PHOTOS: Immigrec – My grandfather, an immigrant

École Socrates-Démosthène students organized a spectacular event, the Immigrec project, last Thursday, on May 24, 2018. There was a series of exhibits and activities taking place on and off the stage, describing the Greek immigrant wave that occurred from the ‘40s to the ‘70s.

This unique event was not only addressing teachers and students as an act of appreciation and love. It was a Homeric epic that continues to this very day: our parents’ and grandparents’ journey from their economically and politically challenging childhood lives in Greece, to their new lives, the “unknown” they found in Canada.

Our Greek teachers, in collaboration with McGill University, guided and encouraged our students to explore their grandparents’ journey from the motherland to Canada. Through their engaging texts, songs, dances and theatre, Grades 5 and 6 students from every campus of École Socrates-Démosthène, enacted what their grandparents’ journey meant to them: hope, fear, love and life in Canada.

Scattered throughout the in the Québec hall of the Adrian-Maris Hellenic Community Center, were items of life once lived and of a life now enjoyed: passports, identity cards, suitcases, pictures, boarding passes, dollies and detailed scripts of journeys from all parts of Greece to Halifax and then over to Montreal were on display at every corner of the Hall. What was evident was that whether it be by ship or by airplane, our grandparents and parents persevered through incredible turbulence to make a life for themselves and for us here in Montreal. This is what was also emphasized by HCGM President Nicholas Pagonis during his speech where he admired and congratulated the students for their inspirational presentation.

We owe everything we have as a community to these people and it was our privilege to have honoured them in this way!