Greece received recognition as an independent nation in 1832
Hundreds of patriotic Greek Montrealers converged on the Hellenic Community Centre in Montreal’s Côte des Neiges district on the evening of Friday March 24 to take part in the annual Greek Independence Day gala.
For Greeks around the world, March 25 in the year 1821 marked the beginning of the revolutionary fight that ended 400 years of Ottoman rule.
A historic event
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.
For Greeks every year, the commemoration date also has deeply religious significance as it falls on the feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Christian Orthodox tradition.
Among the dignitaries seated at the head table at this year’s celebration at the Hellenic Community Centre on Wilderton Ave. in Montreal’s Côte des Neiges district were Greek Consul General in Montreal Katerina Varvarigou, Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal president Dr. George Tsoukas, Saint-Laurent Liberal MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos, Park Extension city councillor Mary Deros, Brossard mayor Doreen Assaad, Chomedey MNA Sona Lakhoyan-Olivier, Vimy MP Annie Koutrakis and Laval-Les Îles Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury.
Also among those seated at the head table were Laval city councillors Aglaia Revelakis and Vassilios Karydogiannis, Saint-Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa and Bordeaux-Cartierville city councillor Effie Giannou.
The commemoration date also has deeply religious significance
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.