March 25, 2021 – A Day to Remember

The HCGM would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all those who helped make March 25, 2021, the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution, a day to remember.

All of us, working together, we became a city of blue and white. Celebrating Greece’s Bicentennial in a pandemic is not what we expected when planning began last year. Despite this huge challenge, everyone in our community came together to commemorate and celebrate this historic day. The whole truly is stronger than its parts, but we also need to acknowledge those that played a part in yesterday’s events. Every contribution no matter how big or small is important to us, and our apologies if anyone was missed.

Before getting to our acknowledgements (below our Photo Gallery from the days activities) we would like to take a moment to say that March 25th marked the transition of modern Greece to its third century. Such a historic moment deserves more than just one day and one celebration. Yesterday was just the starting point. We have much more in store to celebrate Greece, and to share it not just amongst ourselves, but with the entire world!

We will start by thanking YOU, the people of our Greek community, who followed us on social media, posted patriotic messages of support, decorated their homes in blue and white, or sent us pictures and videos from the days activities.

To the City of Laval, Marc Demers, Stéphane Boyer, conseiller municipal de Duvernay Pont-Viau, Vasilios Karidogiannis Conseiller dans L’Abord à Plouffe and Aglaia Revelakis, thank you for your initiative and leadership in organizing the Flag Raising, Online Ceremony, Wreath Laying and Illumination of City Hall in the colours of Greece. Thank you to Consul General of Greece in Montreal Michalis Gavriilidis for your presence at City Hall, as well as that of Annie Koutrakis, Member of Parliament for Vimy and Fayçal El-Khoury, Member of Parliament for Laval Des-Iles.

Thank you to the City of Montréal, Mayor Valérie Plante and Jimmy Zoubris for flying the Greek flag proudly over City Hall, a gesture normally reserved only for founding groups.

Thank you to Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Mayor Dimitrios Jim Beis and his Borough Council for spearheading a moving and symbolic gesture recognizing this historic day. Thank you to Consul General of Greece in Montreal Michalis Gavriilidis and Consul General Haiti in Montreal Dr. Fritz Dorvillier and Effie Giannou Karmiris, City Councilor in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville Borough for your participation that morning.

Thank you to Mary Deros City Councilor for Park Extension and Josue Corvil City Councilor of St Michel for your show of support at your Borough office. We also thank Mary Deros for proposing a motion, supported by Jim Beis and Effie Giannou Karmiris, to highlight the 200th Anniversary of Greece’s Independence Day on March 25 and to recognize the historic, economic, cultural, social and artistic contributions of Greek community in Montreal.

Thank you to Saint-Laurent Mayor Alan DeSousa, Maire de Saint-Laurent and his Council for proposing a motion, to recognize the 200th Anniversary of Greece’s Independence Day on March 25.

Thank you the City of Cote St. Luc. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Dida Berkuand Mitch Kujavsky for also flying the Greek flag at their City Hall.

Thank you to the City of LaSalle, Mayor Manon Barbe for their wishes towards the 200th Anniversary of Greece’s Independence Day.

Thank you to the administration, teachers and students of Socrates-Démosthène and Supplementary Education (St. Nicholas, Platon Omeros and Aristotelis) for their tremendous work organizing online celebrations for Greek Independence Day. These online events will be posted for all to enjoy in the days to come.

Thank you to 105.1 MIKE FM for collaborating with the HCGM on “Ta Molvia Ston Aera” a special hour of songs and poems the students from our École Socrates-Démosthène on the Greek Revolution and Greece’s fight for independence.

Thank you to Hellenic Radio CFMB for hosting segments with the students from our École Socrates-Démosthène campus Socrates V.

Thank you for the Laografiko Ergastiri Montreal – LEM for their video contributions to the online celebration, demonstrating for all to see that love and pride for our Greek traditions and customs are alive and well in Montreal.

Thank you for all the video messages celebrating the Greek Bicentennial, from H.E. Archbishop Sotirios, from the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, from Greece (Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Κωνσταντίνου Βλάση) from the High Commissioner Βασίλης Φιλίππου and Honorary Consul of Cyprus Vivian Cyriacopoulos, and from all levels of our government (federal, provincial and municipal) and even from other ethic communities (Jewish and Armenian). You can find all of these messages on the HCGM Facebook page.

With all of this planned for months, there still managed to be a few surprises:

Thank you to Ezio Carosielli for his gesture lighting up the Théâtre Rialto in blue and white. As all Greek Montrealers know, this theatre is very near and dear to our hearts.

Thank you to Nick Papagiannis for his help to illuminate our beautiful Evangelismos Tis Theotokou Church in blue and white. The church will remain illuminated until Saturday.

This brings us to our biggest surprise of all, the illumination of the Samuel-De-Champlain and Jacques Cartier Bridges! Thank you to the Federal government (Catherine McKenna, Pablo Rodriguez , Emmanuella Lambropoulos and Annie Koutrakis) for this very special gift. Thank you also to Mary Deros and to Hellen Christodoulou, Canadian Director of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction for adding their efforts and voices to the HCGM’s, on behalf of the 70,000 Montrealers of Hellenic descent.

Lastly, thank you to all those from the HCGM Board of Directors and the Regional Councils that contributed to the success of yesterday.

A bigger thank you though goes to all our employees and four in particular, Lemonia Strapatsas, Paris Petrou, Jim Koroneos and Ed Perkins, without whom none of these events or activities would have been possible.