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A Weekend Photographing With His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia

I love capturing inside the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Darwin. Since establishing my business known as In The Lens; now Georgia Politis Photography, I have done over 70 events inside this church and most of those being Christenings.


I was delighted to capture His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia visit to Darwin over the weekend. It was a major event for our community, as it has been over three decades since an archbishop has visited the Northern Territory.


We started off with welcoming the Archbishop at Darwin International Airport, with the lovely Greek Orthodox School of Darwin children and other families standing in to give a warm welcome. Nikolaos Poniris, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of North Australia - was standing with Father Joel, also awaiting the arrival to greet His Eminence. There was signage, as well as Greek and Territory flags waving in excitement!


The excited children of the Greek Orthodox School of Darwin
All generations came to support an iconic moment in our community history

As His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia exited from the plane, everyone was speechless that the moment finally came - after over three decades, it was a blessing for His Eminence to touch down in our lovely city of Darwin.

Greek Orthodox Community of North Australia (GOCNA) President, Mr Nikolaos Poniris, greeting His Eminence shortly after his arrival
His Eminence exiting the terminal with more awaiting to eagerly greet him

Following the warm greeting at the airport, we then made our way to the Greek Orthodox School of Darwin in Nightcliff, where the school held a fantastic Christmas concert and award ceremony for the children. His Eminence was accompanied by Father Joel, Deacon Christoforos, Deacon Athinagoras and Father Stavropoulos.

Left to Right: Father Nicholas Stavropoulos, Deacon Christoforos, Deacon Athinagoras, Father Joel, His Eminence & Nikolaos Poniris
Presentations held in the hall to welcome His Eminence
Katina Vrodos was officially thanked by His Eminence, The Greek Orthodox School of Darwin and the Darwin Community for her commitment to the school for over 40 years
His Eminence addressing the community for the first time
Left to Right: Minister Natasha Fyles, His Eminence, Nikolaos Poniris & Minister Lauren Moss

From Sunday morning, we had a lovely morning service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It was a perfect morning, the rays of the sun shining through the church windows- with families gathered eagerly awaiting to see His Eminence during the service.

Sunday morning was a memorable service for many
A large crowd turned out to attend the service
His Eminence speaking at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

With a unique Sunday Liturgy Service coming to an end, His Eminence finished the beautiful service by greeting all who attended with the giving of holy bread. Smiling throughout the process, I was fascinated by such a passionate individual, along with the Deacons and Fathers - of how passionate they were through the service. It made me grateful for experiencing such a beautiful service, and also - my religion.

The line for the holy bread spread out to the back of the church
His Eminence always kept a smile on his face to greet everyone

Once the service was finished, we arrived inside the recently renovated Greek Community Hall, next door to the St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Nikolaos Poniris and Michael Koulianos proudly presented our historic storyboard at the entrance, accompanied by Tony Miaoudis, Ilias Makrylos and Father Joel.

The historic storyboard was presented at the Darwin GleNTi this year, and will be back in 2020
His Eminence greeted by The Greek Orthodox School of Darwin students

Upon entering, a strong crowd of roughly 400 people were waiting in the hall to welcome His Eminence for morning tea. The children from the Greek Orthodox School of Darwin were beaming with excitement, holding their songbooks about to sing Christmas songs to the crowd.


The children sang three songs, which was a lovely start to the morning tea
The strong crowd supporting the event

After some refreshments, on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Community of North Australia, President Nikolaos Poniris presented gifts to His Eminence, Deacon Christoforos, Deacon Athinagoras and Father Stavropoulos. His Eminence then gave a lovely gift to the President in return. The crowd were eager to see every gift, which was shown to them.

Traditional Aboriginal painting coasters given to His Eminence
Nikolaos Poniris and Elena Gomatos presenting a gift to Deacon Christoforos
His Eminence gift to GOCNA

Shortly after, the morning tea concluded with meetings following with the GOCNA Committee - with a photograph opportunity to finish.

Meetings with committee members and His Eminence
Left to Right: Michael Koulianos, Ilias Makrylos, Elena Gomatos, Nikitas Halkitis, Deacon Christoforos, Deacon Athinagoras, George Paradisis, Niki Theodosiou . Bottom left to right: Father Joel, His Eminence & Nikolaos Poniris

In the evening of Sunday, we made our way to the Hilton on Mitchell Street to welcome His Eminence for a business dinner.

Deacon Christoforos, Deacon Athinagoras and His Eminence welcomed by GOCNA President Nikolaos Poniris on Sunday night
Chief Minister Michael Gunner with his wife, Kristy O'Brein speaking with His Eminence
Many were delighted to share a conversation with His Eminence - just like Peter Makarounas, who often assists in the Greek Orthodox Church
Angela Tomazos, a prominent community supporter, greeting His Eminence
The GOCNA committee and their partners for a final group photograph

While His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia was due to depart midday Monday, this was my last opportunity to capture due to my full time work commitments. I enjoyed the opportunity supporting my community in documenting such a historic event, and encourage all to share the events of December 7 & 8, 2019. Thank you to all who were involved, and we look forward to hosting His Eminence in the near future - 2020!


Thank you,

Georgia Politis APP

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