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St John the Theologian ChurchPrint Page Print this page

13-March-2018
13-March-2018

Photographs supplied by Harry Frochter

The chapel, officially known as the St John the Theologian chapel, was built in the late '70s by Prevelly's founder, Geoff Edwards. He named the settlement and built the chapel to commemorate the people and monks of the Holy Monastery of Preveli in Crete, who helped him and other servicemen survive and escape the Battle of Crete in World War Two.

In August 1941, Geoffrey Edwards of Armadale, Western Australia was evacuated from Crete on the HMS Thrasher, and vowed never to forget the Greek people and, in particular, the monks of the Holy Monastery of Preveli for saving his and other Allied troops lives from the 2nd / 11th Infantry Battalion during the Battle of Crete. The monastery was a rallying point at the time for British, New Zealand and Australian soldiers who escaped from prisoner of war camps. After Edwards escaped capture, a shepherd led him to the safety of the Preveli cloisters, which overlooked the Libyan Sea, from where he was later liberated.

Determined to memorialise his experiences in Crete, he began construction on the Saint John the Theologian chapel at Prevelly Park over thirty-five years after his escape, dedicating it to the Greek people as a token of his gratitude, especially Agathangelos Lagouvardos, the Head Monk of the Preveli Monastery and the many villagers from surrounding areas who did so much for Allied Servicemen during that time. It stands as a permanent monument to remind those who visit, regardless of ethnic background, of the debt and gratitude owed to the Cretan people by the allied soldiers who fought during the Battle of Crete.

Location

Address:Mitchell Drive, St John the Theologian Church, Prevelly, 6285
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.977222
Long: 114.993333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event STart Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945
Monument Designer:Ioannis John Georgiou

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 4th June, 1979
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Saint John the Theologian

Blessed and opened by His Eminence Stylianos Greek Orthordox Archbishop of Australia on Monday 4 June, 1979.

This symbolic Greek Orthodox chapel was given to the Greek people by Geoff and Beryl Edwards who founded the adjoining village and namd it Prevelly as a token of gratitude to the Prevelly Monastery and surrounding villages on Crete, where after the Battle of Crete in 1941 the founder and hundreds of Australian and New Zealand and British soldiers were sheltered, hidden and helped to escape to the free world.

May all who pause here remember with gratitude the courage of the Greek people who fought and died for the freedom of their land and ours.

Architect : Ioannis John Georgiou, B. Arch

Plaque :

This Chapel was built in thanks to the Greeks who risked and gave their lives to protect and give shelter to Allied servicemen during the 1941 Cretan campaign of WWII.  Geoff Edwards, who created the village of Prevelly was one of the servicemen who was able to escape thanks to the shelter provided by the monks at Prevelli on the southern coast of Crete.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Geoff and his wife Beryl, this Chapel was constructed in conjunction with the Greek Orthodox communities of Australia as an ongoing symbol of the ties between Greece and Australia.

 

Inscription in Proximity
Memorial Chapel St John the Theologian
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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