Gene’s Painting


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Journal 26 May 2022

It is appropriate on this day that a HANZAC Painting was delivered. In 1942, the Battle of Greece and Crete was it its climax and the ANZACs were fighting for their lives on the Island of Crete. The painting that I refer to had been painted by a mate in Cairns and had travelled all the way from Far North Queensland to our home in leafy Watsonia, a Northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

It took me a while to unpack it as the painting had been very carefully wrapped so that it would not be damaged. The tall, stocky and bearded courier who delivered it in the rain was happy to do so and be part of the journey once I explained what the package contained.   What is so special about this painting is that it was painted by a extremely talented and creative veteran. Gene Pratt is his name. Not only was he a magnificent soldier, but also a talented musician and painter. 

Gene and I both served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Far North Queensland some fifty years ago.  I must confess that Gene was a far better soldier than I, as I was always the one, getting into punch-ups and in constant trouble. But then again, I was just a lad who was looking for adventure, just like all my other mates.       

Anyway, this article is not about me but about Gene and his contribution to the nation and certainly to the HANZAC Memorial, located in Pellana, Laconia, Greece. (the home of Helen of Troy and her husband Menelaus, Master of the War Cry). HANZAC stands for Hellenic ANZAC and is a tribute to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during WW2 in Greece. Gene I must add like many other veterans is a HANZAC Guardian and I am chuffed and delighted to have received the painting.    

It was in the year 2021 that I asked Gene to paint it using a photograph that I had sent him. The colours and the image of the background and scenery have been captured well. It now hangs in the “Great Hall” at home and it is one of the centre pieces in the room. Located above the world map where the Adamis family has travelled in the past 125 years.

Gene advised me that during the painting, he had completed the “HELLENIC ANZAC MEMORIAL” inscription in black and left it overnight.  The next morning Gene woke up to find that the letters HELLENIC and MEMORIAL were still in black but the word ANZAC had changed to the colour of red.  Spooky, unbelievable but true.  It is as if Genes hand was guided by supernatural means.  Gene stated that this phenomenon has never occurred before in his life.       

I intend to photograph it and go to Office works where the staff embed the image onto canvas and take a copy to hang in the Cottage in Pellana, Laconia, Greece, which incidentally is my place of birth. Having said that, I will make time to put together a pamphlet or a short book of sorts, describing the HANZAC Memorial and have Gene Pratt’s Painting on the front cover.         

I have written this article and dedicate it Gene Pratt, whose blood is worth bottling. It is important to note that this memorial is as a result of many contributors whose make up is of the veteran and non-veteran communities and this is what makes it so special.

I encourage everyone to visit the memorial at least once in their life time and at the same time enjoy the hospitality of the village of Pellana, Kastoria and the mountain villages. The beach and Sparta the capital of Laconia, is but some 15 minutes to the South by car.  The following are the current Guardians of the memorial.

HANZAC GUARDIANS

1. THANASIS DAVAKIS – PATRON GREECE

2. JIM HAMMETT – PATRON AUSTRALIA

3. RESERVED TBA – PATRON NEW ZEALAND

4. PETER ADAMIS – CHAIRMAN

5. MAURICE BARWICK – TREASURER

6. GEZA BENKE – SECRETARY

7. STEFANOS SGOURDAS – MARATHON COORD

8. KOSTAS MIHALOPOULOS – ASSETS MANAGER

 

9. CONRAD ADAMIS

10. DAVID ADAMIS

11. MATTHEW ADAMIS

12. MARK ADAMIS

13. PAUL ADAMIS

14. WILLIAM ADAMIS

15. GARRY ADAMS

16. NICK BAKIS

17.MARCUS BASTIAAN

18. EDWARD BLACK

19. MICHAEL BLAXLAND

20. EDWARD BRYSON

21. BILL CHARLTON

22. BARRIE DANIEL

23. GIUSEPPE DE SIMONE

24. NICK DEROS

25. GEORGE DIMOS

26. VASILIKI DIMOS

27. CHRISTINE ETHEL

28. HELEN FINNIGAN

29. DENNIS GEORGE

30. CHRIS GLEKAS

31. KALIOPI GLEKAS

32. KON GLEKAS

33. COLIN GOODWIN

34. PETER HATHERLEY

35. RON HILL

36. KEVIN HURLEY

37. VIOLET HURLEY

38. LARRY ILIFFE

39. PETER JASONIDES

40. PETER KALLIAKOUDIS

41. TERRY KANELLOS

42.PANAGIOTIS KARAGIANNIS

43. ILIAS KATSOS

44. TONY KELLY

45. AZHAR KHAN

46. LUKE KIROPOULOS

47. GABBY KIWARKIS

48. SAM KOSTOULIAS

49. MICHAEL KROGER

50. DOUGLAS LUIK

51. DIMITRI MALIAROS

52. GEORGÈ MANSFORD

53. SANDRA MERCER-MOORE

54. PETER MERCOULIA

55. PAUL MITCHELL

56. DONALD NORMAN

57. KALIOPI PAPAPOSTOLOU

58. BILL PAPASTERGIADIS

59.GEORGE PARASKEVOPOULOS

60.PANAGIOTIS PARASKEVOPOULOS

61. WARREN PAYNE

62. GENE PRATT

63. PAUL PRICKETT

64. THANASIS RASSIAS

65. PETER ROBERTS

66. JIM ROZAKLIS

67. KOSTAS SGOURDAS

68. PANAGIOTIS SIGALOS

69. MICHAEL SUKKAR

70. MAVIS TREGONNING

 

 

 

71. STUART THRUPP

72. LEON TSONGAS

73. STAVROS VALASSIS

74. MARIA VAMVAKINOU

75. DIMITRI VAROUTSIOS

76.GEORGE VASSILOPOULOS

77. KOSTAS VLAHAKIS

78. ELENI VLAHOGIANNI

79. WAYNE WHITROD

80. CRAIG YOULL

81. JOE ZAPP

82. BARRY ZIEBELL

83. SUSAN ZIEBELL

84.THEMISTOCLES PATSILIVAS

85. RESERVED NZ

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100. RESERVED NZ            

 

As always, stay strong, never give up, remain vigilant and never have fear as a companion for the sun will still rise up in the morning.    

Peter Adamis is a (not for profit) Journalist/Commentator. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant. An avid blogger, contributing to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Contact via Email: [email protected]