Liberation of Lesvos Commemorations 2011

Ninety-ninth Anniversary of Liberation of Lesvos In Wellington (NZ)

The Mytilenian Association of New Zealand held their Artoklasia on Sunday 6th November to celebrate the independence of Mytilene from the Turks which occurred on 8th November 1912. The priest performed a small 10 minute service at the end of the liturgy and blessed the 5 ‘Arto’ (a type of bread for church as in picture 1) which was then cut up and given to the parishioners.


Above: Two photographs from the Artoklasia- the Church Service (left) and members and guests socialise at the Church Hall after the Church Service (right).  

Mytilenians and parishioners were invited to the cultural hall next to the church for coffee/tea and savouries/sweets. In the hall at the time was an art exhibition by artists from the Greek Community of Wellington (picture 2) which gave an added bonus to the event. The hall was unexpectedly but graciously filled with people. After the priest blessed the food, the President of the Mytilenian Assn Mr. George Moutzouris gave a speech explaining what the celebration was about. He went on to say that after nearly 500 years of Turkish occupation of the island of Mytilene, on the 8th November 1912 the Greek navy and armed forces, forced the Turks off the island and Mytilene was liberated and became part of Greece again.

Mr Moutzouris went on to say that next year was the 100 year anniversary of the independence of Mytilene and the committee is planning something special to celebrate the event, but this is still on the planning stages. Everyone later went on to say that it was a very successful Artoklasia.


Article and Photographs courtesy of Giorgos Moutzouris