Mr. Atkinson honored to be called “Triantellena” (thirty times Greek) and expressed his gratitude to the Pontian Federation and to Martin Hamilton-Smith for giving him the opportunity to stand up for truth and justice.
South Australia’s Attorney-General Mr Michael Atkinson was awarded the Golden Trantellena Award by the Federation of Pontian Associatons in Adelaide last Saturday at their annual dance.
The Golden Trantellena Award is reserved for those who have a proven track record of their dedication to the ideals of Hellenism and its the highest award the Federation can bestow.
Mr Atkinson, a well-known philellene, was instrumental in having the Pontian genocide recognized by the South Australian parliament in April.
Accepting the award Mr Atkinson said how honoured he felt to be called “Trantellena” (thirty times Greek) and expressed his gratitude to the Pontian Federation for giving him the opportunity to stand up for truth and justice.
Last year Mr Atkinson had come under attack when he unveiled a plaque at the Immigration Museum in memory of the Pontians massacred in the 1910s.
“It’s easy to argue about the maltreatment of not only the Pontian Greeks, but also the Assyrians and the Armenians, because it’s true. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this argument” Mr Atkinson said while emphasizing the importance of discussing these issues in public fora.
Mr Atkinson acknowledged the support of the former leader of the opposition Mr Martin Hamilton-Smith in passing the resolution recognizing the genocide of the Christian populations unanimously.
However, Michael Atkinson has also been involved in two controversies, the ‘stashed cash’ affair, and allegations concerning former Labor MP Ralph Clarke and government staffer Randall Ashbourne.
Source: Neoskosmos.com.au, wikipedia
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