11-year-old Greek Australian hero still honoured a century after his death
On 9 June 1918, a young boy by the name of Hector Vasyli was killed in a shocking accident.
The 11-year-old Greek Australian often took part in parades hosted in Brisbane to welcome home the return of the soldiers who fought in the First World War, where he would wait with chocolates and cigarettes in hand that he had purchased with his own pocket money as welcome gifts.
But that day would turn fatal for the boy. While awaiting in anticipation, an oncoming vehicle swerving to avoid a car in the procession, hit Hector, fracturing his skull and killing him.
Despite such a short life, Hector, a newspaper boy, was well known amongst the community, particularly for his patriotism.
This year marked 100 years since his death, but the Greek community of Brisbane has ensured his spirit continues to live on.
Every year on Anzac Day, members lay wreaths at a stone tablet, located at the southern end of Victoria Bridge, which commemorates Hector with the following inscription:
“During his brief sojourn on earth he devoted much of his time to patriotic work for Australian Soldiers during the Great European War.
“In his veins ran the heroic blood of Greece, and in the breast of a child he carried the heart of a man.”
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