The passing of Nikos Manginas might not be considered an important event by many. And this, not because he is not a significant person, but because he served Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Hellenes Abroad, and the Nation, quietly.
We saw him as the photographer, the shadow of the Ecumenical Patriarch. This was an important mission. His photographs will be historical treasures of Patriarch Bartholomew's pastorate forever.
But that was just one of his roles.
Above all, he was a faithful man, devoted to Patriarch Bartholomew, to the Hellenes of the city of Constantinople, and to Hellenes of the Diaspora all over the world.
I got to know Nikos better in recent years. He did not talk much, but there was depth in his thinking. Our views coincided in many ways.
He ‘left’ as calmly and quietly as he lived. The news of his death on Saturday morning shocked a large group of people.
We were shocked not only because his death was premature and unexpected, but also because we know that he leaves behind a void.
Of course, none of us is irreplaceable, but as far as I am concerned, Nikos was a bridge between then and now. He had a deep knowledge and awareness of the history of the Ecumenical Throne and the tragic events of the Greeks of Constantinople and Asia Minor.
And his admiration for the Patriarch and his unwavering belief in the absolute need to secure the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate came from deep within him.
I experienced the late Nikos as a conscientious Diaspora Hellene, one devoted to the issues of the Diaspora in the place where he lived, but also in any part of the world where Greeks live. As a man of the Diaspora who loves his motherland, despite her sometimes misguided actions that could cause bitterness.
With these few words I honor and thank Nikos, as one Diaspora Greek to another. As an expatriate, I am aware that we survived outside Greece, in places near and far, from ancient times until now, because of a few dedicated, humble, faithful ‘workers’ of Orthodox Christianity, of our culture and history, and of our Nation, such as Nikos Manginas.
May his memory live forever!