On Sunday January 19th, 2020, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios celebrated his name day at Le Montage, Sydney.
This special occasion united over 1300 prominent guests from Sydney’s Greek-Australian community, and the wider Australian community. Special guests included Your Eminence Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea, representing his All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of our Mother Church, Your Excellency the Honorable Margaret Beazley, Governor General of New South Wales, Senator Andrew Bragg representing the Honourable Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, and The Honourable Anthony Albanese, leader of the Federal Opposition.
His Eminence gave a full-bodied speech which he started by acknowledging the horrific impacts of the Australian bushfires.
“Despite the formal celebratory character of tonight’s event, it remains overshadowed by the recent destructive fires tormenting our land,” began His Eminence. His acknowledgement was followed by a minutes silence.
The Archbishop used the opportunity to publicly appreciate and acknowledge the overwhelming love he has been showered with since his arrival in Australia, mid last-year.
“My presence here tonight at the celebration of my name day is part of this climate of joy. I feel the need to thank you with all my heart and to assure all of you that your presence and your love, your words and your prayers are, for me, the greatest spiritual support. I thank you for everything and I paternally bless you,” said His Eminence.
He then continued to outline the different Greek-Australian culture that has generationally emerged.
“The first migrants worked hard. They built schools, Churches, institutions and educated their children. Today, in the universities of Australia, so many young people of Greek heritage are studying and they are making us proud,” said His Eminence.
His Eminence also specifically thanked the Governor General, the Prime Minister of Australia, Senator Andrew Bragg, and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese for their warm welcoming and continued support of the Orthodox people and of His Eminence, personally.
Commemorative medals for contributions to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and the Greek Community of Australia
His Eminence awarded 22 medals to individuals across Australia, to honour their contributions to their community.
- Mr Nicholas Arhondonis, the brother of our Patriarch, who has never received any ecclesiastical distinction, even though he is very philotimos, generous, and he supports the work of the Church.
- Mrs Marina Constantine, the benefactor of the land and the Church of St Marina, on which will be built an English- speaking parish in the district of Rouse Hill.
- Mr Nakos, James Jordan, chairman of St Basil’s and together with the members of the Board of Directors offered the land and the necessary funds to build the new St Andrew’s Theological College.
- The gentlemen: Mr John Barboutis,
- Mr Angelos Hatsatouris and
- Mr Apostolos Salakas, the three members of the Committee of the Castellorezian Home who transferred the building to the Archdiocese.
- Mr Theodosios Penklis, the personal doctor of the late Archbishop Stylianos and the Vice-President of St Basil’s who worked without any expectations and with complete dedication next to the late Archbishop.
- Mr Paul Nicolaou serving our community, especially with his assistance with political matters, and who organized my visits to the Prime Minister, to Members of Parliament and to the Senate.
- Mr Luke Tsougranis, Civil Engineer, and co-worker of the Holy Monastery of Pantanassa. He was proposed by the most Reverend Abbot of the Monastery, Archimandrite Eusebios.
- Mrs Evgenia Kalogeropoulos, Teacher of the Greek Afternoon School of St Nicholas Marrickville. She was proposed by the parish preist, Very Rev. Archimandrite Christodoulos Economou.
- Mr Kallinikos Charalambos, President of the Community of St Stephanos. He was promoted by the Parish Priest Fr Stavros Ivanos.
- Mr Ioannis Stamatis, Chanter of the Parish of St Constantine and Helen, Perth. He was proposed by His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kianeon.
- Mr Thomas Triandafillos who, from 1993, serves with dedication, the parish of St Ioannis, in Cairns. He was proposed by the parish Priest, Fr Menelaos Hatzoglou.
- Mrs Katherine Giannopoulos, who was proposed by the director of St Basils, Fr Nicholas Stavropoulos, for her volunteer work at St Basil’s.
- Mr. George Timotheos proposed by Very Reverend Fr Constantine Varipatis of St Stylianos of Gymea, NSW.
- Mr Nicholas Tasios proposed by Very Reverend Fr John Grillis, parish priest of St Athanasios, Rookwood NSW.
- Mrs Amalia Santa, proposed by Reverend George Liangas, parish priest of St Nektarios, Burwood, NSW.
- Mrs Vasiliki Fotiadou, Teacher in the parish of All Saints Belmore and proposed by the parish priest Very Rev. Archimandrite Apostolos Trifillis.
- Mrs Helen Tzika working for ESTIA since 1995 and till today continues to be responsible for the Development and the Work of the Organisation. She was proposed by Fr Angelos Aliferakis the founder of the organization.
- Mrs Chrysanthi Tsatalios, volunteer for the upkeep and beautification of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Kogarah. She is a member of the Philoptohos, a member of committees for charity drives, and on committees to serve those who are ill. She was proposed by Very Reverend Archimandrite Sophronios Konidaris.
- Mr Emmanuel Kallinikos responsible for construction works on Bribie Island, proposed by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Militoupolis.
- Mr George Amarandos, responsible for the Nursing Home of St Nicholas in Brisbane, and proposed by the Very Reverend Fr Dimitri Tsakas, parish priest of St George Brisbane.
To end his speech, His Eminence focused on unity.
“Please let us be united. Our unity is not a luxury or a matter of choice. It is a necessary element, because unity belongs to the nature and the presentation of our Church. Also, please let us love each other,” said His Eminence.
“And, finally, I ask all of you, to try to improve every day through inner spiritual work; to become better people, because we are all members of Australian society and when we improve ourselves, we are also improving a part of the body of our society to which we belong. After all, the greatness of our heart will appear not so much in our capabilities to change the world, but in the endeavours we undertake to change ourselves.”