Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Oxi Day - 28th October 2007

We drove down from the Old Town to Patitiri aiming to be there around 10.30am.  We parked outside the top supermarket opposite the Women's Cooperative because the road was full of parents with their children dressed in traditional Greek costume.  We followed the tail end of the people to the war memorial opposite the Dimos office where the priest was getting ready to perform a service with his kantor.  Around the war memorial where members of the council, the local services, children from the school and a large number of islanders.  The priest performed the service which lasted around 15 minutes.  A man then went up to a microphone and said a few words and then proceeded to act as a commentator to introduce each person involved in the wreath laying.

The first person to lay a wreath was the Mayor who was followed by an old man in a dark beret who may have been an ex-soldier and was laying on behalf of those who have fought in the wars.  The next three people to lay wreaths were uniformed representatives from the Alonissos Police, Coast Guard and Fire Service.  The children were next and children from each school year went up to the war memorial and laid their wreaths.  Some singley and others in pairs.  After the wreath laying ceremony had finished some music was played and the school children all sang a song.  A young woman, who may have been one of the school teachers, then took the microphone and read from some papers giving an account of the history of the war and of General Metaxas who refused to allow Italian and German to enter Greece and thus started Greece's participation in World War 2.  The completion was met with much applause and the ceremony then broke up for the marching display.  This is how the war memorial looked after everyone had gone.

The school children headed off to the top of the high street to form up into their year groups while the crowds moved to stand along the road to Roussoum Yialos, some facing the Koutouki Taverna and the others facing the school building.  The first group to march along the road was the marching band who marched along passed the crowd playing a marching tune and then assembled on the pavement on the school side of the road.  As each group started the band played the marching tune for them.  The very youngest children dressed in traditional Greek dress were the first to march along the road.  After they had paraded through each of the school years followed with a flag bearer and a few of their year in front, followed shortly after by all the rest of the class marching along the road.  This continued until every group had marched passed the assembled crowd.  Each were enthusiastically clapped as they went passed and all were obviously very proud to be part of the commemoration of Ohi Day.

Things broke up around 11.30 am and we went down to the harbour with friends to enjoy a drink and chat about the events of the day.

 

Start of the Service at the War Memorial
 

War Memorial After the Wreath Laying
 

Marching Band
 

Youngest Children Marching
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