The Guardian 26 November, 2008

90 years of the KKE celebrated

Melbourne's Greek progressive community celebrated the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with a splendid function organised by the Friends of KKE-Melbourne, on Sunday November 16. The function was held at the Hall of the Greek-Australian Welfare Society and attended also by members of the Beloyiannis Sydney Branch of the CPA.

The special function attended by a large number of people, included an exhibition of posters, historic photos, publications and other printed material covering the 90 years of activity by the KKE, speeches, revolutionary songs and music and the screening of a documentary film about the life and struggles of the KKE

In a highly emotional spirit the large crowd welcomed all the speakers enthusiastically. The President of the Friends of KKE, Peter Stamatopoulos, opened the proceedings by welcoming everyone and thanking the participants for their attendance.

He referred briefly to the importance of the commemoration meeting and called upon people to deliver short messages of greetings. Messages were delivered by representatives of the New Democracy Party, PASOK, the Greek Community of Melbourne and the Melbourne secretary of the Communist Party of Australia.

Katerina Tsitas then recited a poem about one of the great Greek poets, members of the party, Yiannis Ritsos and Xanthoula Sgouras-Mavrantonis recited the poem written by Yiannis Ritsos about the Communist Party, called "KKE" This particular poem moved everyone eyes turned red, tears ran freely, fists were risen and the endless applause at the end indicated the emotion of the meeting.

The main speaker was Steve Mavrantonis, member of the Central Committee of the CPA, who referred to the long history of struggles of the KKE, from its foundation in 1918 to the present day and pointed out that the KKE is the longest lived political party in Greece, a true Marxist-Leninist party that never lost sight of its strategic goal, its policy, its symbols and communist features.

Special mention was made by the speaker to the contribution by KKE of the heroic National Resistance of the Greek people to the fascist forces of occupation, during World War II and the civil war that followed the departure of German forces and the military intervention by Great Britain.

It was pointed out by the speaker that "during its 90 years there was not a single social, political, democratic struggle of the Greek people of which the KKE was not the inspirer, organiser and main participant". It was further pointed out that the KKE in its 90 years of struggles has left the working class movement with a heritage of valuable experience and knowledge, which must be used, the speaker concluded, by communists and progressive minded Greek people in Australia in order to facilitate their participation in the working class movement of Australia and to struggle together with the rest of the Australian people for a change in the political order of this country.

The function was concluded by the screening of a special documentary produced by the Central Committee of the KKE providing an effective historical outline of the life and struggles of the Party and ended in high spirit in a real festive atmosphere with food and drinks provided by the organisers.

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