ASTORIA – A moving farewell event was held in honor of the outgoing Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador Vasilios Philippou, organized jointly by the Federation of Cypriot Organizations, the PSEKA and the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce at Dionysos Restaurant in Astoria.
“Tonight I do not consider it farewell. I consider it an honorary meeting with my second family,” Amb. Philippou said, noting that his role as a diplomat did not have a simple professional tone.
“It’s not a job, it’s a mission that does not have specific hours or weekends off. The time is for the community, for Cyprus and its struggle. I am glad that I had the opportunity to serve a special Hellenism,” he said, adding that he “has a clean conscience clean.”
“I have found that for each person, the post assigned to him, should not be regarded just as an office, but as a mission. I was wondering if I would meet your expectations. I now have my conscience quiet, towards you and towards Cyprus.”
Closing his speech, Philippou called on his wife, Anthea, to receive the gifts and take commemorative photos. At the start of the event, U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney presented him with a Congressional proclamation.
The event was attended by, among others, the Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, PSEKA President Philip Christopher, Federation of Cypriot American Organizations President Kyriakos Papastylianou, Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Nicolas Nicolaou, New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides, andHellenic Medical Society of New York PresidentDr. George Liakeas.
“He has always acted in the interests of Cyprus”
PSEKA President Philip Christopher, who was the coordinator of the event, expressed his respect for Amb. Philippou and noted that he and his predecessors now have the rank of Ambassador.
“Mr. Theofilos is an Ambassador to Germany, Mrs. Sophianou in Spain. Mr. Philippou already had the rank of Ambassador, but he will now be the Ambassador to Canada, where we also expect great things from him.”
Taking the floor, Kyriakos Papastylianou said that “Vasilis Philippou never saw the community as a job” and “never did anything for his personal benefit.”
On behalf of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber, Nicolas Nicolaou, praised the direct co-operation he had with Philippou whom he did not hesitate to call “Mr. Network,” for the fact that he always connected the Chamber immediately and always with important companies and entrepreneurs.
Consul General of Greece Konstantinos Koutras also spoke warmly about Vasilios and Anthea Philippou noting that they are “two rare people, you were lucky to have them here.”
“Congratulations on the new post and, who knows, the world of diplomats is small and we can meet again sometime,” Consul Lana Zochiou saidin her remarks.
Aristos Constantine- Trade Commissioner of Cyprus also noted Philippou’s hard work and wished they would work together again soon.
Capital Link Founder, President and CEO Nicolas Bornozis acknowledged the important role of the outgoing Consul General in organizing the successful investment forum for Cyprus last March, where important insights were presented from the business and policy areas.
Next month, Amb. Vasilios Philippou assumes his new post as Ambassador to Ottawa, Canada, committed to maintaining contact with his friends and former associates in the United States.