Canadian President Report

UPDATE from CANADIAN PRESIDENT AHEPA – GEORGE VASSILAS

Dear readers,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to this meeting.  AHEPA, as you know, promotes the ancient ideals of Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility as well as Family & Individual Excellence.

AHEPA is a GLOBAL grassroots organization that exists in many countries including USA, UK, France, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Australia, Cyprus & Greece.

AHEPA in Canada is currently in 14 cities.  We are looking to grow by adding Halifax, Quebec City, Kingston, Niagara/Ste. Catharines, Saskatoon, & Richmond.

In 2013, AHEPA in Canada celebrates our 85th year anniversary.  Our first Chapter was started in Toronto on October 28, 1928 and by 1939, AHEPA was across Canada.  Our membership total in 2013 grew by 10% and we look to continue that positive trend.

Our Chapters across Canada continued to have successful events to lend a hand both locally and to Greece & Cyprus.

Toronto:  The Toronto AHEPA staged the presentation of the Kazantzakis play, He who must Die.  (O Estavromenos).  The Toronto AHEPA presented this play, with volunteers who were actors, stage hands, etc.  They raised funds for their scholarship program.

In February the Montreal AHEPA Family raised money for the McGill University Chair of Hellenic Studies.  This project will establish a permanent Chair for the teaching of Hellenic language, history, culture.

canpres

In March, Regina, the AHEPA Family there continued to leave a legacy by raising monies for their local Hospitals.

Vancouver had a successful fundraiser to raise money for Camp Met – BC

In April, AHEPA Canada held a Parliamentary Banquet Honouring our Parliamentarians and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  This event was attended by many dignitaries including Ambassador Eleftherios Angelopoulos, Metropolitan Sotirios, Minister of Labour Lisa Raitt, Senator Leo Housakos (member of AHEPA Montreal), Supreme Justice Andromarche Karakatsanis, MP Costas Menegakis.  Although the Prime Minister was not in attendance, we had a private audience with him on May 9 to present him with the AHEPA Socrates Award.

This Parliamentary Banquet also revealed that there is a lack of a Hellenic voice in Ottawa.  During the entire banquet, Labour Minister Raitt was asking me questions on the videos we were presenting that evening.  Those videos spoke to:

1)      The illegal occupation of northern Cyprus

2)      The Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Theological school of Halki

3)      The Pontian Genocide

4)      F.Y.R.O.M

5)      The Parthenon Marbles

6)      Greece / Turkey Relations

7)      Defending of Greece and Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone

As we do globally, AHEPA Canada will do everything in our power to raise awareness of these issues in Ottawa.

Excursion to Greece:  Every year, AHEPA travels to Greece & Cyprus to meet with Government officials.  I was honored to be representing Canada on this excursion to Greece.  We had progressive meetings with The Prime Ministers, Presidents as well as many important ministers from both countries.

Greece Donations:

–          AHEPA Canada purchased a Hard Bronchoscopy Unit for the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens.

–          AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki has received many donations from AHEPA members around the world.

–          Evangelismos Hospital in Athens has the AHEPA wing.

–          AHEPA members around the world supported both hospitals by shipping 5 containers.  Each was filled with 1 million dollars’ worth of medical equipment each.

–          Apostoli.  AHEPA has supported the APOSTOLI food program.  We have helped to feed approximately 400 – 500 families a month in Athens over the past 12 months

–          AHEPA has established an international Hospital committee; The goal of that committee is to work with the Hellenic Ministry of Health coordinate all the medical donations.

 

We are always looking for new members.  If you wish to join, reach out to me and lets discuss how you can best promote and defend Hellenism

Respectfully submitted,

 

George Vassilas

Canadian President

514.909.8277

AHEPA