Πραγματοποιήθηκε με εξαιρετική επιτυχία την Κυριακή 11η Nοεμβρίου τ.έ. η Ετήσια Χοροεσπερίδα της Κοινότητας Αγίου Παντελεήμονος Harrow και Περιχώρων BΔ Λονδίνου, στη μεγάλη Αίθουσα Eκδηλώσεων.
Στη Χοροεσπερίδα, στην οποία συμμετείχε πλήθος μελών και φίλων της Κοινότητας, παρευρέθηκαν ως επίσημοι προσκεκλημένοι της Κοινότητας οι εξής: η Δήμαρχος του Harrow Cllr. Kareema Marikar, με τη συνοδό της, ο Βουλευτής της περιφέρειας Harrow East κ. Bob Blackman, ο Βουλευτής της περιφέρειας Brent North κ. Barry Gardiner, ο Κτήτορας του Ιερού Ναού Αγ. Παντελεήμονος & Αγ. Παρασκευής κ. Πανίκος Ηροδότου, Άρχοντες και πλήθος μελών και φίλων της Κοινότητας.
Κατ’ αρχάς δόθηκε ο λόγος στους εκλεκτούς καλεσμένους οι οποίοι απηύθυναν θερμά λόγια και εγκάρδιους χαιρετισμούς. Ομίλησαν δε με ιδιαίτερα κολακευτικά λόγια για την προοδευτική Κοινότητα, και προσέφεραν την ολόθερμη υποστήριξή τους στην επίλυση των διαφόρων Κοινοτικών θεμάτων. Eπίσης, αναφέρθηκαν στην Ημέρα της Mνημοσύνης, αναφορικά με τους δύο Παγκόσμιους Πολέμους του 20ου αι., η οποία τιμούνταν εκείνη την ημέρα.
Ο Βουλευτής κ. Bob Blackman ανέφερε μεταξύ άλλων:
«...We are working towards a united Cyprus. We observe the illegal invasion of Turkey to EEZ of Cyprus… In reference to the Remembrance Sunday, we acknowledge that Cyprus and Greece had offered many men and women at the 2 World Wars of the 20th century».
Ο Βουλευτής κ. Barry Gardiner ανέφερε μεταξύ άλλων:
«...Remembrance is so important for all nations. So many young people lost their lives in the World Wars. Commemorating their lives is a significant event in any organised society. It restores faith in the democratic values».
Κατόπιν ο Πρόεδρος της Κοινότητας Δρ. Παναγιώτης Προκοπίου, ομίλησε στην αγγλική, καλωσορίζοντας τους καλεσμένους και συνδαιτυμόνες με θερμά λόγια. Μεταξύ άλλων ανέφερε:
«On behalf of St. Panteleimon and St Paraskevi’s Greek Orthodox Church Committee, I would like to welcome you all to our 43rd Annual Dinner & Dance.
This event which takes place in early November is a good opportunity for the members and friends of our Community to get together, relax, have a nice meal and enjoy Greek music and dance. It is also a great opportunity for fund-raising for the many needs of our church, including repayment of the loans incurred during the building works for the new church.
We are honoured to have among us the Worshipful Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Kareema Marikar, and the two great friends of our community, the Rt.Hon. Member of Parliament for Harrow East Mr Bob Blackman, and the Rt.Hon. MP for Brent North Mr Barry Gardiner. We are also very pleased to have with us the great benefactor of our community Mr Herodotou, who came from Cyprus specifically for this event.
I would like to thank each and every one of you present here tonight for all your support, in all our activities all these years. Without your support we couldn’t have achieved anything that we managed to do so far.
Special thanks are due to the following people:
· The members of the Ladies Association and their president Mrs Alexandra Constantinou for all the hard work they have done in organising this event.
· To Mr Tony Vouros and the staff of One stop coordination for tonight’s catering.
· To our musicians George Gregoriou and Nicos Savvides for the entertainment.
· To Father Anastasios Salapatas and Mr Pantelis Demosthenous for organising the Dinner and Dance brochure, copies of which you can find on your table.
· To Mr George Frangeskou and his staff at GPS Limited for printing it.
In addition, I am grateful to our accountant, Mr James Yerou, for doing the Church accounts, free of charge, for the past three years. This is a great example of voluntary work that charities as ours rely upon, and an example that I encourage more people to follow.
During the last six months there were two events that are worth mentioning here. On 1st July Father Constantinos Papageorgiou joined our Community as a second Priest. Fr. Constantinos served the Greek Community of St Luke in Glasgow for the past 20 years. We take this opportunity to welcome him to Harrow and wish him well. The second event is the terrible loss of Pani Argyrou, the youngest member of the Church Committee, who sadly passed away in April at the young age of 29 years old.
The Nursery of St Panteleimon is working at full capacity and accepts children from all ethnic communities, present in Kingsbury. The Hellenic College, under the direction of Fr Anastasios, teaches Greek Language up to GCSE and A Level with excellent results at last summer’s examinations.
The St Panteleimon football team, commonly known as the “Saints”, are doing very well. Last summer they were promoted to the Premier Division of Middlesex County Football League. The manager of the team Mr George Frangeskou and several of the players are among us here tonight. I welcome you all, we feel proud of your achievements so far, and we wish you all the best for the future. The team are always expecting all the football fans of this community to support the “Saints” at least at their local matches.
Today is the eleventh day of the eleventh month and throughout the world the centenary of the end of the First World War is commemorated. This war that caused 9.7 million deaths of military personnel, 10 million deaths of civilians, 21 million wounded people, and which was then followed by the Spanish Flu, that killed a further 40 million people is a stark reminder of the total catastrophe that is brought upon people by intransigence and hatred. Greece was asked by Britain to join the war in 1914, however, the Greek government was reluctant to do so, as the country had just come out of the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913. In 1916 however, Greece was invaded by its neighbours and was forced to join Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Serbia against the Germans, Austro-Hungarians, Ottoman Turks and Bulgarians. The war saw the end of several European Empires, such as the Russian, German and Ottoman Empires, and the creation of new states in Europe and elsewhere. Despite the collapse of the Ottoman empire, the Turkish state continued to be involved with several wars, such as with Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Iraq and recently Syria against the Kurds, in other words with all its neighbours.
There were high hopes last year that a solution to the Cyprus problem would be near, however, the insistence of the Turkish government to have a military presence on the island after a solution was reached, caused the collapse of the negotiations. Furthermore, following the discovery of substantial quantities of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Turks are repeatedly threatening both Cyprus and Greece militarily, building a war industry in Turkey, increasing the size of their military capabilities and disregarding the lawful agreements that the government of Cyprus has made with its neighbours Israel, Egypt and the Lebanon. In fact, earlier this year the Turkish navy blocked the drilling platform of the Italian oil company ENI from performing their explorations. In a few days’ time, the American oil company Exxon Mobil is due to start drilling in another area of the Cypriot Exclusive Zone and we are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this development.
The UK is a guarantor power of the independence of Cyprus, and the Cypriot people are expecting the British government to pro-actively take initiatives to defuse the threats of any military action by the Turks and ask them to come back to the negotiating table with sensible proposals and not threats of annihilation.
Finally, I would like once more to thank everyone here present and to wish you an enjoyable evening».
Ακολούθησε διασκέδαση και χορός. Τα λαχεία προώθησαν οι Κυρίες της Βοηθητικής Αδελφότητας, με επικεφαλής την Πρόεδρο κα. Αλεξάνδρα Κωνσταντίνου.
Τα πλούσια δώρα της λαχειοφόρου αγοράς κέρδισαν οι λαχνοί με τα παρακάτω νούμερα: 013, 156, 161,169, 291, 299, 348, 367, 371, 389, 416, 440, 449, 478, 530, 545, 569, 572, 613, 618, 885.