HCAAO Get-together Dinner 2008, opening remarks

Sunday, February 3, 2008 Opening Remarks by Prof. Theodore Tolias, President, HCAAO

Honorable guests, dear colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen, Good evening!

On behalf of the Hellenic-Canadian Academic Association of Ontario, please allow me to extend to all of you a very warm welcome to the 10th annual Get-together Dinner of our association! This is going to be a good evening indeed!

I see here with us tonight colleagues and friends from all across the province of Ontario. From the University of Western Ontario, the University of Waterloo, Brock University, McMaster, Queen’s, Toronto, Ryerson and, of course, York University. Welcome all.

For those of you unfamiliar with our association, let me just say that the Hellenic-Canadian Academic Association of Ontario was established 17 years ago, in 1991. Its members are primarily university faculty from across Ontario.

Since its inception, our association has actively participated in many major initiatives relating to the advancement of Hellenic language, history and culture in Toronto and the province of Ontario. Most importantly, our association is very proud to have participated in the process for the establishment of the HHF Hellenic Studies Chair and Program at York University in 2001-2002.

The history of the Hellenic Studies Chair and Program at York has been one of success and growth. Now, that Dr. Tom Gallant, the former chair holder, has moved on to other things, and the search for the new chair is already on, we remain optimistic and we have every reason to expect further success and growth in the future. As always, this association would be very happy and ready to help in this direction in any way it might be asked to help.

Our special guests tonight represent educational, cultural, fundraising, community and governmental institutions and organizations with a great history of contribution to the community in their respective domains of activity. We know for a fact that Hellenic Studies at York has certainly benefited greatly from all of them in a variety of ways.

We are therefore delighted to have with us here tonight the new President of York University, Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri with Mrs. Shoukri, the Vice-President Academic of York University, Dr. Sheila Embleton, the Dean, of the Faculty of Arts at York, Dr. Robert Drummond, the new President and Executive Director of ROM Governors’ and former Ontario Liberal MPP for Hamilton Mountain, Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, the President of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation, the primary donor organization for the establishment of the Hellenic Studies Chair at York, Mr. John Sotos and last but not least, the Consul General of Greece in Toronto, the honorable Efthymios Efthymiades.

Dr. Shoukri and Dr. Bountrogianni, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you both on behalf of all of us here tonight on your respective appointments to leadership positions of such great consequence. Congratulations!

Ms. Eirini Moschaki will cover the event for OMNI TV.

Once again, I welcome you all to our 2008 Get-together Dinner!