The newly elected SAE Canada Youth Network Coordinating Council members, Tasos Mastorakos, Michalis Gekas, Costas Bonis, Apollo Retsinas, Patricia Maragos, Emanuella Pontikakis and Helen Cosmas held their 1st meeting in Montreal on June 20-22, 2008.
On Saturday, June 21, 2008, Mastorakos and the Coordinating Council members were received in the Hellenic Community of Montreal by President Ioannis Theodosopoulos who welcomed them and assured them of the Community’s and the Greek Community of Montreal unreserved support to their work.
The meeting was held in the Hellenic Community of Montreal Little Parliament in a cordial and friendly atmosphere in the presence of Canada Region Office Director Anastasios Mousas who stated his full satisfaction for the high level of the talks and the meeting’s outcome.
Among the issues discussed were: Founding Assembly delegate proposals, the Network’s new Charter and by-laws, Coordinating Council member jurisdiction, construction of website and drawing up of networking and support strategies for Greek-Canadian youth. They also agreed on the continuous communication and briefing of the Coordinating Council members and Hellenes in Canada.
The Youth Coordinator gave an interview to Odyssey Television and Demetrios Elias’ radio show on CFMB. The discussion was substantive and constructive. Among the issues tackled were youth networking in Canada, Greek-speaking education, establishment of closer relations between the youths in Canada and Greece and the promotion of Greek culture.
Later in the evening of that day, the Youth Network members attended Hellenic Community of Montreal festivities on the occasion of the St John Festival in South Coast and the Youth Coordinator addressed a message.
On Sunday, June 22, 2008, the Youth Network members attended a holy liturgy at the St George church officiated by Rev. Fr Panagiotis Salatellis who welcomed them formally and wished them strength for their new duties. The swearing-in of the Hellenic Community of Montreal new Board members was held after the holy liturgy. The Youth Network Coordinator attended the handing over ceremony and the formal meeting of the Community Board as an honored guest and congratulated new President Balabanos and members.
The Youth Network Coordinator gave a press conference to the city’s Greek-speaking media and underlined the need for continuous communication and harmonious cooperation with all Greek expatriate organizations for the common good. In the contacts he had, stressed the need for better coordination and organizing and greater youth participation in community affairs. He stated characteristically that “the youth across Canada will unite voices and being an advisory body to the Greek State we will present our proposals. Our goal is to make the young Canadians of Greek origin stronger to be able to pass on the Greek ideals, language, culture and the Greek-Orthodox faith to the new generations.”