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Tuesday, 2 April 2019
Page: 14441

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:48): I wish to pay tribute to His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis, who passed away last Monday. I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the Greek community and to His Eminence's family. Archbishop Stylianos served as the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia since 1975 and was truly a modern spiritual leader. He made an extraordinary contribution to the Greek Orthodox community and beyond. His Eminence founded the first Greek Orthodox seminary in the Southern Hemisphere, with the establishment of St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney. He had a strong sense of justice, was passionate about education, and worked tirelessly to help children with special needs and the elderly.

His Eminence loved the beauty of poetry and was himself an accomplished poet, publishing 37 collections of his work. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend many functions and gatherings with His Eminence and spend time with him during celebrations at St Spyridon parish in Kingsford, St Spyridon College at Maroubra, St Catherine parish at Mascot and the Castellorizian nursing home in Kensington, all of which serve the thriving and passionate Greek orthodox community that I am proud to represent in this parliament. It was a privilege to attend the annual Epiphany Festival celebrations at Yarra Bay, led by His Eminence, who performed the blessing of the waters. He will be sorely missed by all Australians. May he rest in peace.