The Deputy Minister of External Affairs of Greece, Mr Antonis Diamataris, visited Canada and more specifically the cities of Montreal and Toronto. In Montreal, he visited the Consulate General of Greece, the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal, its schools and other institutions. In Toronto, he visited the Consulate General of Greece, other organisations and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada.
On Friday, November 22nd, he visited the Greek Orthodox Day School “Metamorphosis” of the Archdiocese. The Principal of the School, Mrs Anna Sarantidis, the teachers and the children greeted him with great enthusiasm. They chanted hymns. They sang songs. They danced Greek dances.
The Deputy Minister was very pleased and spoke to the children with much love. He congratulated the Principal, Mrs Sarantidis, the teaching staff, and Archbishop Sotirios. Archbishop Sotirios spoke to the children as well, about the Greek fatherland, and about Christmas.
Afterwards, the Deputy Minister accompanied by Consul General Mr V. Maligoudis and Mr Emmanuel Kambourakis, along with Archbishop Sotirios, the school Principal, Mrs Lucy Grigoriadis and Mrs M. Lichnakis, Councillor of Education, visited the students in their classrooms.
The Deputy Minister was very impressed with the excellent facilities but also the school equipment and above all, with the fact that not all the students are of Greek origin, but all speak Greek well.
After visiting the Day Greek School, the Deputy Minister visited the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Orthodox Theological Academy of Toronto. At the entrance hall the students and the dean Fr. Alexandros Salmas welcomed and sang the Students’ Anthem but also the Hymn of the Greek- Canadian. Then in the chapel of St. John the Theologian, they chanted the apolytikia of St. John the Theologian and Panagia of Toronto (Torontoessa). It should be noted, that all the hymns are poems written by Archbishop Sotirios.
Afterwards, Archbishop Sotirios gave the Deputy Minister and those accompanying him, a guided tour of all the facilities of the Theological Academy and the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Sotirios had a lengthy private conversation with Deputy Minister Diamataris. After this, in the board room of the Holy Archdiocese, coffee was offered and they discussed various topics with the Deputy Minister and all those who accompanied him.
On Friday night the annual dinner of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation “HHF” was held, many participated, including Archbishop Sotirios and the Deputy Minister, who both spoke. The “HHF” is one of the most important Greek organisations in Canada which supports Greek Studies in Universities. Archbishop Sotirios and Deputy Minister Mr Diamataris congratulated the “HHF” organisation for its impressive action and its great results.
On Saturday, November 23d, at noon, Archbishop Sotirios held a luncheon at the Archdiocese for the Deputy Minister. At the luncheon, besides the Deputy Minister and Archbishop Sotirios, participants were the Consul General Mr V. Maligoudis, V. Rev. Alexandros Salmas the dean of the Theological Academy, Mr Emmanuel Kambourakis and Mr S. Volonakis, Director of Greek Education of the Archdiocese for all of Canada.
During the luncheon, many topics were discussed. The Deputy Minister expressed his interest and great love for our Church in Canada and its institutions. He wholeheartedly praised Archbishop Sotirios for all the accomplishments of the Church in Canada.