ASTORIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York on May 21 honored the outgoing Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador Vasilios Philippou, who takes up his new post in Ottawa, Canada on June 1. The event took place at the Stathakion Center where Amb. Philippou was presented with a plaque and warm words of appreciation for his service and best wishes for the future.
“We came here to honor a good friend, a good diplomat, and a man whom we love and is loved by the community, but we are sure he also loves the community,” said Federation President Petros Galatoulas, the coordinator of the event.
“We do not write history, you judge us, you evaluate us, you give us the power to do our mission. It is not a job, it is a daily commitment to the homeland,” Amb. Philippou said in his speech. He was visibly moved by yet another event of appreciation from the Greek-American community.
The Consul General of Greece in New York, Konstantinos Koutras, presented the plaque, noting that Amb. Philippou embodies “the vision of the Ecumenism of Hellenism.”
“I believe that Ambassador Philippou is a man whose mandate in America embraces the vision of the universalism of Hellenism. It was something he taught and communicated. Greeks and Greek Cypriots united, as a “punch” for the big goals, “said Mr. Koutras.
The ethos and contribution of Vasilios Philippos was also shown by the former President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies, Elias Tsekerides, referring to a recent article in the National Herald.
“The article said that you should be called a member of the omogeneia with all the years you spent in New York. We love you and we are confident that your term in Canada will be a great success. When you love what you do, you know you will have a success conclusion.”
Greetings were also offered by the Consular Coast Guard, Fotios Kiamos- Head of the Maritime Department for the Greek Consulate, Maria Stratakis, and Mrs. Kalyvas from the Pan-Messenian Federation.
The speeches were followed by a lunch and two cakes, contributed by Mr. Nikolopoulos, one of which was in honor of Consul General Konstantinos Koutras who was celebrating his name day.