On October 30th, Montrealers of Greek descent and all their friends celebrated the national holiday of October 28th at the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal.
On October 28, 1940, the Greek government rejected the ultimatum of fascist Italy, which wanted to occupy Greek territory and occupy part of it. In response to this refusal, the Italian troops stationed attacked the Greek border at five-thirty in the morning, triggering Greece’s participation in the Second World War and the first resistance faced by the fascist troops. October 28th thus represents the proud Hellenic spirit of independence and freedom, becoming one of the two national festivals of Greece.
The day began with a solemn doxology at St George’s Cathedral, celebrated by His Eminence Sotirios. Our flag-bearers, of course, did honor to the Socrates-Demosthenes School.
The ladies of the Philoptochos of Saint-George’s subsequently served a delicious snack to welcome all participants, including many dignitaries, Greeks and non-Greeks, who made it a point to celebrate. You will find at the end of this text the list of all our distinguished guests.
The official dinner took place in the Grand Hall of the HCGM.
The children of the Socrates-Demosthenes choir marvelously sung the national anthems of Canada and Greece under the direction of their marvelous choir mistress, soprano Maria Diamantis.
The Metropolitan Sotiris, Ambassador Georgios Marcantonatos and CHGM President Nicholaos Pagonis all presented well-thought-out speeches on the deep meaning of the day’s celebrations.
The students of the Socrates-Demosthenes high school impressed the audience by reciting “Οι γειτονίες του κόσμου” by the poet Giannis Ritsos. As for Nikos Danopoulos, the president of the students of the Aristotelian school, he conveyed a vibrant message to the Greeks outside Greece so that the Hellenic culture continues everywhere.
Mr. Pagonis then presented two honorary plaques to two organizations that have distinguished themselves for decades in Greek culture. The laconian fraternity of Canada has existed for more than 80 years, its president is Mrs. Panagiota Tamvakologou-Kyriakou. The Greek folk troupe Syrtaki has involved dancers of all ages for more than 35 years. Its president, Mr. Kostas Oikonomidis, moved the assembly by playing an evocative air on the flute.