This is a big day, both moving and memorable. At 0500 we headed out to the Phaleron Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery where we conducted our ANZAC Day Dawn Service with the support from the Army Priest, Father Pavlos and I am thankful to him for coming so early each year to support this Service. We had a full programme with an introduction, Prayers from Father Pavlos , 2 readings, The Book of Psalms: Psalm 46 and Mathew 5: 1-9, followed by Prayers of Remembrance and for the Australian, New Zealand and Hellenic Defence Forces before the Wreath Laying and Ode of Remembrance. The Last Post and National Anthems of Greece, New Zealand and Australia followed to end the Service.
Breakfast at the Coral Hotel overlooking the harbour was en joyed by all before our visit to the Battle Cruiser Averoff. A dreadnaught Battle Cruiser that they purchased in 1910 from Italy. This ship was the pride of the Hellenic Navy and had 3 periods of action, the Balkan Wars, First World War and Second World War. It is a museum now and the Admiral uses his main cabin area to conduct conferences. The Ship is well maintained and everything is meticulously clean and sparkling. This year we were able to climb up to see ttwo of the bridges where the control of the ship is conducted. The peacetime bridge with its glass windows and the action station bridge that is encased in many inches of steel.A great visit and we thanked our guide for his hospitality and knowledge.
From the visit to the Averoff we went back to the Phaleron Cemetery to be present at the Australian Govt ANZAC Day Service, at 1100. A nice Service supported by a guard from the Greek Army and Navy. Many Diplomats and Consul Generals from other countries were present and most laid a wreath, as did we. An invitation to join the Ambassador at her residence was accepted and we then made our way there to mix with the various other guests and enjoyed her hospitality for a couple of hours. It was a lovely time and finally we headed back to our hotel to prepare for more adventures ahead or for some a trip home.