THE GREEKS MADE IT OBVIOUS THAT WE WERE THEIR
PEOPLE AND THEY TREATED US (AUSTRALIANS) AS THEIR OWN.
HENRY ‘JO’ GULLET. The above statement was made by Henry ‘Jo’ Gullet who was an Officer serving during the Battles of Greece and Crete. He later became a Member of Parliament and Ambassador to Greece post World War 2. Henry Gullet resided in Victoria with a property North of Melbourne. Henry ‘Jo’ Gullet was a true Philhellene.
ANZACS AND HELLENES. Further to the above, there are many stories of heroism by the Lakonians who hid Australians as they strategically retreated from the Nazi juggernaut during the Battles of Greece and Crete. These stories are yet to be documented and one is concerned that they may not be recorded due to the age of those involved and memories become clouded over time.
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE. Australians of Hellenic background have been represented in the Australian Defence Force, Law Enforcement Agencies and Para Military Organisations throughout Australian history. Many of Lakonian heritage chose a career in the Army and served with distinction. Each on their own has a story to tell, a story of encouragement, strength honour and courage. Each leaving behind a legacy for future generations to emulate. The following is but three members of the Pallaconian Brotherhood ‘Leonidas’ who served in the Australian Defence force. More will be added as they are identified.
KON GLEKAS. Kon Glekas served with distinction in the Australian Regular Army with the Royal Australian Engineers for a period of six years. Kon served with 3rd Field Engineer Regiment, 21 Construction Squadron, and was also detached to 2/4 Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment for a period 6 months for overseas deployment. Kon saw overseas service in Butterworth Malaya as part of Australia’s commitment to the security of the Asian peninsula. Kon is married and lives in the suburbs North o Melbourne. Kon joined the Australia Post on his discharge and is now at a stage in life where his considering other horizons and new challenges.
KEN TSIRIGOTIS. Ken (Kyriakos) Tsirigotis is depicted in the above image alongside a statue representing the ANZAC of a bygone era. His postings have included the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Melbourne University Regiment, 4 Brigade and other postings throughout his career. He has seen operational service in Afghanistan and East Timor. Ken is well respected amongst his military and non-military peers and is often seen supporting many Australian Hellenic events with the aim of demonstrating that others can follow in his footsteps. Ken is married and resides North of Melbourne Victoria. Although Ken is still serving with effect March 2016, he is soon to discharge from the Regular Army and shall be transferring to the Army Reserve as an instructor amongst other specialist projects.
PETER MERCOULIA Service with the Australian Army Reserve rising to the rank of Major. Peter is a successful businessman in the construction industry. He has 30 years experience in vertical and horizontal construction in residential, commercial, public utilities and resort construction throughout Australia and overseas. Specialising in being able to work in remote locations, for example his office in Vanuatu is to enable him to servicing the Pacific area. In December 1979 Peter enlisted in the Army Reserve with Officer Cadet Training Unit graduating in 1981 into the Royal Australian Engineers. Troop Commander with 10 Field Squadron, Captain at 105 Construction Squadron as the Construction Officer and later Plant Troop Officer with 107 Plant Squadron.
In 1989 he transferred to the Inactive Reserve and transferred back to the Army Reserve on continuous full time service as Adjutant at 4 Combat Engineer Regiment. He also went to the Athens Olympics that year as a volunteer carrying out security. In 2005 posted to 38 Combat Engineer Squadron as 2IC and in December that year Peter was Officer Commanding for the final phase of a DACC task at the Victorian bush fires at Mt. Erica and was responsible of the orderly disengagement of ADF assets from the area. In 2007. Peter was posted as OC 203 Works Section and was promoted to Major at the beginning of 2008. In 2009 Peter was appointed OC 105 Construction Squadron and during Feb 2009 was Officer Commanding of the Engineer Support Group for OP VIC FIRE ASSIST.
In 2010 he was posted to 4 Brigade as the assistant SADFO with responsibility for the development of liaison between 4 Brigade units and DSG to overcome previous inter-organisational process and relational difficulties. He represents 4 Brigade at SADFO meetings at Simpson Barracks and Puckapunyal. In 2011 he was also appointed 4 Brigade Security Officer.
PETER ADAMIS The longest serving Australian of Hellenic background is Peter Adamis. Service in the Australian Citizens Military Forces, 3 Base Workshop Battalion, (Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), Regular Army service includes – 1st Battalion, 6th Battalion – (The Royal Australian Regiment), 2nd Battalion, 5/6th Battalion, 8/7th Battalion, (The Royal Victoria Regiment), 11 Independent Rifle Company, (The Royal West Australian Regiment), Central Army Records Office, Deakin University Company, 3 Army Recruiting Unit, Army Personnel Agency, Australian Defence Force Recruiting Unit, the Australian Army Reserve and the Standby Reserve. Service included Singapore, Malaya, two tours of Butterworth – (Penang), Papua New Guinea, The United Kingdom, and a member of Telamon Force representing Australia during the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Greece and Crete along with other postings and detachments to Infantry Centre, Canungra, Tropical Trials Establishment, (Far North Queensland), Army History Unit, and others throughout the Australian mainland. Peter is retired, married with four sons and resides in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. A quiet bloke who prefers a life of solitude, gardening and writing.