A Message from the President – August 2016
We are already in the last month of summer and vacations are at their peak. Nevertheless, there are important issues that need observation and decisions to be made. The open case of Koimisis tis Theotokou Church reconstruction is first on our agenda hence we are going to make a decision in order to rebuild it as soon as possible. There are two different parameters that we have to take into consideration: Firstly the cost of the reconstruction and secondly the fast completion of the work. These days, the HCGM is under negotiations in order to reduce the cost of building at the price level that has been approved by the General Assembly. Let me assure you that we are doing everything in our power to achieve our goal: the reconstruction of the church as soon as possible.
August the fifteenth is one of the most significant celebrations of the Greek Orthodox Faith, the day of Koimisis tis Theotokou (The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos) which commemorates the “falling asleep” of Mary the Theotokos, and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. This day is also known as “summer’s Easter” and is gloriously celebrated by all Orthodox Christians around the world. As every year, we will be celebrating this day at the site of Koimisis tis Theotokou Church. The Procession of Virgin Mary’s Holy Icon and Vespers will take place on the 14th of August, where His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios will be in attendance.
Moreover, we are proud and honoured to announce the inauguration of the HCGM École Socrates-Démosthène High school. It is a dream that has come true. Many years of efforts by so many people brought today’s achievement, which is tremendous considering it is the first of its kind around the globe. The school’s first students will be remembered as pioneers and they are the ones who will begin writing its history. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to their parents who took the decision of sending their children to our new high school without hesitation or second thoughts.
Next, this year 25 students of the HCGM “Socrates-Démosthène” School, accompanied by Campus III principal, Christo Filandriano and teacher Lison Thibot, visited Greece. Our children embraced their heritage, learned a lot about the land of their ancestors and enjoyed their vacations in the land of the light, Hellas. We are overjoyed from their journey’s results and we are eager to repeat it next year with even more participants.
Furthermore, this year’s 3 day festival at Evangelismos tis Theotokou Church, “Panigiri Evagelismos – La Flame Hellénique”, is organised by the Montreal Regional Council and its organising committee, will commence on Friday the 19th. It is a great opportunity for all of us to meet, enjoy, and celebrate in our unique Greek style.
Last but not least, the third week of July was “National Drowning Prevention Week”; some useful tips in order to be water smart at the pool or on vacation, were given to you by the Hellenic Social Service’s Director, Eleni Fakotakis.
Finally, on the 5th of August the spirit of Olympism and its universal values will be on display once again to all mankind. This gift from the Greeks to humanity reminds the whole world the value of our ancestors’ contributions to the modern civilization. Values like «Ευ Αγωνίζεσθαι » and «Ευγενή Άμιλλα» (fair play and emulation) have no second in our world. We will all proudly watch our flag enter the stadium first and listen to the Olympic Hymn one more time. For these 31st Summer Olympics, let us wish for the best to win.
Nicholas T. Pagonis