The Castellorizian Association of WA held its annual Apokries dinner on Sunday the 23rd February under the stars at the Castellorizian House. Much to the relief of the committee members, a threatened storm did not eventuate and an enthusiastic gathering enjoyed a pre-lenten evening of fellowship; family and community enjoying delicious food, lively music and the joy of Greek dancing.
We were honoured to be joined by His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon, Father Emmanuel, Father John, the Consul of Greece in Perth, Mrs Georgia Karasiotou and family and the President of the Hellenic Community of WA, Bryon Spartalis.

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No Castellorizian Apokries celebration would be complete without the serving of our traditional Katoumari. Prepared with pride by the women of our community, their skill gleaned from watching their mothers and grandmothers, it is served as a tribute to our Castellorizian heritage.
The evening was a resounding success due to the support of members of the association and the hard working committee who continue to give so generously of their time.
The accompanying photos show, that the function was enjoyed by all.

On Friday 8th February, students, teachers, parents and honorable guest, Mrs Georgia Karasiotou, the new Consulate of Greece in Perth, attended our School’s Blessing of the Waters Ceremony (Agiasmos), the cutting of the Vasilopita and the commemoration of 'International Greek Language Day'.
St Andrew's Grammar welcomed Reverend Father Eleftherios who recited prayers to request that God's grace be bestowed on the school in the New Year.  This was followed by Father Eleftherios indivadually blessing students, teachers, parents and the school grounds.
The Vasilopita was also blessed, it was cut and divided up by class. The lucky class for 2020 to receive the lucky coin was the Pre-Primary class. The young students were extremely excited to discover the lucky coin was in their piece of Vasilopita.
Following the Blessings, students celebrated 'International Greek Language Day'. Mrs Georgia Karasiotou addressed the assembly and spoke about International Greek Language Day and presenting a visual presentation to the students about the significance of Greek Language.

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Centre For Hellenic Studies

On Saturday 15th February, the Centre For Hellenic Studies, which is the Saturday Greek School at St. Andrew's Grammar, also welcomed Rev Father Eleftherios to perform a Blessing of the Waters Ceremony (Agiasmos) to mark the start of the school year in Greek Studies.
Father Eleftherios recited prayers and individually blessed all students, teachers, parents who attended and the school grounds.
This was followed by the traditional cutting of the vasilopita which was also blessed during the ceremony.
A big congratulations goes to Odyseas Christou for receiving the 2020 lucky coin.
The P&F Association donated a Dymocks book voucher to Odyseas to the value of $50 for receiving the 2020 lucky coin.

Το Σάββατο 15/02 έγινε ο αγιασμός στο Σαββατιανό Ελληνικό σχολείο.
Μετά την λήξη της τελετής, ακολούθησε η κοπή της πίτας ο πάτερ Ελευθέριος ευλόγησε και όλα τα παιδιά ένα προς ένα.
Ο σύλλογος προσέφερε ένα κουπόνι αξίας $50 από γνωστό βιβλιοπωλείο της πόλης, στον τυχερό μαθητή που βρήκε το φλουρί.
Ο τυχερός μαθητής για φέτος ήταν ο Οδυσσέας Χρήστου.

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We had a fantastic response from our School community and the wider community as to our partnership with Perth Glory. With 2 students already choosing St. Andrew’s Grammar because of the marketing reaching them on our association. As the first school in Perth (and one of only 3-4 eventually) to be a Perth Glory Academy School, this is an incredible achievement by our school and we are very proud to have established a long term partnership with such a high quality brand as Perth Glory. Our students are our priority and they will most certainly gain from the high calibre coaching that comes with this partnership.
On Thursday 13th February our school had over 50 students choosing to trial for this Academy, this has been nothing short of a success. The feedback from the Perth Glory talent identification team and coaches has been very positive sharing that the attitudes and some of the skills on show were impressive. This looks to be a very successful start to our long-term partnership with this prestigious partner.
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Craig Monaghan Principal

Glory to Help Students Become Future Soccer Stars
February 17th 2020, 12:59PM | Written by Laura Pond | Stirling Times News Sport

Principal Craig Monaghan said it was a “massive coup” for the school. “We want to be one of the best junior development schools in the country, developing excellent football players while making sure they are achieving academically,” he said.
Click here to read the full article in the Stirling Times

A Turkish exploration vessel will soon illegally start looking for hydrocarbon reserves off the southeast of the Greek island of Crete, in an area Greece has declared as part of its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
According to reports, Turkey is waiting for the United Nations’ Division for Ocean Affairs to post the geographical coordinates of a maritime border agreement signed by the Turkish government and Libya’s United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in November, the Paper Yeni Şafak (“New Dawn”) said.
The memorandum of understanding sees Turkey and Libya as maritime neighbours, claiming a Turkish EEZ that overlaps areas that Greece says are its own, around Crete, Rhodes and other islands.
This comes as Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month stated stated that his country will “start search and drilling activities as soon as possible in 2020 after issuing licences for the areas.” The comments were made during a two-hour speech in the capital, Ankara.
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The Turkish ship, the Oruç Reis, will head to an area southeast of Crete after the Turkish Petroleum Corporation issues licences for the new areas in the eastern Mediterranean added to Turkey’s EEZ after agreement with Tripoli, Yeni Şafak said.
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Greece, one of a number of countries seeking to build a pipeline carrying gas to Europe across those waters, has denounced the deal between Turkey and Libya as illegal and a blatant violation of its sovereignty and has sent two letters to the United Nations explaining its objections.
Turkey already has two drilling ships off Cyprus, which continue their activities under the protection of the Turkish navy in Cyprus EEZ zone, with the EU sanctioning Turkey to stop them from drilling with no effect.

Greece’s Government announced this week that it is holding off plans to build new closed migrant detention camps on the Greek islands, to allow for negotiations with local authorities who strongly oppose the initiative.
Notis Mitarakis, the Migration Affairs Minister, said the plan announced last week has been put on hold until demands by authorities on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos are discussed.
Meanwhile, at GCT we continue to publish the weekly snapshot on the migrant crisis from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The latest figures concern the arrivals of migrants and refugees to Greece via the Aegean islands for the period 10-16 February 2020.
This week, 450 people arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from last week’s 149 arrivals and from last year’s 346 arrivals during the same period.
The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 64, compared to 21 in the previous week.
Present Population on the Islands
Some 40,700 refugees and asylum-seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (49%), Syria (19%) and Somalia (6%).
Women account for 22% of the population, and children for 34% of whom more than 6 out of 10 are younger than 12 years old.
Approximately 14% of the children are unaccompanied or separated, mainly from Afghanistan.
Entry Points by Sea
Chios received the highest number of arrivals (185), followed by Lesvos (96), the Dodecanese Islands (96) and Samos with (73) people.
This week, 641 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 60 were transferred with the support of UNHCR to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.