Press Release: from PanCretan Associaton of Melbourne
Nov 12 2012. For immediate use
Greek and Indigenous community unite to mark Anzac story in WWII
Celebrity Cretan lute play, Yiorgos Xylouris will perform in the BMW Edge, Federation Square on 14 December in a special concert to raise funds for an ANZAC memorial in Crete. A leading local Indigenous act is also being lined up to play.
The concert is an initiative of the PanCretan Associaton of Melbourne and promises to be an enthralling night of music and rich cross-‐cultural celebration.
The 42nd Street memorial is the brainchild of Glenda Humes -‐ the eldest daughter of Victorian Aboriginal ANZAC Reg Saunders MBE who fought in the Battle of Crete with the Australian 2/7th Battalion and was hidden from the Nazis by villagers after Crete’s occupation.
42nd Street was the Diggers’ name for a road near Chania, Crete during WWII. The site was where an important battle took place between German and Anzac troops on 27 May 1941. Saunders took part in the battle along with other mainly Victorian soldiers and NZ Maori units.
What became known as ‘the charge at 42nd Street’ saw the Anzacs push the Nazis into retreat; one of the few occasions during the Battle of Crete where the occupiers were forced backwards -‐ buying time for other British Commonwealth troops to evacuate from Crete’s south coast. The site has been totally unmarked for over 70 years.
Cretan authorites have given their backing to the project though because of the Greek economic crisis, are unlikely to oﬀer funding. The bronze memorial plaque will be produced in Australia. Organisers have targeted the raising of $28,0000 to cover all production, shipping and installation costs.
John Rerakis, Vice President of the PanCretan Association of Melbourne said that the Association is delighted to oﬀer its support to the project.
“We’re very grateful to Yiorgos and his world-‐famous Ensemble for suppor3ng this ini3a3ve. It promises to be a very special night,” said Mr Rerakis.
“We’re also grateful to the family of Reg Saunders, and Reg’s eldest daughter Glenda for geUng the 42nd Street memorial project up and running.
“It’s an important cause. The concert is going to help mark a crucial part of the ANZAC story in Greece for future generations.”
Earlier this year Glenda Humes, President of the 42nd Street Memorial Trust established a trust to manage the project.
Glenda Humes said:
“This is a tremendous show of support from the Cretan and Greek community in Victoria and I want to thank the artists, sponsors and Fed Square from the bottom of my heart for coming together to make this happen.
“It’s going to be a wonderful night. Funds raised from this concert will make a huge diﬀerence to our campaign to have 42nd Street ﬁnally marked for posterity.”
The Xylouris Ensemble was conceived in the early 1990s in Melbourne and released ﬁve albums over a ten year period, two of them ARIA-‐nominated. The last decade has witnessed a new spurt of growth in the Ensemble’s life, with old hands being joined by a new generation of musicians -‐ children of the original members.
All media enquiries: John Rerakis 0402 211110 Mike Sweet 0401 553787
More about the battle here