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Honouring Constantine Aroney BEM - the only Kytherian dual ANZAC

Updated: Apr 22


On the 19th April 2024, as part of ANZAC 2024 celebrations, we had the absolute honour to take part in an Australian flag raising ceremony at the restored grave site of Constantine Aroney, to acknowledge his service to King and Country in both World Wars. 

A few months ago we were contacted by a representative of the Brighton Cemetorians, who came across Kalie's blog about Constantine Aroney. The Cemertorians are a not-for-profit organisation who raise awareness of Brighton General Cemetery in Melbourne by doing tours and research etc. They advised us about the amazing restoration project they have undertaken to restore grave sites of returned soldiers buried there, and to invite surviving family members to take part in celebrations.

 

Constantine's grave before it was restored. Photo thanks to Brighton Cemetorians.
The hardworking North East Memorials restoring Constantines's grave. Photo thanks to Brighton Cemetorians.
The completed restoration. Photo thanks to Brighton Cemetorians.

Each year they honour 50 Australian ANZACS in April and November, and they informed us that this year Constantine Aroney’s grave had been restored and he was one the 50 to be honoured in 2024. As Constantine has no known surviving family, the Cemetorians invited us to raise the flag in his honour as we were the obvious choice being the forerunners in Kytherian family history worldwide. We were honoured to step in to commemorate the sacrifice and courage of this man, who fought for values of freedom and who in WWII bravely saved men in Greece.


The day started with a welcome from the President of the Cemtorians who introduced a representative of the RSL of Victoria. He recited the Ode of Remembrance and then gave the history of one of the veterans and raised the first flag. Each flag was then handed to each family or representative. It was done alphabetically so we had the honour of receiving the very first flag.

We then found Constantine's grave and raised his flag which we both found very moving and inspirational. This man came from humble beginnings in Kythera and had the courage to fight for his adopted country, not once but twice. Now he is immortalised where he is buried and remembered ANZAC and Remembrance Day every year when the Cemetorians will raise a flag in his honour.


It is moments like these which brings us immense pleasure to know that our research is helping to preserve the history of Kytherian individuals. This is the exact reason we embarked on our project over 13 years ago.


To read more about the work of the Brighton Cemetorians or donate to their wonderful work click here.


The Cemetorians have produced a small booklet each year with a bio for each person honoured. If you would like to purchase the latest booklet that includes Constantine Aroney or any of the earlier booklets for $5 plus $2.40 postage you can contact Brighton Cemetorians here.


Thanks to Michael Samios and Matina Zervos for the photos and coming to Melbourne with us and all their support.


Lest we forget



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