BOD Meeting: March 2021

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021 the monthly meeting of the HCGM Board of Directors was held, in the presence of the media, on the Zoom platform.

After the establishment of Quorum, prayer, and the acceptance of the minutes from the previous Board Meeting, the President of the HCGM, Andreas Crilis proceeded with his report.

President’s Report

The President began his report on a sombre note with a statement about the recent passing of Mr. Constantinos Lagouros, Archon Protopsaltes – Archon Protonotarios of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Mr. Lagouros served as Protopsaltiat our Koimisis tis Theotokos and Evangelismos tis Theotokos churches for nearly 40 years. Not only a protopsalti, he was a teacher and mentor and friend to many of us. His voice was a gift, one that lifted the prayers and spiritual healing of hundreds of thousands of Montreal faithful. It is a loss for our community and he will be missed. The President then went on to share another piece of sad news regarding the passing of our fellow Board Member and friend, Mr. Elias Makris. Mr. Makis had requested and was on a leave of absence from the Board at the time of his passing, but he served the HCGM for many years and was always available to volunteer his time. He will be remembered by us as a man who loved our community and who always spoke from the heart. Mr. Makris was a private man and his family requested that we respect his privacy and not make any further announcements. The President then asked all in attendance to observe a moment of silence. Mr. Makris will always be in our thoughts.

Moving on to the affairs of the community, the President announced that the next runner-up, Mr. George Kanellakis, has been contacted and has accepted the vacancy left on the Board of Directors. He will be sworn in shortly and will join us at our April meeting.

Two important virtual meetings are taking place this week. On Monday evening, March 8, the President had the privilege to co-host with the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Montreal, Mr. Michalis Gavriilidis an online meet and greet for Her Excellency Konstantina Athanassiadou, the new Ambassador of Greece to Canada, to introduce her to the leaders of various Hellenic organizations in our community, as well as our politicians of Greek origin at all levels of government. The media was invited to observe. On Wednesday evening, March 10, the President will be co-hosting with the Member of National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Chomedey in Laval, Mr. Guy Ouelette, a webinar with a panel of doctors from Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux, who will provide us with an update on the latest Covid-19 related information, including vaccination. We have invited various groups from within the HCGM and our Hellenic community at large, to participate and learn from this meeting.

Planning continues for our 25th of March Celebrations. Our plans are obviously scaled down considerably due to COVID, but we will do our best to celebrate. On March 25th, we will have a virtual parade on our social media channels with videos from the various campuses. We invite parents with children at home to dress them up in ethnic costumes and share their photos and videos with us. Our radio show with the support of MIKE FM, “Ta Molivia Ston Aera” will present an hour of patriotic songs, poems and essays. The City of Laval is organizing a ceremony on the 25th of March and has invited the President to be part of that day. Our Doxology will be held on March 28 with a small group of guests, respecting all COVID guidelines. Also on March 28, our Supplementary Education schools will share their projects to commemorate Greek Independence Day.

Our membership drive continues and we ask everyone in our community to sign up or renew their membership. Regarding the Foyer, the President reiterated that the property is being managed and administered as efficiently and effectively as it has been done in the past. A Press Conference will be held to announce this historic transfer and discuss this matter in greater detail.

Treasurer’s Report

In her report, Voula Neofotistos confirmed that DAS is being paid as usual.

Secretaries Reports

The Secretary of Social Services, Anna Dimitrokalis, announced that our four submissions for funding have all been approved, totalling $190,000. These funds will allow our Social Services Department to continue to support various programs for our senior population in 2021- 2022. She also shared that our employees in Social Services are making phone calls to our seniors who are alone or not mobile, who may need help to register online for their COVID vaccination appointment and/or to get to their appointment.

The Vice President of the HCGM South Shore Regional Council, Aphrodite Stathopoulos announced that a spaghetti lunch/makaronada take out fundraiser benefiting St. John the Baptist Church will be held on the South Shore on March 13 (for dinner) and on March 14 (for lunch). The activity is being organized by the HCGM Regional Council with the collaboration of the South Shore Ladies Auxiliary.

The Secretary of Real Estate and Procurement, Achilles Nicopoulos, reported that the real estate department has been busy with regular maintenance of all the buildings. We continue with inspections and maintenance of the schools as required by the ministry. The application to the Conseil du Patrimoine Religieux du Quebec has been submitted for the request of grants towards the St.George Cathedral restoration. The projected cost of works over the next four years is close to $2.5 million. The urgent needs are approximately $835,000. If any grant request, for all or a portion of the works, is approved, we will only know by the end of this summer. Either way, we will need to raise funds to proceed with the repairs to the church building.

The Chairman of the Board and Vice President of the HCGM Laval Regional Council, Dennis Marinos announced that the Laval Regional Council is taking the lead on a “Bakaliaro and Skordalia” take out dinner fundraiser on March 25th, celebrating Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation of the Theotokos. This will be part of the special festivities the HCGM is planning to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of this important day in our history.

The Secretary of Youth,Emanuella Stratoudakisshared that a meeting was held recently between the HCGM and the Hellenic Board of Trade to discuss opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations. It was a productive first meeting with more to follow.

The Vice President of the Montreal Regional Council and Secretary of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Alex Vasilogiannis shared that a successful take-out lunch fundraiser was held jointly by Evagelismos and Koimissis on February 28. Following a record-breaking take-out lunch fundraiser on March 21, St. George Cathedral will be holding a makaronada take-out lunch on Sunday, March 14.

The next speaker was the Secretary of Public Relations, Dimitris Katsaounis. He presented the logotype that shall be used in all HCGM’s events celebrating the Greek Revolution’s bicentennial anniversary. It was designed by Paris Petrou, Director of Public Relations and Marketing. Mr. Katsaounis referred to the News Bulletin forthcoming issues’ main contents, also mentioning that the Public Relations and Marketing Committee is meeting regularly every week to prepare and supervise activities that promote the HCGM. He concluded by saying that during the 25th of March celebrations, we shall see various activities like the schools’ virtual parade, promotion of plenty of messages, and other activities highlighting this important to our nation day. 

A question period by the members of the Board of Directors and the members of the Media followed.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 13, 2021.