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
MM29 Singing of National Anthem.
HH16A Man making speech standing on church wall
JJ36A Man on wall, with boy and flag
HH14A People in front of church in village square, note policeman (see MM5)
MM5 This and previous photo could be viewed as one continuous panoramic scene
MM28 out of focus, man and boy on wall, dated
MM30 records a moment in the dancing.
All queries, comments or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are able to identify any individuals within the archive please quote the reference number for the photograph and e-mail Margaret Kenna at the address above, thank you.