In the Cretan calendar, the first weekend of the year is always marked as the annual Cretan Federation convention. In 2019, we had the privilege of travelling to Tasmania for the annual convention.
The first night, Thursday 3rd January 2019 was the Youth Welcome night, hosted at the Greek Hellenic Club. This event provided an opportunity for all youth attending the convention to mingle in a relaxed and fun environment prior to the official launch of the convention. This was our first opportunity to connect with all Cretan youth around Australia and to meet the Cretan
Dance group of Tasmania.
The following morning commenced with the annual youth AGM, hosted by the Cretan Youth of Australia and New Zealand (“CYANZ”). It was extremely positive to see an abundance of youth attending the AGM and representing their club/state. Updates of annual activities and community based events were provided by each club, this was followed by a series of social workshops that was aimed to get all CYANZ youth working together. In review of the AGM it is clear that the future of the Cretan community of Australia is in safe and passionate hands. In the evening we were hosted at the Derwent Sailing Squadron, for the official convention launch function. This was our first opportunity to meet the musicians as well as having all travelling members in the one space together. This was a fantastic event for all members to provide aglimpse of their dancing technique in front of the live musicians, Kostas Kordazakis (Lyra),
Nikos Sinolakis (Laouto), Giorgos Halkiadakis (Laouto).
The convention dinner dance, hosted at the Hellenic Hall, provided an opportunity for 33 of our travelling dancers to showcase their hard work throughout the year and perform a wide variety of dancers from Crete. With high jumps, sharp kicks and elegant footwork it was positive to see that all the hard work that is put in by the dancers and dance teachers is paying off and our dancing group is as strong as ever. The night was an overall success with the kefi of the function pushing the event to conclude after 3am.
The final formal day of the convention was probably the most relaxed and fun day. Commencing with the Holy Epiphany (throwing of the cross), we had one brave member, Vasilios Berbatakis, who took on the freezing temperatures of the Tasman sea to represent the
Cretan Brotherhood. Although he did not claim the cross first, we are still proud of his efforts. Well done Vasili. Following this we were graced with a lovely barbeque at a local park in order to fuel up prior to the always competitive sports day. The soccer match was captained by both Heretakis boys & Milton Stamatakos. Well done to all members young and old that attended and participated, either physically or cheered from the sidelines. Congratulations to Emmanuel Heretakis and Stamati Stamatakos on their winning goal and team victory.
We would like to thank all 90 brotherhood members that made the journey across the Bass Strait to represent the Cretan Brotherhood at the annual convention, further we would like to thank the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand, CYANZ and the Cretan
Association of Tasmania for hosting another successful series of events.
We look forward to seeing even more of you at our upcoming events and at the 2020 convention!
by Michael Houdalakis (President, Cretan Brotherhood of Melbourne and Victoria) & John Leventis (President, Cretan Brotherhood Youth of Melbourne and Victoria)