Greeks show pride at Friday evening gala for Independence Day

Hellene of the year 2022 was Montreal physician Dr. George Tsoukas

Hundreds of patriotic Greek Montrealers converged on the Hellenic Community Centre in Montreal’s Côte des Neiges district on the evening of Friday March 25 to take part in the annual Greek Independence Day gala.

For Greeks around the world, March 25, 1821 marked the beginning of the revolutionary fight that ended 400 years of Ottoman rule. Following a protracted war in which Greek patriots received support from Russia, Britain and France, Greece finally received recognition from the world as an independent nation in 1832. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the last time the festivities took place was back in 2019.

Many notable guests

The 2022 Hellene of the Year was Dr. Lila Amiralli of the McGill University Department of Child Psychiatry, seen here with Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal president Andreas Crilis.

Among the dignitaries seated at the head table were Greek Consul General in Montreal Michalis Gavriilidis, Saint-Laurent Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Park Extension city councillor Mary Deros, Bordeaux-Cartierville city councillor Effie Giannou, Laval-Les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury and Vimy MP Annie Koutrakis. Also seated at the head table were Sainte-Rose MNA and parliamentary secretary Christopher Skeete, Laval city councillors Aglaia Revelakis and Vassilios Karydogiannis (representing Mayor Stephane Boyer), Saint-Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa and Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal president Andy Crilis.

2022 Hellene of the Year

The 2022 Hellene of the Year (chosen by a nominating committee that included Bishop Iakovos and Dr. Lila Amiralli of the McGill University Department of Child Psychiatry), was Hellenic Community Fundraiser committee president and well-known Montreal physician Dr. George Tsoukas.

President Andy Crilis speech

Better have an hour of free life than forty years of slavery and prison. -“I have sown a rich seed; The hour is coming when my country will reap its’ glorious fruits” !!, Dear friends…, Feraios did not live to witness Greece’s independence, but his words echoed…, reaching Greece with the hope and the optimism which the Greeks were about to live. We must be proud!, we must remain true!, first to ourselves!, then our faith and to our Greek roots, because surely if our forefathers managed to hold dear these sentiments for over 400 years!, we too can pass them along to future generations for many years to come.

Children’s poetry and singing A choir of children from Montreal-area Greek schools demonstrated their proficiency in the Greek language while performing Hellenic folk songs and reciting works of Greek poetry. The national anthems of Greece and Canada were sung by students from École Socrates-Démosthène.