25 MARCH (INDEPENDENCE DAY) 1941

In Greece, 25 March (the Feast of the Annunciation) is the date on which the start of the "Greek War of Independence" of 1821 is celebrated as a national holiday. The celebrations on Anafi in 1941 marked a turning point for the members of the commune. Metaxas was dead (he had died in January), the Occupation of Greece was under way, but the island had not yet been occupied by an Italian garrison. A detailed programme for the day was arranged which was to include the islanders as well as the members of the commune. Hand-written invitations to an entertainment were given on the eve of the feast to the chairman of the village council, village priest, post-office official, village families, and to the senior policeman. The programme included popular songs from the commune choir, poetry recitations and a performance of a play, Rhighas Velestinlis (about Rhighas Ferreos of Velestino, 1757-1798, a hero of the struggle for Greek Independence), by Vasilis Rhotas.

At dawn, having informed the police of what they would be doing, the young men of the commune swept the main street and the village square. They hung up portraits of the heroes of the 1821 revolution, garlanded them with oleander in place of laurel, and then walked around the village, playing guitars and mandolins, with one of the exiles, Goulios, on the saxophone. Representatives of the commune attended the church service and the rest waited outside in the square. When the service was over, the musicians and choir performed the national anthem

mm29c.gif (4370 bytes) MM29 Singing of National Anthem.

hh16ac.gif (5451 bytes) HH16A Man making speech standing on church wall

jj36ac.gif (4790 bytes) JJ36A Man on wall, with boy and flag

hh14ac.gif (4904 bytes) HH14A People in front of church in village square, note policeman (see MM5)

mm5c.gif (5362 bytes) MM5 This and previous photo could be viewed as one continuous panoramic scene

mm28c.gif (5368 bytes) MM28 out of focus, man and boy on wall, dated

 

mm30c.gif (5678 bytes) MM30 records a moment in the dancing.

 

 

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