2013 Visiting Australia’s Cretan Church

January 2013 saw the Annual CFANZ Convention held in Perth. The Cretan Brotherhood was well represented sending two dance groups and dozens of members to enjoy the sights and sounds of Western Australia.

Emmanuel Heretakis tells us of his experience at the convention.

“The Perth Convention was great. I remember being surprised at how people actually made their way down to it. The Brotherhood had two dance groups perform and the Saturday night venue had to be moved last minute to accommodate the demand.” Emmanuel recounts.

The Perth Convention was well organised and schedules a number of unique experiences for attendees, including a day trip to Rottnest Island.

Emmanuel recalls Rotnest was quite different from anything he had seen in Victoria.

“It was beautiful. There were peacocks roaming the island, pink foamy lakes and picture perfect beaches. It’s also where I saw Quokkas for the first time. People went pretty wild trying to get photos with them and it was probably the first time I remember thinking selfies could be a problem.” Emmanuel says with a laugh.

Image result for quokka
Quokkas are a small animal native to Rottnest Island

The most special part of the Perth convention though appeared to be a trip to a small Greek Church in Prevelly, a town just outside of Perth.

Emmanuel recounts it was a hot day “I remember driving out for ages which was tough because it was scorching outside! Everyone from convention made their way down though. It was a really special place though and definitely worth the drive.”

The town was named after the Cretan town of Prevelly by a return serviceman who want to pay tribute to the People of Crete for giving Australian soldiers shelter during World War II and it Greek connection extended beyond its name.

“There was a Greek church there that was built as a tribute to the Greeks and designed to resemble a similar church in Prevelly, Crete.” Emmanuel explains

“We attended the service and danced to live Cretan music. The surrounds were strangely appropriate with grassy clusters and a mountainous landscape. It felt like Crete in Australia” says Emmanuel

Sifi Tsourdalakis played Lyra that, something not lost on Emmanuel who explains how the day symbolised to him how the Cretan soul and been nurtured and survives on Australian soil.

“The one moment I can’t live down though was during dancing. I get to the front of the line and start my figoura. I hit my first talimi, I hit my second and line up a big one to spin and land. As I launched myself on my last jump something felt wrong.”

“People saw me land on my foot, but a photographer caught the moment I lost my thong.”

Emmanuel provided a photo of the moment which is featured at the top of this article. His thong is captured in dead centre of the moment.

This article is part of a series recounting the stories of Cretan Brotherhood Members.

If you would like to contribute please contact Emmanuel Heretakis on 0433 058 097 or at ehhere@hotmail.com

By Emmanuel Heretakis