Our website states that the Greek church was purchased in 1969 though I know that negotiations for it started even 12 months before that. I was about 7/ 8 years old and my father had taken my brother and I to tap dancing lessons. We were on our way back home when, by chance, my father saw a ‘ For Sale’ sign outside the church. He stopped the car and we all marched inside. At that time it was not a church, people were playing indoor bowls along the wooden floors. Dad made an appointment to speak to the Anglican church board to present his case and negotiate a good price. There was only one problem, he had no money available to do this. Somehow he was given 6 months to come up with the money. So, started the work; gathering together a working committee, shoulder tapping people, having fund raising events to generate not only money but enthusiasm, passion and commitment. All this was happening in a time when new immigrants were trying to settle into their NZ life. Even so, the thin thread that connected them to their homes and families in Crete, Greece and Cyprus was still there, it could not be cut. I can remember the joyous get togethers, the sharing of food and music. At these events home (Greece, Crete) was brought to NZ even for only a few hours. My brother and I often were forced to be the floor show, the entertainment, with our very basic violin recitals and tap dancing demonstrations.
So the first committee was established , they raised some money and the rest is history. Now we have a church, a hall and a school. We all have a love and passion for our culture, then and now. The early settlers (so to speak) wanted to intertwine their old home with their new home, making a tapestry of life experiences. In the 1980s they called this cultural integration but personally I think you can not totally fuse two cultures together, instead you have 2 distinct cultures where people move between the two. We needed opportunities and a place to do this. It is here. In our church, hall and school. We are so lucky to have this.
Maintaining ones culture, language and religion means maintaining ones identity, ones pride and ones value systems. Yes we have had our pressures and disagreements , every community has these. We have survived though. Look what we have. This belongs to us all. Many have committed their time and money to have this and we have the founding members of the first committee to thank for this. For having the foresight, determination and courage to leave a legacy that benefits us all.
15.11.20 Founders Commemoration
Please feel free to send us your Story at firstname.lastname@example.org about you and your family's connection with the Community and it will be published here among the other ones. Our Community's History is our Legacy for the next generations and you may contribute to this; to keep the Greek Philotimo alive!
SENIOR COMMITTEE MEMBER
Our Greek Hall is available to hire for private functions!
It can accommodate up to100 people, has full kitchen facilities and a large screen television for audio visual requirements.
Plus... place to dance, garden for BBQ and safe carpark!