With the blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the spiritual leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) held the Annual Archons Dinner on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at the Metropolis Cultural Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
In advance of the dinner, on Monday, October 17th, the Metropolis Council held its Fall Session where many reports were tabled and examined and important issues concerning the Church in Canada discussed. Nearly all Council members participated in the activities the following day.
The Archons dinner celebrated both the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, as well as the 25th Anniversary of the Enthronement of His All-Holiness; it was attended by more than 300 individuals, including many dignitaries. The evening began with a Vespers service at the Church of St. Nicholas presided over by Metropolitan Sotirios which included the investiture of seven new Archons.
Following the holy service, parishioners and guests made their way to the Cultural Centre. The dinner started with an opening prayer and a video address by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This was followed by introducing the head table guests and the new Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
James Anas, President of the Archons of Canada, offered welcome remarks and introduced Archon Depoutatos Spyros Volonakis, the evening’s keynote speaker. Mr. Volonakis presented a well-researched and instructive speech about the Holy and Great Council, in addition to a brief biography of the Ecumenical Patriarch and summary of his accomplishments since his enthronement in 1991.
Short greetings were also offered by Archon Nicholas Pagonis, President of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal; His Excellency Pavlos Anastasiades, High Commissioner of Cyprus in Canada; and, His Excellency Georgios Marcantonatos, Ambassador of Greece in Canada. There was then a musical interlude enjoyed by all which consisted of chanting by Reverend Fathers and students of the Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy, including the Polychronos of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Finally, Metropolitan Sotirios addressed the distinguished gathering and conveyed the love, good wishes and blessings of His All-Holiness, and thanked all of the organizers and volunteers – particularly Rev. Fr. Fanourios Pappas and Ms. A. Sotiropoulos from the Community of St. Nicholas – who worked tirelessly for the success of the 2016 Archons Dinner. Above all, he thanked and glorified the Triune God.