A Message from the President – March 2017
“We, descendants of the wise and noble peoples of Hellas, we who are the contemporaries of the enlightened and civilised nations of Europe, we who behold the advantages which they enjoy under the protection of the impenetrable aegis of the law, find it no longer possible to suffer without cowardice and self-contempt the cruel yoke of the Ottoman power which has weighed upon us for more than four centuries,- a power which does not listen to reason and knows no other law than its own will, which orders and disposes everything despotically and according to its caprice. After this prolonged slavery we have determined to take arms to avenge ourselves and our country against a frightful tyranny, iniquitous in its very essence, – an unexampled despotism to which no other rule can be compared.”
-Greek Declaration of Independence, Epidavros 1822
Every year at this time, we are given the opportunity to remind the world of the virtues of our nation; to show them what heroism, selflessness, sacrifice and faith in freedom is. Greece and Hellenes of the Diaspora celebrate our national independence; the day when a handful of heroes – in a united front – liberated the country from the Ottoman rule. The HCGM honours our Greek Independence Day with a series of events, including a unique music concert, scheduled to take place at the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian Maris, as well as, the spectacular Greek Parade on Jean-Talon Street. Our students along with participants from local Greek associations and other ethnic communities march proudly in celebration of our national holiday. It is, for us, an honour and a privilege to be there.
For us, of Greek Orthodox faith, March 25th has a great religious significance. It is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when we celebrate the announcement by Archangel Gabriel to Our Lady that she would conceive and become the Mother of Jesus. Each and every year, our churches are filled with members of our faith, to celebrate this holy event. To better keep you informed, we have posted on our Website, our Churches Schedules for the Great Lent period.
During my recent trip to Greece, I visited the Medical Association of Athens and met with its President George Patoulis. We discussed their upcoming visit to Montreal and their two-day convention “Health Tourism in Greece”, that will be held at the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian-Maris on March 28-29, 2017. I invite you all to participate in this great opportunity and inform yourselves on this initiative that benefits both Montrealers and Greeks.
After a brief absence, the Montreal Greek Film Festival is back on the screen. The HCGM is a major partner of this artistic event, which, through the art of cinematography brings us closer to Greece. I highly recommend this year’s tantalising edition.
In closing, I wish to once again express my gratitude to the participating members of “Taste and Tradition” for their constant and unwavering support to our cause; our schools. This year’s edition raised $34.743. Thank you!
With so many reasons to be proud, I wish to all of you: «Χρόνια πολλά!», «Ζήτω η Ελλάδα!».
Nicholas T. Pagonis