submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 01.06.2004
On Friday 13Oct1995 Fr Elias G. Politakis, Rector of St Anna’s Church on the Gold Coast, donated a set of Vestments to the Richmond River Historical Society, which are now housed in a display cabinet in the society’s museum.
They were presented to …commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of His Eminence, our Archbishop Stylianos, as the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, and to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
The vestments are Sacred, they are old, they are historic, they have served a lot of people in different states, in different countries, in many situations.
The fabric originates from Jerusalem ( and sewn in Greece), where they started their long journey. They were used for the ordination of two priests in Australia, the pioneer and my father, and one in New Zealand, where I was ordained to the priesthood.
These Liturgical Vestments have seen service in Sydney, in Gippsland Victoria, in the Riverland of South Australia, in Adelaide, in Auckland New Zealand, and on the Gold Coast.
Their final resting place will be the Richmond River Historical Society in Lismore, to remind us all of the many blessings God has given us in this wonderful and hospitable land of ours, Australia, and to further strengthen the links with our fellow Australian and Greek Orthodox Pioneers of this region …. So reads the notice stuck on the inside of the cabinet.
Lismore’s becoming a heathen place, so somebody needs to check that the vestments are still there in 100 years.
[The heyday of the Greek Orthodox Community of the Richmond-Tweed region was the 1950s and 60s when the banana industry was riding high and the cafes never had vacant seats. The community peaked at about 600 adherents around 1960 and thereafter declined, although even in the 1970s the region still boasted three times the number of faithful as the hedonistic Gold Coast. Today the community is a shadow of its former self, with one of the resident priests from the Coast regularly visiting to administer to the remaining ageing flock, who are rounded up by the God-fearing Harry Eric Crethar of Lismore, under the restraining touch of his lovely wife Maria. The younger set has reverted to paganism and worships the nubile Aphrodites and Adonises of Byron Bay.]
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