerini, Athens Opinion Erdogan's high-risk games During a visit to Istanbul a few years ago, I met with a Western diplomat who at the time held a post in Turkey. After talking about Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem, our conversation turned to political and economic developments in Turkey. The country s economy was growing, so I was surprised at the certainty with which the foreign official was warning about the looming financial uncertainty brought about the dangerous antics of an unstable leader. That was in the days before Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Europeans Nazis and fascists, before his threats to flood the European Union with thousands of refugees, and before his warnings that the Europeans will not walk safely in the streets. Sure, Erdogan had already walked off the stage after an angry exchange with Israeli President Shimon Peres during a panel on Gaza at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Also, he had voiced his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, and appeared to cooperate behind the scenes with ISIS. Turkey s authoritarian president believes that he is in charge of a superpower and that he is, or should be, the leader of the Islamic world at least of Sunni Islam. Erdogan deems that the Turkish economy will continue to grow forever. He fails to realize that serious investors are looking for an environment with the rule of law that he is now damaging. At the same time, he does not understand, or denounces, the rules of the global financial system. He believes, for example, that credit rating agencies are playing a dirty game against Turkey and him personally. Turkey s economy is in decline but Erdogan remains blinded by the arrogant belief that he needs no one. He has chosen to play a high-risk game, and to ignore the consequences and he will pay the price. You cannot insult everyone around you and simply expect to get away with it. On March 15 German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that the situation in Turkey at the moment is enough to make you cry. At the same time, Berlin decided to freeze recently agreed measures of economic cooperation between Germany and Turkey. Has Erdogan lost his mind? Julia Kloeckner, vice president of Chancellor Angela Merkel s CDU party, asked a few days later, while on March 20 German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, We are tolerant but we re not stupid, adding that Erdogan had gone too far with the Nazi comments. On March 15 Bild, the tabloid-style newspaper, summed up German sentiment on its front page featuring a picture of Erdogan and the title You are not a democrat! You are hurting your country! You are not welcome here! In the wake of recent political developments in the Netherlands, more European politicians not necessarily on the far-right are expected to imitate Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte s hardline stance on Erdogan, which, analysts say, boosted his election performance. Most Turkey experts tend to focus on the geopolitical developments, which are of course important, while underestimating the economic dimension. Its zero-problems-with-neighbors policy, launched by former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu, has turned into zero-friends. However, no economy can survive such an unhealthy environment for very long. Unless the Turkish president changes his behavior, and there is no sign that he intends to do so, the future of the Turkish economy looks pretty grim. By Alexis Papachelas - Kathimerini, Athens Geopolitical responsibilities Turkey s strategic importance is being openly challenged. Leaders and analysts from both sides of the Atlantic believe that Turkey has embarked on a path which is impossible to interpret even at the best of times. Turkey continues, of course, to be a very big country in a crucial geostrategic location, with important business operations. What has been lost is trust. The deep state, with whom the US Pentagon has been in touch for decades, has been rendered toothless and Erdogan s uncontrolled authoritarianism is annoying everyone. Israel, once a staunch ally, has now distanced itself and treats Turkey with suspicion. It is clear that there have been developments in the background that have caused a deep rift. Greece could potentially fill this apparent gap, but it depends on how willing it is to play ball. Greek politicians have become accustomed to over-stating the country s geostrategic assets, forgetting that what you have is not as important as what you do with it. The government, with Israel s backing, has entered a strategic dialogue with the US that could lead to a practical outcome. Achieving a long-term agreement over the base in Souda would allow the Americans to upgrade the facility using funds for infrastructure. This is only one of several ideas and scenarios being discussed. Washington is already making plans for the event that Turkey leaves NATO or closes the Incirlik Air Base. If this happens, it will be the first time since World War II that Greece will have to deal with a Turkey that is outside the western alliance or possibly even in a competing one. An old and experienced diplomat once said it would be good for us to be in different camps. The scenario is improbable but not impossible. However, great caution needs to be exercised in the meantime, as Washington and some Europeans will work hard to keep Turkey as an ally. One look at the map shows us that Greece is the last frontier against terrorism, the uncontrolled wave of migrants and refugees, and a region that is turning into a black hole. Greece is a country on the West s front line and may be called upon to actively assume that role. It will take strong political will and consensus for this game to be played. Such roles and missions are no joke when for decades you ve been too scared to send a single military police officer to Afghanistan. If Greece chooses to assume this role, it will make enemies and open itself up to new risks such as, for instance, becoming a target of Islamic fundamentalism. Developments are rapid and time to make a decision is running out.
4 4/28 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 Bank of Sydney celebrates 6 years being part of Bank of Beirut worldwide Serengeti, Maui Jim, Fendi Christian Dior, Gucci, Ted Baker Katerina + Kyriacos Mavrolefteros 874 Anzac Parade, Maroubra Junction (at bus stop, on RTA block) Tel: (02) Nina Ricci, Oakley, La font Bank of Sydney hosted a dinner on Thursday March 16 at Le Montage in presence of Dr Salim Sfeir, Chairman and CEO of Bank of Beirut, Dr Nicholas Pappas, Chairman of Bank of Sydney, The Hon. John Ajaka MLC, President of NSW Legislative Council, Mr Miltos Michaelas, CEO along with the Bank s Board Members from Sydney and Lebanon, religious leaders, politicians, community leaders and 400 guests from the Greek, Lebanese and Australian communities. The dinner was a celebration of the communities successes as Special Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented by Dr Salim Sfeir to: His Excellency Bishop Antoine Charbel Tarabay, Maronite Bishop of Australia, His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of Australia and New Zealand, Sheikh Malek Zeidan, Representative of Dar-Al Fatwa in Australia, The Hon. John Ajaka, President of NSW Legislative council, Dr Nicholas Pappas AM, Chairman of Bank of Sydney, His Excellency George Bitar Ghanem, Consul General of Lebanon in Sydney and Mr Anwar Harb AM, Publisher and Editor-in- chief of Annahar Newspaper Australia. A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, at a warm private gathering on Friday morning as he was unable to attend on the night. As well as celebrating 6 years working together with Bank of Beirut, the Bank of Sydney management and Rodenstock, Ray Ban guests also celebrated the timeless service and dedication of 12 of its employees who have been serving the Bank and its customers for more than 15 years. Earlier during the day, Dr Salim Sfeir, was proud to receive a certificate of Recognition and Merit granted by the NSW Legislative Council in recognition of his leadership and support to the Australian and Lebanese friendship. The honouring ceremony was held at NSW Parliament house in presence of Bank of Sydney s Board Members and community Leaders. In addition, The World Lebanese Cultural Union of Australia and New Zealand presented to Dr Sfeir an award in appreciation for his achievements especially to the Lebanese diaspora. Enlightening speech on the Anthikythera Mechanism by Professor Xenophon Moussas The Greek Festival of Sydney and The University of New South Wales presented a lecture by Professor Xenophon Moussas (University of Athens) at the John Niland Scientia Building UNSW on the evening of Monday March 13. Professor Moussas was an absolutely captivating speaker who commanded the full attention of the more than 150 people in attendance, the room was at capacity with eager listeners keen to hear Professor Moussas discuss his 12 years of research of the Anthikythera Mechanism, a unique, ahead-of-its-time mechanical device, often described as the first computer. A to Ωmega Renovations HOUSE RENOVATIONS The lecture was followed by a lively and engaging question and answer session which the audience showing great interest in learning more about this incredible device, from one of the leading protagonists of its study. Professor Moussas research provided robust evidence that the Greeks were developing high-level science and technology based on knowledge of the laws of physics, much higher than estimated or usually accepted so far by the global scientific community. Professor Moussas is a space physicist, with research interests including space and solar physics, planetology and the Ulysses mission. Roofs Gardening Driveways Tiles Brickwork Pruning Painting Cleaning Asbestos Cleaning Nikolaos Tsiotsias Office: Mobile:
5 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 5/29 Our Primate s View EASTER MESSAGE S T Y L I A N O S By the grace of God Archbishop of Australia To all the Clergy and devout faithful of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese blood of the One who alone is sinless, it w ould not have been able to grant remission of sins, shed for us and for many. How ever, w e must especially note, that, in order to receiv e remission of sins and eternal life, there is no talk about eating, but ratherabout drinking. By ARCHBISHOP STYLIANOS OF AUSTRALIA Brother concelebrants and children in Christ, Come let us drink a new drink, not one marvellously brought forth from a barren rock. This exhortation of the Paschal canon is not merely a rhetorical figure of speech. It is a prescription of life and a concrete possibility of salv ation. It is also a confession of gratitude to Christ, who came forth form the T omb and abolished the pains of Hades and of Death. Come, let us drink a new drink. We, people, thirst for justice and joy. W e thirst for forgiv eness, light and love. We thirst for life, immortality and eternity. Perhaps, there is no other creature of God that is so demanding and so unsatisfied, as is the human per son. Moreover, there is also no other creature of God that feels so intensely its needs and depriv ations, as does the human person. It is for this reason that God has made people the centre of His interest and providence. After His Incarnation, Christ is crucified and is risen, so that He might secure for humanity deliverance and blessedness. The whole mystery of the Divine Economy points to the Cup of Life. The condescension of the Incarnation culminates in the glory of the Divine Eucharist. Therefore, w e, the faithful, are called to drink from the blood of the slain lamb of the Book of Revelation. If the blood was not of the New Testament, it would still be the blood of calv es and goats, and the drink would not be new. And if it was not the Namely, that which is characteristically emphasised is the new drink, and not the food. One might ask, what is the deeper symbolic significance of this characteristic detail? Whilst w e know that the nourishment of people generally includes both food and drink, y et w e all know that it is drink which constitutes the basic food of the infant. Therefore, the symbolism here is that, if w e are to taste the new drink, w e must become infants with respect to evil. We must become like the child. We must believe like children, who consider nothing impossible, when they know that they have a father. In other w ords, we are called to be born a gain, rendering v oid all our past sinful life through repentance, precisely as Christ epigrammatically asked the same thing from Nicodemus. May God also show His mercy on us, so that we may overcome whatever obstacles in this painful journey against the current. In this w ay, tasting the new drink, we shall be able to chant in the presence of all deaths and above all graves, Christ is Risen! To Him be glory and power unto the ages of ages. Amen. With fervent prayers in the Risen Christ EASTER 2017 St Andrew s Greek Orthodox Theological College News Graduation Event On 1 April, students of St Andrew s Greek Orthodox Theological College took part in the Sydney College of Divinity (SCD) Graduation Ceremony which brought together approximately 600 attendees and distinguished guests. In the Great Hall of the University of Sydney, along with approximately 100 other graduates from the fellow member institutions of the SCD, they were conferred their respective degrees and awards by the President of the SCD, Mr Peter King. The Occasional Address was delivered by the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence AC, who based his eloquent and moving address on Romans 12:1-18. Undergraduate and postgraduate awards were conferred, as noted below: Bachelor of Theology: Nicholas Feros (QLD), Jason Israel (NSW), Michel Nahas (NSW), Chrisovalanti Spyrou (NSW), Michael Triantis (NSW) Master of Arts: Chris Baghos (NSW, in absentia), Diana Wood Conroy (NSW), Fr Nemanja Mrdjenovic (NSW), Arthur Tzortzis (NSW) Graduate Certificate in Arts: Dn George Elhlou (NSW), Christian Farinaccio (VIC, in absentia), Ellana Kariatlis (NSW, in absentia), Collin Nunis (VIC, in absentia), Colin Penfold (NSW), Michael Saad (NSW, in absentia), Antony Scott Taubman (Switzerland, in absentia) Diploma of Christian Studies: Theodore Costa (SA, in absentia), Nectareos Vasileiou (VIC) The latest group of graduates brought the total number of graduates to 169 receiving 199 SCD degrees and awards at various levels, but primarily the Bachelor of Theology since St Andrew s opened in His Grace Bishop Seraphim, College Sub Dean (centre), together with faculty members (first row) and graduates.
6 6/30 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 Letter from Maroubra Our practice at Maroubra specialises in people who had an accident or injury. One regular feature in many of these cases is a general unhappiness. Of course, there are exceptions. Some people that I see remain happy whatever life has thrown at them. Even amongst my students at the university, bright young people with their whole lives ahead of them there is often something lacking. Sometimes their happiness seems a little fragile or superficial. Frequently, there is no real purpose in life. Even when one looks at the general public, then the extent of depression and anxiety in Australia is evidence of widespread unhappiness. Nice people, decent people are being overcome by the demands of life. They are being worn down by one problem after another. They are looking for someone to rescue them. While the time seems ripe to steer them away from their melancholy, it is easier said than done. At times, it seems to me that people need to start by injecting a little joy into their lives. This joy can extend from something as simple as a little free time for themselves. It could include being able to confide in someone. It might be some time with family. It might be some enjoyment such as a concert or a movie or a picnic, even if its effect is fleeting. It could be something deeper and spiritual. Humans were created to be happy but at times we have made a real mess of things. What led me to these thoughts? Well, it was the World Happiness Report This report says that social progress needs to be measured through happiness. So they surveyed around 3000 people in each of 150 countries. They asked people to evaluate their happiness on a ladder where 0 represents the worst possible life and 10 is the best possible. Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland were at the top. Australia was in the top ten. Greece was 87th out of 155. They found that most of the differences between countries was due to six factors. It was the average wealth, the life expectancy in a country, social support (i.e., having some to rely upon), trust (e.g., honesty in government and business), freedom to make decisions about one s life and generosity (e.g., recent donations to others). Money and wealth are by no means as important as many think. Having someone to rely upon was found to be far more important than income. China, for instance, has increased its wealth fivefold but overall happiness fell for 15 years and only now is back to where it was a quarter of a century ago. In western nations like Australia, the extent of mental illness is more important than income or even physical health as a key factor in happiness. Mental illness referred mainly to anxiety and depression. With children, it was not academic achievement that led to happiness. It was the emotional health of the child. To quote, the key factors for the future adult are the mental health of the mother and the social ambience of the primary and secondary school (p. 5). Of course, work and jobs are important but the evidence also points to other factors if we are to enhance happiness in Australia. If we increase the amount of social support that we provide to others, if we protect our personal freedom in this society, if we increase our donations and generosity to others, and finally if we reduce the corruption in government or business then our nation will improve as a whole. This is also a recipe for your life and my life. It is not the complete answer. This is a worldlytype of happiness. There is also a spiritual or religious happiness that is not the subject of the World Happiness Report and about which we can speak on another occasion. This is what we might call a truer happiness that is long-lasting and sadly missing from many lives, but I do not want to let my views influence you. Meanwhile,if I were to ask you the Cantril ladder question from the survey of world happiness, how would you answer? Here it is: Imagine a ladder with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time? Ask yourself. Ask those around you then do something about it! The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the VEMA or St Andrew s Greek Orthodox Theological College. American who gave hope to refugees receives award By Ioanna Fotiadi, Kathimerini, Athens The refugees we ve housed at our facilities once again feel human. From the moment they arrive, they get their own room with a door and a key. This is the secret to the success of Elpida Home, according to Amed Khan, the founder of the operation. We award you for your philanthropy and especially for the humanity and active solidarity you ve shown, said the president of Solidarity Now s board of directors, Stelios Zavvos, as he presented the 45-year-old American with the Civil Society Award in Athens recently. In early 2016, Khan collaborated with Frank Giustra of the Radcliffe Foundation on a project to provide refugees with a better quality of life. They did this by reconstructing an abandoned factory outside Thessaloniki, which was already hosting refugees, and turning it into a guesthouse, giving priority to children and vulnerable groups. Every day, they are rewarded for their efforts with smiles. As Khan was getting ready to travel to Athens to accept the award, the young guests of Elpida Home were putting on swimwear for their first swimming lessons. The lessons are part of a program provided by the Education Ministry. At the same time, the mothers were attending dance, music and yoga classes, provided by NGOs that collaborate with Elpida Home. Elpida Home gave us hope, many women are heard saying in their mother tongue in a video about the guesthouse. He is planning to work on more such projects. The housing problem has started to subside. Now priority must be placed on getting these people to work, since everyone needs to have a job. I aim to discuss this with investment leaders in Greece, for them to open up jobs for them, said Khan, as he leverages his expertise in the business world to approach the reality of the refugee crisis. A child plays at the Elaionas refugee camp in Athens, in a January photo. Khan was born and raised in the United States to Iranian parents and is on the advisory committee for the International Crisis Group. While working with Elpida Home, which registered as an NGO last October, he has also been getting involved in another project. In Mosul, which is just now being liberated from ISIS, we re thinking of building an educational program aimed at fighting Islamic State propaganda. We re also targeting Libya for future projects, he explains.
7 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 7/31 By Lina Giannarou Kathimerini, Athens The Icarian schoolboy who watched It was a fine morning in the early 1960s when a parcel arrived at the high school in Aghios Kirykos on the eastern Aegean island of Icaria. It was addressed in a broad hand To Mr Chrysostomos Fountoulis, Meteorologist. NASA was marked as the sender. Chrysostomos Fountoulis, the math teacher, was stunned as he examined the parcel. Not knowing any English, he went to see his brother, a physics tea-cher at the same school. What is this? Any ideas? They opened the parcel together and found a bunch of papers covered in incomprehensible algorithms. What can I say? I have no idea. But Makis has some books with stuff like this at home, responded his brother, referring to his son, a student at the local middle school, in the same building. The boy was immediately summoned to the teachers room and asked to explain the strange delivery. Is this yours? his father and uncle asked. Yes, said the boy. And what is it exactly? Instructions from NASA so I can monitor the American satellites when they pass over Icaria, Makis responded, putting on the air of a space scientist. Take it and get out of here before I wallop you and you really start seeing stars, his disgruntled uncle Chrysostomos retorted, somewhat playfully the Icarians, a rather independent-spirited lot, have never been distinguished for their love of Americans after all. Makis Fountoulis is now 71 and laughs when he recounts the incident, his twinkling eyes giving us a glimpse of the mischievous schoolboy who convinced NASA he was an expert meteorologist, their man on the ground, sending his observations by post all the way to Cape Canaveral for years. The story began with Makis s father, who, as a physics teacher, had been assigned the task of overseeing the Hellenic National Meteorological Service s weather station on the island, which was one of around 3,000 across the country. Dad passed the task on to his sons as they got older, because as well as being a good hobby, the job also paid a small allowance. My older brother got 250 drachmas, the middle one then took over and got 350 drachmas, and by the time it was my turn, I was getting 500 drachmas a month, remembers Makis. We monitored the station at 8 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon and 8 at night. We would observe the clouds, record their quality and type, how high they were, the speed of the wind, the waves, visibility etc. The observations were then sent to Athens in coded telegrams. Makis did the night skies for NASA this from his first year of middle school until his second of high school and used the money he saved to buy his first radio, a Philips transistor, in December 1959, paying for it in 10 installments of 250 drachmas each. In addition to his love for all things meteorological, his father had also instilled the boys with a love of astronomy. I remember him reading to us on our summer holidays from a book called The Universe, about the mythology of the constellations, says Makis. His father was concerned that the boys would never learn English without a teacher on the island and so found another solution to formal tuition. He asked this gangster, an Icarian who had been deported from America and returned to the island, to teach me English. He taught me Chicago slang, but I did learn something along the way, Makis says, outlining the roots of his later evolution. Corresponding was very fashionable at the time. I responded to advertisements offering stuff for free all the time. I wrote away for one-month free subscriptions to Time and Life magazines. It was in one of those that I read NASA was looking for people to monitor their satellites all over the world, remembers Makis. I wrote to them in English saying that I was a meteorologist. Indeed, they sent me a bunch of books in cardboard boxes for condensed milk, thick as phone books, with instructions on how to spot the satellites, how to tell them apart from the others, special forms that I had to fill in for the service etc. They even provided stamps so I wouldn t have to pay the postage myself. My observations were sent by post because they weren t in a rush. They just wanted confirmation of their own observations. There was no money to be made, but the schoolboy enjoyed the task and did it with enthusiasm. I liked it because I felt I was part of something, even though I didn t know what that something was exactly, he recounts. He remembers panicking once when he watched a satellite disappear into Orion s Belt. He hastened to inform NASA of his fears, but desisted from conveying his suspicion that the satellite had been shot down by the Soviets. Some weeks later he received assurances from NASA that the satellite was just fine. It had probably drifted into the shadow of a star. Makis s service with NASA ended when he finished school and left the island for Athens, where he studied veterinary medi-cine before moving to the UK, where he specialized in animal husbandry. Yet years later, he still finds himself looking up at the sky every once in a while. On January 30, at precisely 6.40 p.m., like thousands of Greeks, Fountoulis was on the rooftop of his apartment building looking out for the International Space Station as it passed over Athens. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia - Parish of St Stylianos Gymea St Stylianos Annual Dance Saturday, 17th June 2017 Celebrating Family Doltone House 223 Belgrave Esplanade, Sylvania Waters 6.30pm pm Adults - $100 Children - $40(12 yrs & under) Come & enjoy a family night out with music and dancing. All tickets pre-paid. Tickets available at Church from Sunday or book online by visiting our website at contact: Fr Con or Proceeds to go to the proposed St Stylianos Childcare Centre We extend our best wishes to our Parishioners and to the Greek community of Australia in general, for a Blessed Easter in good health and family unity
8 8/32 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 A JOURNEY TO PASCHA A DAILY GUIDE THROUGH HOLY WEEK
9 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 9/33 THE ROXY 75th ANNIVERSARY There is nothing remarkable about a story regarding the demise of a Greek café in rural Australia. There is, however, something quite extraordinary about such a café being brought back to life. Forty-five years since serving its last mixed grill, The Roxy Café in Bingara, northern New South Wales, has beenfaithfully restored to its original splendour. On Saturday 9th April and Sunday 10th April, The Roxy celebrated its 75th Anniversary with the launch of the refurbished café and preview of the site of The Roxy Museum that will be integrated into the venue. The highlight of the weekend was the 75th Anniversary Gala Ball. Bringing the glamour of the 1930 s back to Bingara, the Gala Ball was an unforgettable evening of Greek feasting and festivity under the stars. Guests were invited to dance the night away A Greek to the software live band company Ha Va Le, based one in of the best northwestern Greek party town bands of Ioannina performing is having the country. a global impact No Greek thanks celebration to a new would app protecting lone without workers. the smashing of plates, be complete and Lone the Gala workers Ball was is the no term exception. used to describe Why the employees Greek connection? who work The in Roxy isolation was built from by others, three without partners close from the or direct Greek supervision of Kythera. of any sort, human or electron- islanic. Roxy Manager, Sandy McNaughton explains They that include the office Museum cleaners, will become truck drivers, machine a place of national operators, and international maintenance signifi- the important cultural associations between people and place. It will pay tribute to the remarkable legacy of the Greek café and cinema operators to ensure the impact they made on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of people is not forgotten. Greek cafés changed the course of Australia s cultural history and left a significant legacy on our culinary and cultural landscape. Very few Greek cafes operate as they did 50 years ago. Even fewer complexes that incorporate a functioning cinema and café remain. Once complete, The Roxy may be the only original purpose built cinema with adjoining café operating in New South Wales, possibly in Australia states Sandy. The shared narrative of The Roxy s history exemplifies the Greek migration experience: one that made an outstanding contribution years. to In the 2014 development it launched of the Australia. QR-Patrol The restoration application, of a the system café is for an managing extremely security patrols and visionary and which project is in today a region used that by positive has 700 suffered companies years in 50 of countries. drought and It economic expanded downturns. its scope with MyLoneWork- has now ers, It is an inspiring innovative to system see what that a focuses small rural on community managing and that monitoring believes in lone its future workers can achieve. via internet of things technology (pushto-talk The 75th notifications, Anniversary beacons Celebrations etc), allowing on the 9th and real-time 10th April supervision were a step from back a distance. in time into It s Australia s basically future an online by celebrating system for an mon- icon Homegrown app provides lone workers with sense of security cance personnel, that collects, postal delivery conserves officers and protects and security guards, among many others, and cloud technology and is supported by all to itoring be enjoyed lone workers by generations that is to come. based on their numbers are rising worldwide. It is new-generation devices (android, iphone/ipad, Blackberry OS 10 and above) and estimated, for example, that in the UK alone, Researcher lone workers represent cites 22 ancient percent uses Minoan-era NFC tags, QR codes 'computer' and beacons, of the total workforce, due mainly to new explains Alexios Foukis, account manager technology The Minoan that civilisation allows on distance pre-classical work, Crete at Terracom discovered Informatics. the first rudimentary The worker analog computer with the in mankind's rising costs history, of renting according es to a researcher smartphone Minas to Tsikritsis, scan the an various aca- us- coupled and demic running who specialises an office. in ancient Aegean writing checkpoints systems. (NFC and/or QR codes The Tsikritsis, phenomenon who also is hails shaking from up Crete the - laboished market from approximately but also creating 2700 new BC to needs 1500 century the vicinity BC - maintains and the that control the Minoan room Age is in- where and/or the Bronze beacons) Age Minoan placed civilization buildings flour-in in object the area discovered of worker in 1898 safety. in Paleokastro Lone workerceded often the perform heralded tasks "Antikythera that can Mechanism" become the by 1,400 work area. years, Every and was incident the first report analog indi- site, stantly in the Sitia informed district of western any new Crete, incident pre-in routine, and "portable exposing computer" them in to history. more risks cates the worker s location through Wi-Fi than "While people searching who work in the in an Archaeological environmentmuseum and GSM of Iraklion networks. for Minoan Age findings where with astronomical there is close images oversight on them and we other came across Foukis a stone-made says that the matrix app unearthed allows lone in workers the region who of Paleokastro, will notice Sitia. if something In the past, archaeologists workers to contact had expressed the control the center view that fast goes the carved wrong. symbols The biggest on its challenge surface is are that related if something with the Sun goes and wrong the Moon," and also Tsikritsis allows they said. have no one to turn to for help in companies to have better oversight of the The event Cretan of an researcher accident and or, say, university an at-professotack. image In of some a spoked cases, disc such on as the train right or side truck of the tance. matrix was analysed it was established the work told being ANA-MPA done that for them after from the relief a dis- drivers, that it served such incidents as a cast put to build other a mechanism lives at that A functioned hotel cleaner as an assigned analog 10 computer rooms, tofor risk calculate too. solar and lunar eclipses. The mechanism example, was can also check used as in sundial when he and or as she anis instrument Founded in calculating 1999, Terracom the geographical has been latitude. done, or receive new instructions from exploring solutions to this problem for the supervisor, says Foukis. (ANA-MPA)
10 10/34 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 ST SPYRIDON COLLEGE Developing the whole person mind, body and soul
11 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 11/35
12 12/36 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 The Great and Holy Feast of Pascha Introduction On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians celebrate the lifegiving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This feast of feasts is the most significant day in the life of the Church. It is a celebration of the defeat of death, as neither death itself nor the power of the grave could hold our Savior captive. In this victory that came through the Cross, Christ broke the bondage of sin, and through faith offers us restoration, transformation, and eternal life. Commemoration of The Great and Holy Feast of Pascha Holy Week comes to an end at sunset of Great and Holy Saturday, as the Church prepares to celebrate her most ancient and preeminent festival, Pascha, the feast of feasts. The time of preparation will give way to a time of fulfillment. The glorious and resplendent light emanating from the empty Tomb will dispel the darkness. Christ, risen from the dead, cracks the fortress of death and takes captivity captive (Psalm 67:19). All the limitations of our createdness are torn a- sunder. Death is swallowed up in victory and life is liberated. For as by a man came death, by a man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (I Corinthians 15:21-22). Pascha is the dawn of the new and unending day. The Resurrection constitutes the most radical and decisive deliverance of humankind. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fundamental truth and absolute fact of the Christian faith. It is the central experience and essential kerygma of the Church. It confirms the authenticity of Christ s remarkable earthly life and vindicates the truth of His teaching. It seals all His redemptive work: His life, the model of a holy life; His compelling and unique teaching; His extraordinary works; and His awesome, life-creating death. Christ s Resurrection is the guarantee of our salvation. Together with His Ascension it brings to perfection God s union with us for all eternity. The Resurrection made possible the miracle of the Church, which in every age and generation proclaims and affirms God s plan for the universe, the ultimate divinization of man and the created order. The profound experience of and the unshakable belief in the risen Lord enabled the Apostles to evangelize the world and empowered the Church to overcome paganism. The Resurrection discloses the indestructible power and inscrutable wisdom of God. It disposes of the illusory myths and belief systems by which people, bereft of divine knowledge, strain to affirm the meaning and purpose of their existence. Christ, risen and glorified, releases humanity from the delusions of idolatry. In Him gravebound humanity discovers and is filled with incomparable hope. The Resurrection bestows illumination, energizes souls, brings forgiveness, transfigures lifes, creates saints, and gives joy. The Resurrection has not yet abolished the reality of death. But it has revealed its powerlessness (Hebrews 2:14-15). We continue to die as a result of the Fall. Our bodies decay and fall away. God allows death to exist but turns it against corruption and its cause, sin, and sets a boundary both to corruption and sin. Thus, physical death does not destroy our life of communion with God. Rather, we move from death to life - from this fallen world to God s reign. One of the most symbolic of the Festal Icons of the Orthodox Church is that of the Holy Resurrection. In the center of this radiant event is Christ pulling Adam and Eve up from their tombs. The gates of the Realm of Death are broken and thrown down. Death, personified in human form is defeated, and bound hand and foot at the bottom of the scene. We recall the joyous words of St. Paul: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Corinthians 15:55) In the background stands the host of the departed, so numerous they cannot be depicted. Among them in the front of the multitude are some of the righteous dead, though now invigorated by the Resurrection. King David and his son Solomon are seen on the left wearing crowns. Near the centre is Saint John the Baptist. On the other side is Abel, the son of Adam and the first man to ever die. He wears a shepherds robe and has a cane. Many Icons of this subject depict large crowds with a few other recognizable prophets. Orthodox Celebration of Pascha Before midnight on Saturday evening, the Odes of Lamentation of the previous day are repeated. The Orthros of the Resurrection begins in complete darkness. The priest takes light from the vigil light and gives it to the faithful, who are holding candles. The priest sings: Come ye and receive light from the unwaning light, and. glorify Christ, who arose from the dead, and all the people join him in singing this hymn again and again. From this moment, every Christian holds the Easter candle as a symbol of his vivid, deep faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Savior. In many churches the priest leads the people outside the church, where he reads the Gospel which refers to the Angels statement: He is Risen; He is not here, (Mark 16:1-8). Then comes the breathless moment as the people wait for the priest to start the hymn of Resurrection, which they join him in singing, repeatedly: Christ has Risen from the dead, by death trampling upon Death, and has bestowed life upon those in the tombs. From this moment the entire service takes on a joyous Easter atmosphere. The hymns of the Odes and Praises of Resurrection which follow are of superb meaning and expression. The people confess, It is the Day of Resurrection, let us be glorious, let us embrace one another and speak to those that hate us; let us forgive all things and so let us cry, Christ has arisen from the dead. By this hymn they admit that love of one s fellowman is the solid foundation of the faith in the Resurrection of Christ. The Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom is then officiated. At the end of the Liturgy, a part of the marvelous festival sermon of Saint Chrysostom is read, which calls upon the people to Take part in this fair and radiant festival. Let no one be fearful of death, for the death of the Savior has set us free... O Death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is Thy victory? Christ is Risen and Thou art overthrown. To Him be glory and power from all ages to all ages. The Scripture readings for the Divine Liturgy are: Acts 1:1-8 and John 1:1-17. On Easter Sunday afternoon the faithful gather once more for prayer with lighted candles. All sing the hymn, Christ is Risen from the Dead. The people greet one another joyously, saying: Christ is Risen, the Easter salutation which is answered, Truly He is Risen. They sing, the dark shadows of the Law has passed away by the coming of grace, and standing in exaltation they exclaim, Who is so great a God as our God? The Gospel according to John (20:19-25) is read in various languages, proclaiming the Good News of Resurrection all over the universe without discrimination. The fruit of faith in the Resurrection of the Lord is love in His Name; therefore, this day is called Sunday of Agape (love feast), a day dedicated to Christian principles, especially to forgiveness and charity. At this time, Christians seek to end misunderstanding and arguments among those whom they may be at odds. Apostle Paul firmly interprets the Resurrection of Christ, saying: If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). The Church also states in its Creed, The Third day He rose again. Hymns of Pascha Apolytikion (Plagal of the First Tone) Christ is risen from the dead, by death trampling down upon death, and to those in the tombs He has granted life.» First Ode of the Canon of Pascha (First Tone) It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O ye peoples: Pascha, the Lord s Pascha; for Christ God hath brought us from death to life, and from earth unto Heaven as we sing the triumphal hymn. Listen» Doxastikon of the Praises (Plagal of the First Tone) It is the day of Resurrection; let us be radiant for the festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us say, O brethren, even to those that hate us: Let us forgive all things on the Resurrection; and thus let us cry: Christ is risen from the dead, by death He has trampled down death, and on those in the tombs He has bestowed life. Listen» References Pentecostarion. Translated from the Greek by Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1990), Calivas, Alkiviadis C. Great Week and Pascha in the Greek Orthodox Church (Brookline: Holy Cross Press, 1992), pp Farley, Donna. Seasons of Grace: Reflections on the Orthodox Church Year (Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2002), pp Wybrew, Hugh. Orthodox Lent, Holy Week and Easter: Liturgical Texts with Commentary (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir s Seminary Press, 1997), pp
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14 14/38 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 Stolen antiquities returned from Munich arrive at National Archaeological Museum in Athens Eight crates containing 33 archaeological artifacts and 600 coins, including some ancient masterpieces dating to the 12th and 13th centuries B.C., arrived at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens from Munich on Friday, March 31. The crates full of archaeological treasures were transported to the museum with great secrecy and opened in the museum amphitheatre in the presence of Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency invited to record the opening of the crates as the museum curators took delivery. The remarkable finds, most in very good condition, included amphorae, bird-shaped vases, a pottery statue of a chariot driver and two riders and other small objects, most of which were possibly grave goods taken from the northwestern Peloponnese. Today, this is a special, touching and very important moment. What you feel from the expressions of the archaeologists and curators, the joy on their face every time the very important finds are unveiled one by one, said Koniordou. Their return from Munich, where they were taken illegally, was truly touching, the minister added, noting that it was a huge success for Greek and German law enforcement agencies, which had cooperated seamlessly in a joint effort to which the Greek general consul in Munich had also contributed greatly. The minister said that the 33 objects dated to the late Bronze age, had very interesting shapes and patterns, while most appeared to come from the same pottery workshop. There were also small objects from the Geometric period that were real masterpieces and 600 coins, she said. It is a non-negotiable principle of the Greek state to combat illegal antiquities smuggling and protect cultural heritage by any means. It is our desire that these illegally acquired ancient treasures should return to the areas from which they were stolen. We are already discussing how specific antiquities will be presented at the best time and in the best way to the public, Koniordou said. The finds linked to an international ring of illegal antiquities traders dismantled in Patras last October have been transferred to museum conservation workshops, while a committee has been set up to assess their authenticity and value. Bribie Island Retreat and Recreation Centre What s been happening? An Activity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia We have continued to work internally to improve our site and range of activities; whilst also focussing externally on marketing, advertising and networking to build relationships with a range of school, youth, sporting, Church and community groups. We have also linkedwith youth service providers to implement programs which are geared towards employment, training, cultural awareness, general well-being of our youth and community at large. Several new organisations have chosen to stay at the Retreat including the following: The Sleeping female figure (Koimomeni) is leaving First Cemetery C3 Church, Kawana Waters Redcliffe Dolphins Mal Meninga Cup Squad Chameleon Regional Community Housing Accommodation & Welfare Living Stones Worship Centre Good News Lutheran Church Adventure Alternatives Couples for Christ Australia Global Gateway Church Donations The Sleeping Female Figure (Koimomeni), Yannoulis Chalepas sculpture that covers Sophia Afentaki s grave at the First Cemetery of Athens, and was completed in 1877 will be transferred at National Gallery s Glyptotheque. Chalepas legendary sculpture is in an immediate need of preservation which demands its transportation and is in accordance with the artists hairs A high standard replica will be installed in the original sculpture s place. We are extremely grateful for donations and bequests which have been received to date. If you would like to contribute, please feel welcome to contact the Board of Management President - Mr Emanuel Kallinicos on , or the Coordinator - Matt Bender on In particular we are currently seeking donations & funding to contribute towards building of a Shower Block ($40,000 estimate), Multi-purpose sports court ($80,000 estimate) & upgrade to commercial kitchen ($25,000 estimate). These projects are crucial in future development of the Retreat & will rely on funding & donations to proceed. Matt Bender, Coordinator February 2017 Bribie Island Retreat and Recreation Centre -
15 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 15/39 George Averof naval ship to be revived by Alexandros Goulandris The legendary ship, George Averof is beloved by all something which she has earned in her years of service in the Hellenic Navy. It s been 65 years since the ship was decommissioned, and she has served as a floating Naval museum in the bay of Palaio Faliro just south of Athens since She may be out of commission, but recently the famous Greek shipowner Alexandros Goulandris along with members of Hydra s Ecologists Club and retired Naval officers have decided to come together and revive the old ship to see her sail the Greek seas again. It has been awhile since George Averof, also known as Lucky Uncle George has sailed the seas. Back in the 40 s she made a name for herself and her crew who defied the threat of German airstrikes as she made her way to Souda Bay, Crete. George Averof went on to patrol the Indian Ocean and remained in commission until Now Alexandros Goulandris, known for his philanthropy in all things Hellenic especially maritime tradition has taken on the task of reviving the old ship. It is a daunting task, as she has been anchored for decades and, being a 110 year-old cruiser, she has a lot of mechanical work that must be completed before she can ever sail the seas of Greece again. Greek Orthodox Parish of St. John the Baptist Cairns Cnr Kamerunga & Fairweather Rds Redlynch QLD 4870 Tel: (07) Mob: Website: & 2017 SERVICES OF HOLY OF HOLY WEEK. SUNDAY 9 PALM SUNDAY 7:30 am Matins & Divine Liturgy FISH LUNCHEON $10.00 All WELCOME. 6:00pm MATINS SERVICE FOR MONDAY Monday 10 6:00pm HOLY MONDAY, JOSEPH THE ALL GOOD MATINS SERVICE FOR TUESDAY TUESDAY 11 6:00pm WEDNESDAY 12 6:00pm HOLY TUESDAY PARABLE OF THE 10 VIRGINS MATINS SERVICE FOR WEDNESDAY HOLY WEDNESDAY, THE WOMAN WHO POURED MYRRH VESPERS AND THE SACREMENT FOR HOLY UNCTION Photographer Alexandros Maragos is well-known for capturing stunning still shots and videos of the natural beauties of Greece. This time, he has created a video called Acropolis Esper Analysis (Time-lapse), where he captures the imagery of the Acropolis during Earth Day Originally started as a lights-off event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which occurs in March annually. The basic purpose of the event is to encourage individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off all non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. The event is symbolic as a means to save energy and demonstrate a commitment to the environment and our planet. More than 7,000 cities participate in the annual event in 172 countries. This year s event took place on March 25. THURDAY 13 HOLY THURSDAY- THE LAST SUPPER 8:00am Vespers & Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great 6:00pm Service of the Holy Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Reading of the 12 Gospels) FRIDAY 14 8:00am 11:00am 3:00-4:00pm 7:00pm SATURDAY 15 8:00am 11.00pm-1:30am HOLY FRIDAY- THE HOLY PASSION OF OUR LORD THE GREAT HOURS (Dressing of the Epitaphio with flowers) Vespers- The Apokathelosis (Taking the Body of Christ of the Cross) Evening service of the Holy Sepulchre-'Epithaphios' HO LY SATURDAY- THE DESCENT OF THE LORD INTO HADES VESPERS & Divine Liturgy (STRICT FAST NO OIL) EVENING MATINS OF THE RESURRECTION SUNDAY 16 GREAT & HOLY PASCHA 11:30 am SERVICE OF THE HOURS OF LOVE & PASCHAL LUNCHEON ALL WELCOME.,,
16 16/40 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 Afksentiyos Kalangos: The golden hands of pediatric cardiac surgery He has been characterized as the modern missionary of Medicine and not unfairly. He is not just interested in titles or offices. He was a disciple of Alain Karpentie and Magktni Yaqub, whom he followed closely. is holding the leading position in the Department of Cardiac surgery of the University Hospital of Geneva. All the above do not matter more Issue 2 than the surgeries over the last decade to poor children. In 1998, Afksentiyos Kalangos founded the charity institution «Coeurs pour tous» (Hearts for All), and since then he is surrounded by a group of surgeons with common ideals, offering valuable medical services to people in need around the world. He graduated in 1984 at the age 23, from the American Medical Faculty of Istanbul, he specialized himself in surgery in London and then he spent five additional years of study in order to be devoted to heart surgery for children and babies in Paris and in the U.S. Eventually he became a professor at the University of Geneva at his early 40s. To sin and not repent is blasphemy He loves the smell of cinnamon and he always has a bottle of it in his office. He says that cinnamon regenerates him, but it also reminds him of the place of his origin Constantinople. As a son of a doctor, his father was a physician, head physician of the pediatric hospital in Istanbul Baloukli, he followed his father s words, to make his life s goal the works and not the money. It s no wonder that a road to Istanbul has been named after his father, who died in 2004, having completed 65 years of devotion to patients. A man, who could cure any disease as the Turks say even today! against the Lord, Anonymous Portion 2.1 Obstructions to Confession When the enemy sees that we intend to confess our sins to a Confessor Priest, who will not only not spread them, that is, announce them to others, but with the Grace of the Holy Spirit will burn them and erase them, then the devil shakes every stone, going through all methods, placing shame, fear, cowardice etc, so the confession does not occur, that it be postponed. So we say, beware brethren of the devil and his methods. Portion 2.2 More on Obstructions In order to reach the Confessional we must succeed in bypassing some obstructions that the evil one puts. The first is insensibility. We think that because we have not killed, and have not stolen, we do not need confession. But sins are not only these two. There are hundreds of others, small and great, for which we must search well inside us to see if we have fallen into. The second obstruction is despair. This overtakes those who have practiced some of the great sins. They think that God will not forgive them. But God forgives all, in whatever degree that they have sinned, as long as they repent and confess. The third obstruction is shame and fear. A person feels shame to say his sins to the Confessor Priest and thinks that the Confessor will scold him. The divine Chrysostom though tells us: feel shame when you sin and not when you repent. We must not feel shame or fear towards the Confessor. The Confessor never scolds, but always with love advises the believer. Portion 2.3 More on Obstructions The natural effect of repentance is confession. We must know that if we wish our sins to be forgiven the only way is to go to the Confessor and confess them. There is no other way. It is an error that which many say, I will sit before the icon, and there once I ask, will receive forgiveness. Neither the icon can forgive sins, neither even an angel, but only the Confessor Priest, to whom this authority was given by Jesus Christ himself. About 10,000 asylum seekers will remain in Greece About 10,000 asylum seekers, mainly Afghanis, will remain in Greece, the Director of the country s asylum service Maria Stavropoulou said, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Athens titled, Dimensions of the refugee issue and the humanitarian crisis Dialog for the rights of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. I estimate that about 10,000 people, mainly Afghanis, will remain in Greece, in asylum status, she said, adding that more than 50 percent of asylum requests submitted by Afghani nationals are recognized. She said 51,000 asylum applications were submitted in 2016, about four times more than in 2015 when 13,500 were recorded. However don t forget we are the fourth country in the number of asylum applications after Germany, France and Italy and in spite of that we have a good rate of asylum recognition, since this is granted in 72 days, on average, she said.
17 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 17/41 The British bird has flown By Nikos Konstandaras - Kathimerini, Athens The British government has made its official application to leave the European Union, setting the United Kingdom and the EU on an unknown course not only regarding relations between them but also with regard to each side s cohesion. Art, myth and history are full of analogies, from the stories and horror films where wolves, serial killers or fatal loneliness devour anyone who strays out of the herd/cabin/spaceship, to Noah s doves. It remains to be seen whether Britain will return to the ark, having exhausted all efforts to find something better, or whether it will never come back. The success or failure of Brexit will determine to a great extent whether the UK can remain united, or whether there will be a permanent rift with Scotland and a border with Ireland. It is also unclear whether Britain s departure will strengthen the forces tearing at the EU or bring its 27 remaining members closer together. Brexit fans claim that the exodus will bring only good for their country, while remainers fear countless ills. But when dealing with human behavior, such as politics, no one can be sure of what will happen. In the case of Brexit, the past is not necessarily a good indicator. Conditions are different today; but, also, those most involved in the issue the citizens may change course. Those who dream of a Britain that will grow rich on old trade networks with former colonies imagine their country ruling the waves free of EU constraints. The former colonies, however, do not share this sentiment and, free now, will pursue their own best interests with a zeal similar to Britain s. The old relationship was not between equals, and the grandchildren of empire will have to acknowledge this as they risk their country s greatest trading market (the EU) for a bet on deceptive nostalgia. Things are just as complicated for Brexit s enemies, because, when their country s success is at stake, it is not in their interest to be proven right. Just as Brexiters will have to come to their senses, remainers will have to help make the future work. In a valuable article on theconversation.com, Stephen Church, professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia, noted that there are several examples of Britain and Europe splitting from each other. The clearest lesson of all, he pointed out, is that when the relationship with Europe is poor, the lot of the ordinary Briton is poorer for it. We live in another era now, with fewer barbarians and less pestilence, but flight into the unknown is always dangerous. Greek research team s findings spark new hope for Parkinson s cure A team of Greek medical researchers has discovered a substance that successfully treated laboratory mice suffering from the equivalent of human Parkinson s Disease, creating new hope of an eventual cure for humans. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) review in the United States on Monday. In an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), the head of the team of researchers Demetrios Vassilatis, of the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA), noted that the discovery was still at a preclinical stage but might lead to a new treatment route in the future for the specific neurodegenerative disease, which affects millions of people worldwide. When asked what it is exactly that the research team has succeeded in doing, Vassilatis explained: My research team in the United States, in collaboration with the neurology team at Baylor College of Medicine, was the first to discover the mutations that suppress the Nuclear receptor-related 1 (Nurr1) gene in patients with Parkinson s Disease. The research in my laboratory in Athens in recent years has focused on answering the question whether the activation of the Nurr1 can be therapeutic in animal models of Parkinson s Disease. Because in the dopaminergic neurons, Nurr1 creates a heterodimer (a molecule composed of paired proteins with some amino-acid sequence variations) with Retinoid X receptor A (RXRa), we decided to target Nurr1:RXRα chemically. Vassilatis also added that In collaboration with Dr. Demosthenes Fokas of Ioannina University, we discovered various chemical compounds, among them BRF110, that selectively activate Nurr1:RXRα. In my laboratory at the BRFAA with my colleague Dr. Athanasios Spathis, we showed that BRF110 not only has the capacity to protect dopaminergic neurons from degeneration but also to improve the symptoms in animal models of Parkinson s Disease. When ANA asked the next steps that will be taken in the research, and if/when would clinical trials on people are likely Vassilatis said that The questions arising from our experiments are many and the research required has many levels, including the basic and translational research. The discovery of pharmaceuticals is a lengthy and multi-stage process and we are in a pre-clinical stage. We would like to be the first to assess Nurr1 activators/antagonists in clinical trials. In this direction, we worked with Dr. Jens Schwamborn from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and assessed BRF110 on dopaminergic neurons derived from the stem cells of a Parkinson s Disease patient with very positive results. The next stages include improving the existing chemical compounds in potential clinical molecules, which could be developed in the next two to three years. Good results for The Pankration Club at the NSW Karate Championships On Sunday March 12, at Whitman Centre Liverpool (NSW) over 700 athletes from 80 Schools came to compete in the NSW Karate Championships. Representing the Greek colorist was The Pankration club from Tempe. Results were: * Helen Daskalakis 1st in Kickboxing, 2nd in Karate and Second in Self * Defense Caleb Mera 1st in Kickboxing and 1st in Jiu jitsu Giannis * Vavasis 3rd in Kickboxing, Manolis Moustakas 1st in Jiu jitsu and 3rd in Kickboxing (he is the former Greek Pankration champion and is now living in Sydney) * Kostas Papaioannou 1st in Karate Mens, 1st in Karate Veterans and2nd in Self Defence.
18 18/42 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA APRIL 2017 Arts, Food & Wine Editor: Imogen Coward Icons and the meanings of colour By Dr Ann Coward Do colours have a meaning? Well, yes and no. There is a school of thought, currently doing the rounds amongst film schools in the U.S. that people s bodies literally resonate according to whatever colour they happen to be looking at. While the textbook, which has been a best-seller, discusses only blocks of colour, the mind boggles as to how people are supposed to react (or resonate) if they are confronted with a pattern consisting of multiple colours. Many ideas, even the most ridiculous, can have a germ of truth in them, but some are not worth pursuing. There are many books written about colour, some to do with choosing colour schemes for interiors, others to do with the affect of colours on emotions, and so on. The important word in the previous sentence is scheme. How we interpret colours, how we use them, may partially be related to physics (and our physiological responses, but I d discount resonating ). More than likely, our responses have been conditioned by the way in which colours are or have been used in whatever context they are encountered, that is, whatever scheme or schemes we are familiar with. To give an example. One Sunday, completely oblivious as to how my dress might be perceived, I wore a black dress to church. Now, I was not born in Greece, and neither were my parents, but of course I have been aware all my life of my Greek family members wearing black as a symbol of mourning. But, for some reason, this did not occur to me on this particular Sunday morning. The result? I lost count of the number of kind people, including a very upset priest, who approached me after the service, asking if I was alright, and enquiring as to what had happened. But change is afoot. For example, some young women are wearing black to weddings, nowadays, including Greek weddings. Once, guests would never wear black to a wedding, nor white, the latter frowned upon as it drew attention away from the bride. Today, it seems anything goes as colour codes or schemes are either being ignored, forgotten (embarrassingly so, as in my case) or are no longer known. While colours can be powerfully symbolic, what we need to remember is that there is not one universal meaning attached to any one colour, other than what might be physically obvious, such as the sky being blue. What blue means as a result of this association, however, can differ widely even within the one culture, depending on its context. For example, the meaning of blue can range from peace and serenity, to depression, or even murderous rage and just about anything in between. Over a hundred years ago, it was the colour worn by baby girls, pink being worn by boys! We need to keep in mind that some colours have become prized, and continue to be, simply because the pigments/dyes from which they derive are precious or difficult to come by, or are unstable and therefore tricky to use. Egon Sendler, in his book The Icon: image of the invisible, attempts to set the symbolic usage of colours in icons within the context of quotes found in ancient sources, or of cultures in countries surrounding the Holy Lands, as well as their mention in the Scriptures. This is a fascinating book, however, from the moment one begins to read his classification describing where particular colours appear in icons, one can immediately think of exceptions to these supposed rules. Apart from red s association with blood, one colour, blue, does appear to have remained relatively consistent in its reference to the Theotokos, in both Eastern and Western Christian imagery. To understand why, one needs to look to ancient Egypt and the pre-figuring of Christ in the worship of Isis and Osiris. Which god or goddess was related to who, and what they were called tended to vary over the course of Egyptian history, but it was the cult of Isis that has influenced the colour and motifs of the icons depicting the Theotokos. If you look at the icons of the Holy Mother, it becomes clear that in order to separate her out from other women, her clothing usually bears two of the symbols drawn from Isis: the blue of the sky, and the stars, hanging off the fringe (the fringe of Isis ) and sometimes stars are also depicted on the shawl part covering her head, although these stars may appear on Saint Anna s shawl. The fringe of Isis, however, is always, it seems, reserved for the Theotokos. It is precisely to indicate that the wearer is the Mother of God, that dictates the application of this fringe, rather than the colour blue. To those familiar with the cult of Isis in Rome at the time, by depicting Saint Mary/Maria as the Mother of God (by virtue of the fringe, in combination with blue, but moreso because of the fringe) it meant that the child/man she is shown to be holding and/or indicating, by extension, must be God, with power over life and death. And this to inform people that Christ is God is precisely the intention. Once you know the code or scheme that is being referenced, the meanings become clearer. What we can presume, is that the colours (and other elements) chosen by the early iconographers were not haphazard, nor should we presume this of any colour or other design element associated with religious beliefs, from within any culture or time. For example, a girl I know visited the Australian Museum to see some Egyptian mummy sarcophagi, which were covered in stars, similar to asterisks. When she enquired as to what these meant, the visiting guide answered that they were just ornaments, fillers to cover the space. Knowing that something as serious as death would not be treated frivolously, the girl carried out her own research, and found that the five pointed stars depicted people (like stick figures), stars representing the souls of the dead. It is not uncommon to find relatively recent books on icons where meanings have been given to the colours in order to impart spiritual lessons for the benefit of the faithful. To a degree, this is an attempt to keep the symbolism of colours relevant to the changing times. However, we need to keep in mind that icons were a powerful pre-literate form of communication, initially directed towards people whose religious environment was quite different to our own. Regardless of how we may read meanings into the colours today, we should not presume that these meanings were meant to communicate the same things when first used by the early iconographers. Écoutez! Arts Review Sicily John Julius Norwich (John Murray, 2015) Subtitled A short history from the Ancient Greeks to Cosa Nostra, Norwich s Sicily is a beautifully written and engaging trek through the history of this most fascinating island, illustrated with a small selection of high-quality images. It is also a small window into past civilisations from the Phoenicians to the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans and in more recent times Germans, Spaniards and French, with Sicily being a strategic stepping stone between Europe and Africa, and between West and East. Vivid stories about key players in the history of the island bring to life not only famous episodes in Sicilian history, but also link to the major buildings, and towns. Although we re prone today, to thinking that multiculturalism is a modern phenomenon, it adds both a richness but often tragic side to history as Sicily shows. It is hard not to be fascinated with how, throughout the ages, the many different cultures that existed on Sicily combined, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not, ultimately leaving their mark, especially in the spectacular churches and fusion of cultural elements. Cost: around $50 IC
19 APRIL 2017 The Greek Australian VEMA TO BHMA 19/43 From Drarkness Darkness to Resurrection and Beyond: A Glimpse of the Paschal Mystery Revd Dr Doru Costache * According to our tradition and in line with an archetypal religious perception, ritual (in spite of its misunderstandings in modern times) is not just a spectacularly intricate form of remembering past events, a mere memorial of the divine economy; ritual is, originally and essentially, the most appropriate way of experiencing the existential substance of faith. As such, recapitulating the living dimension of faith through the commemoration of the salvific events, ritual on the one hand recalls, or rather re-enacts, the past events and on the other transports and transforms the participants. Furthermore, ritual represents a mystical vehicle, a way of transferring the celebrating community illo tempore ( to those times ), beyond the immediacy of the present and the past of the original events, to the eschatological realities foreshadowed, signified and anticipated by those events. In other words, ritual builds a bridge over the abysses of history, creating a knot between present times, the remembered events and the Kingdom to come. As such, ritual produces the simultaneous metamorphosis of the participants into witnesses of the salvific events and partakers of eternal life, contributing to the renewal of the God s people. This complex function of ritual is abundantly evidenced throughout the Great Week of the Lord s Passion, which begins with the Saturday of Lazarus (as suggested by the apolytikion, or dismissal hymn, of the feast) to end with the Holy Saturday, when we celebrate the glorious descent of Christ to Hades. It is a week that encapsulates the whole message of the New Testament by way of a dramatic Christological narrative punctuated by powerful eschatological suggestions, a week which actually transcends the cursory seven day pattern by paradoxically comprising the eight days between the two mentioned Saturdays. The same way, and symmetrically, the Bright Week an explosive manifestation of the eschaton (fulfilment) here and now, in the midst of God s people comprises the eight days between the Sunday of Pascha and that of the Antipascha (in ancient times, the Higher Sunday ). In the following, however, I will focus not on this symbolically symmetric architecture, choosing rather to refer to the mystical meaning, existential significance and transformative grace of the rituals between Holy Friday and the Pascha. Orthros (Matins) of Holy Friday (Thursday night) The service of the twelve gospel readings guide us methodically toward the apex of the theodrama of the Logos incarnated and crucified for our salvation. The texts, starting with the first (prefacing the last stages of the journey through revealing the accomplishment of the New Covenant and depicting the serenity of Jesus facing death), represent an extremely dense narrative and indeed the vehicle of our transportation back to the historical setting of the events. We are no longer, therefore, mere listeners of a story. Hearing the sacred account, we become participants in the events that happen this very day: óþìåñïí êñåìüôáé åðß îýëïõ, ï åí ýäáóé ôçí ãçí êñåìüóáò, today is hanged on a tree the one who hung the earth upon the waters The story s threads absorb us progressively to finally place us among the disciples at the mystical supper and the last sermon, then making us witnesses of the betrayal, the disciples cowardice, the unjust condemnation and humiliating death of the Lord. The climax of the experience is reached with the presentation of the crucified Christ in the middle of the church as if on Golgotha, acknowledged and worshipped by the faithful as Creator God and Lord of glory. In light of the re-enacting function of ritual, however, Christ stands alone once again an embodied call to repentance on the cross, immolated for our salvation. He is again rejected, despised and mocked, although not by shouting crowds but by our sins and failures. Yet, celebrating full of reverence the tremendous mystery of divine humility, we evade the tragic choreography of irrational hate: it is as if we are ready to climb up on the cross together with the humble Lord of glory like all the martyrs of the old to realise the fullness of him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:23). Orthros (Matins) of Holy Saturday (Friday night) The Lordly burial service, the lamentation, finds us crucified with Christ. Paradoxically, we are once again active witnesses of the events, participants in their development and objects of a mysterious transformation. And indeed we are the beneficiaries of the Lord s immaculate Passion; for us has he immersed into the waters of our transience and death; we are those to whom he descends to bring salvation. Witnessing the agony of the Lord, his death and interment, we contemplate both the allencompassing salvific love of the Crucified one and the profound misery of a humanity failing to acknowledge its Lord. Now, we are the faithful disciples accompanying the Lord to the tomb, for this is the meaning of the lamentation and procession: ç æùþ åí ôüöù, êáôáôýèçò ñéóôý, you who are the life, O Christ, were laid in a tomb From another viewpoint, it is as if we perform our own memorial service together with that of Christ, while still travelling together with him toward the tomb. Being put to death every day (cf. Romans 8:36) for the name of the Lord (cf. Matthew 5:11), we are now - literally - interred together with him, willingly and compassionately. This is in fact the significance of us GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA OF AUSTRALIA New Website Visit our website ANOTHER WEBSITE BY PROSITOS.COM.AU passing ritually under the holy epitaphion (a large cloth on which is embroidered or painted the image of Christ s preparation for burial), the very symbol of Jesus tomb and reminder of the day when in the baptismal waters we died to the old ways to walk the path of a renewed life (see Romans 6:3-4). The tomb remains the ultimate testimony of the entire drama and its unexpected end, the glorification of the Crucified one and of us, his faithful. The epitaphion being now laid on the altar s holy table, there it will rest as unquestionable witness of Christ s resurrection this time till the eve of the deifying ascent of the Lord. Made transparent by the resurrection, the tomb becomes a window to the promised Kingdom to come; for the moment, however, it offers no hope. Holy Pascha After the Saturday of the Lord s descent to Hades where he found also us (this is why on this Saturday we do not eat, since the dead no longer need food), enslaved by our sinfulness, we meet again in the lightless church, a desolating scene of death and defeat. We were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel (Luke 24:21). Living the fear and hopelessness of the old Israel (see Hebrews 2:15), it is as if we are not yet God s people, a nation of trust, joy and light (see 1 Peter 2:9). Still dominated by the prince of darkness, we are terrified by the darkness of this world. The church is now an image of our own tomb and the tomb has no comfort yet to bring us. It is also, and properly, the cave where the Lord was interred and us with him: in the darkness of the tomb there is no horizon, no zenith, no escape We remain silent and disoriented, since there is no sign yet of a victory; the only thing that keeps us safe, above all insecurity, is the power of prayer. Suddenly, however, the joyful light emerges in the tomb and rapidly spreads from the Lord of glory (the Light which shines in the dark) toward us. We are now resurrected by him and together with him! Trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs bestowing life We are witnesses and participants, the righteous sanctified by his grace brought to the renewed life (cf. Matthew 27:51-3). Neither the soldiers have seen him first nor the myrrh-bearing women. It is us who have, since we are those being raised today together with him, a reality witnessed and poetically proclaimed by St John Damascene, the author of the divine Paschal Canon: ÁíáóôÜóåùò çìýñá / The day of resurrection, ëáìðñõíèþìåí ëáïß, / let us be radiant, O peoples! ÐÜó á Êõñßïõ, ÐÜó á, / Pascha, the Lord s Pascha; åê ãáñ èáíüôïõ ðñïò æùþí, / for from death to life, êáé åê ãçò ðñïò ïõñáíüí, / and from earth to heaven, ñéóôüò ï Èåüò, çìüò äéåâßâáóåí, / Christ God has brought us, åðéíßêéïí Üäïíôáò. / those chanting the hymn of victory. The gospel reading of the liturgy deciphers this mystery: Christ is the light shining triumphantly in the darkness (see John 1:5), transforming those who believe in him into sons and daughters of God (see John 1:12-3). The narrative of the sorrowful and glorious journey of Christ, the Lord of Glory, becomes in the framework of the ritual a pretext to explore our own spiritual journey as God s people. We cannot achieve renewal without first dying mystically. Therefore, along with the ritual we have to learn to die to our old habits and rhythms, to our mind corrupted by the darkness of ignorance. Only in this way are we ready to enter the paschal week, an image of the eighth day, announcing the unending day of the Kingdom to come of the Kingdom that has already manifested its dawn in the radiant night of Pascha and in the glorious day of ascension. The transformative energy of this radiance will pervade the entire world and history through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Sunday of Pentecost, the eighth of the Pentikostarion. * Revd Dr Doru Costache lectures in Patristics at St Andrew s Theological College, Sydney
20 APRIL /44 TO BHMA The Greek Australian VEMA Methana A sleeping beauty Travel This peninsula on the Saronic Gulf hosts a long-dormant volcano, hot springs and plenty of trekking opportunities Methana BY HARIS ARGYROPOULOS Methana, the pear-shaped peninsula on the Peloponnese that sticks out into the western Saronic Gulf some 25 nautical miles southwest of Piraeus, is dotted with pretty villages, archaeological sites, Byzantine churches and an imposing dormant volcano. The volcanic activity which shaped the peninsula over millions of years has left its mark, most visibly in the form of Methana s hot springs and some 30 craters. The last explosion, mentioned by ancient Greek travelers Strabo and Pausanias and the Roman poet Ovid, occurred in 273 BC but an explosion in the sea area north of the peninsula was also reported in Methana, believed to be named so due to the methane gas emissions from the Earth s surface on the peninsula, is at the western end of the socalled volcanic arc of the southern Aegean, which includes the islands of Milos, Santorini and Nisyros. The town of Methana, on the eastern coast, grew around the spa resort that was developed at the end of the 19th century and flourished until the 1970s, when a process of decline set in evident today in the state of some of the early 20th-century buildings that house the baths. But signs of renewal are also evident, as the town is slowly shedding the image of a resort purely for the elderly. The peninsula, around 40 square kilometers, is in fact a pole of attraction for naturalists and trekkers, as it has some 60 signposted trails with excellent views. A highlight is the ascent to the Helona summit, at 740 meters. Methana is on the whole a relatively quiet and uncrowded place, even in the high season, with satisfactory infrastructure in terms of accommodation and roads, and well suited for brief getaways and exploration. Two routes start from the town of Methana, on the eastern side, where the ferries dock. One, the touristy northwestern route, leads to Kameni Hora and the volcano. The road ascends through olive groves, offering breathtaking views of the town and the sea, then comes to Megalohori via Dritseika, and descends to Paleokastro, the site of Methana s ancient acropolis. Further down, you come to the Chapel of Aghios Nikolaos (15th century), surrounded by cisterns, and end up at the long beach at Paleokastro, with its caiques and fish tavernas. The coastal road continues to Vathy, Where to stay Cavo Petra (tel , , new guesthouse built using volcanic rocks and set in lush gardens, five tastefully decorated suites one with a jacuzzi; Akti (tel , 12 studios in one of the oldest hotels, with tasteful decor and verandas with views of Poros island; Athina (tel ) fully equipped and clean rooms near the sea; Avra (tel /382, 51 recently renovated comfortable rooms, has sea views and restaurant. Tranquil escape Methana is on the whole a relatively quiet and uncrowded place, even in the high season, and well suited for brief getaways and exploration What to eat Las Olas, in Aghios Nikolaos (tel ): Spanish owner Maria Jose, from Galicia, prepares paella, tortilla and fish caught by her husband Panayiotis; Theoni, in Paleokastro (tel ): the steady clientele comes from afar for Mrs Theoni s fish soup and lobster spaghetti, and galaktoboureko for dessert; Zorbas, in Methana (tel ): one of best restaurants, on the waterfront, with sea food and mainstream Greek dishes (weekends only); Mariori, in Paleokastro: likewise, with sea views (weekends only, closed December-January). Things to see & do The islet of Aghioi Anargyri at the port bears the remains of a Cyclopean wall; remnants of a Neolithic wall made of volcanic rock were found on the hill of Paleokastro; an important Mycenean settlement (14th-13th-century BC) was discovered on the hill of Aghios Constantinos, near the spa, in 1990; the therapeutic spa in Methana town (tel ) has a strong smell of hydrosulphate, the waters have a temperature range of degrees Celsius (82-93F) and are recommended for rheumatism, arthritis and skin and gynecological ailments. a fishing settlement with a sheltered harbor that fills up with expensive boats on weekends, attracted mostly by the fish restaurants. North of Vathy, the road brings you to Kameni Hora, the settlement below the volcano s biggest crater. The white houses here, amid the greenery and the dark colors of the volcanic rock, are naturally air-conditioned through holes in the rock with subterranean vents, which keep them at a steady temperature of 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit), even in the summer. About 1 kilometer further north, the road stops at a parking lot and a signposted though demanding footpath begins to wind through the trees and rocks leading to the crater. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to the top, which offers amazing views of the gulf. You will also see a fault with vertical walls 15 meters high and the inscription Volcano at the entrance, which you can step into. The actual crater, with a diameter of 100 meters and meters deep, is slightly to the right. The second route from Methana leads in a northeasterly direction to a number of locations worth seeing. Driving through pine woods and olive groves you come to Kypseli, with some impressive old houses. Oga hill, about 1 kilometer to the northeast, has remains of a Classical era fort but access is difficult. From there, the road descends via Aghioi Theodori to the coastal settlement of Aghios Georgios. At the end of the pier are the interesting remains of a World War II cargo ship as its hull rusted, the cement it was carrying remained, a negative sculpture made by man and nature. The road continues along the northern coast to Kounoupitsa and Aghios Nikolaos, named after a chapel built on the site of an ancient temple, as attested by the marble parts in the structure. There is also a small thermal spa establishment near a hot spring mentioned by Pausanias. On the way to Aghios Nikolaos, a left turn leads to Makrylongos, a small village with broad views of the Saronic Gulf. The most popular beach is Limionas, next to the town. Aghios Georgios, Paleokastro and Aghios Nikolaos are much quieter.
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