JOHANNESBURG – On the 25 November 2021, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, celebrated his 67th birthday at The Hellenic Community of Germiston in Johannesburg.
The last of the missionary tour of Patriarch Theodore II in South Africa was dedicated to the expatriate Greeks in the Johannesburg area.
A Patriarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated, presided over by Patriarch Theodore II at the Greek Orthodox Church of St Johns the Forerunner, at the Hellenic Community of Germiston, concelebrating with the local Metropolitan Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod Archimandrite Nicodemus Totkas and clergy of the Holy Metropolis.
Present also were the Ambassadors of Egypt Ahmed El Fadly, of Serbia Goran Vujicic, of Ukraine Liubov Abravitova, of Belorussia Alexander D. Sidoruk, and of Cyprus Antonios Mandritis, the Charge d’Affaires of the Greek Embassy Stefanos Ioannides, and the Consul General of Greece in Johannesburg Ioannis Hatzantonakis.
During the Divine Liturgy, Patriarch Theodore awarded honorary distinctions to distinguished members of the Greek community.
The Alexandrian Primate consecrated as Archon Officials of the Alexandrian Throne according to “Patriarchal sense of honor and choice” as a reward for services to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa.
In particular, the Patriarch consecrated Mr Nikolaos Giokos, Mr Ioannis Baladakis, and Mr Ioannis Filippou, Archon Office Bearers, of the Apostolic and Patriarchal Throne of St. Mark, for their contribution to Orthodoxy and Hellenism in the great and hospitable land of South Africa.
He then awarded the Holy Cross of St Mark to Nikitas Korfias former Chairman of the Hellenic Community of Benoni, Basil Giannoulias Chairman of the Hellenic Community of Springs, Costa Carastavrakis Chairman of the Hellenic Community of Johannesburg, Alexandros Iakovides for his contribution to the Church of St Johns the Forerunner and the Hellenic Community of Germiston, Azar Jamine for his contribution to the Church of St Nicholas of Japan and Nikolaos Ekonomakis sponsor of the Church of St Theodore of Tyre in Stilfontein.
At the reception held in honor of Patriarch Theodore hosted by the Hellenic Community of Germiston in St Johns Hall, in the presence of members of the diplomatic corps, Mrs Anastasia Giokos, wife of the Honourary Life President of the Hellenic Community of Germiston, Mr Nikolaos Giokos, welcomed and addressed the Patriarch warmly.
The Serbian Community honored the Missionary Patriarch with dances and gifts for his birthday.
A wonderful lunch followed, during which the Patriarch, filled with emotion, cut his birthday cake and accepted the wishes of those present.
Prior to his departure, Patriarch Theodore addressed a message via internet to the Greek youth, the transmission of which was undertaken by the Hellenic Federation of South Africa.
He flew back home on the 26th November.