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Greek Orthodox community gathers for annual ritual

Shepparton's Greek Orthodox community gathers for annual ritual to mark holy epiphany

SOPHIE MALCOLM January 7, 2013 7:08am

Boys and young men of Greek heritage dive into the pool to retrieve the cross at Aquamoves.

The coming year looks set to be a lucky one for Travis Georgopoulos.

Yesterday the 15-year-old was triumphant at the Shepparton Greek Orthodox community’s annual Blessing of the Waters ceremony at Aquamoves, attended by more than 100 people.

Travis followed in his older brother and past winner’s footsteps to be the first to retrieve a golden cross from the pool and secure what is said to be a year of fortune.

Yesterday marked the Holy Epiphany, which is held on January 6 every year to acknowledge the baptism of Jesus Christ and bless the Orthodox community.

Shepparton Greek Orthodox Church committee member Paul Giankos said the festival saw boys and young men dive into the Aquamoves outdoor swimming pool for the cross, which had been blessed by a priest and thrown into the water.

Travis said it was ‘‘not long’’ after the cross was thrown in that he managed to recover it.

‘‘I saw it, so I thought it was pretty easy,’’ he said.

When asked if he felt any of the good luck working yet, Travis was confident in his answer.

‘‘Heaps,’’ he said.

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