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Justin Trudeau Joins Montreal’s Greek Independence Parade

Trudeau Greek Independence Parade
“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate Greek Independence Day than Montreal,” Trudeau said. Credit: Twitter/Justin Trudeau

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked in Montreal’s Greek Independence parade on Sunday afternoon.

A sea of white and blue flags dominated the parade in the Parc-Extension neighborhood.

The parade, whose grand marshal was Quebec’s minister responsible for the fight against racism, Christopher Skeete, has been a tradition in Montreal for over 40 years.

“There’s nowhere I’d rather celebrate Greek Independence Day than Montreal. I’ve been coming here for years to mark this day – and it’s always a pleasure. Zito Hellas!” Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and mayor Valerie Plante were happy to participate and waved to the hundreds of spectators lined up on Jean Talon Street.

The parade lasted about 45 minutes with Greek schools, organizations, dancers and dignitaries. Liberal MP for St Laurent, Emmanuela Lambropolous said it’s important to celebrate her roots.

“Its’ always nice to come back and commemorate and honor the heroes of 1821,” she said.

“I think all Greeks feel that we owe our freedom to them because they’re our ancestors and they fought courageously,” added Lambropolous.

Greek Independence Parade organized by the HCGM

The parade is organized by the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal (HCGM) every year.

“It’s a fantastic event celebrating 202 years of Greek independence,” said HCOM VP Michael Tsoukas.

“As a Hellenic Montrealer it’s my big pleasure to be here participating,” he added.

The HCGM also held a series of commemorative events leading up to the parade. On Friday, March 24th, it hosted an official dinner at the “Salle Québec” of the Hellenic Community Centre Adrian Maris, where it presented the “Hellene of the Year” award to a Greek nominee in recognition of their social contribution, scientific or business successes.

On Saturday, March 25th, Greek Canadians of Montreal gathered for the laying of the wreath ceremony in front of the Cenotaph of the City of Laval.

The following morning, Sunday, March 26th, the celebrations continued with a Doxology at the Greek Orthodox Church Evangelismos tis Theotokou, located at 777 St-Roch in the Parc-Extension borough.

The HCGM has been serving the Greek population of the greater Montreal area (Montreal, Laval and South Shore regions) since 1906. For over 100 years, the HCGM has continuously been representing Quebec citizens of Hellenic Origin who have settled, and continue to settle, in the greater Montreal area.

The HCGM provides the population of Greek origin with a variety of services, including education, church services, social services and cultural events.

Earlier in March, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias paid a visit to the Hellenic Community Centre of Greater Montreal and thanked the Canadian diaspora for preserving Greek culture and language.

“I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of the Greek government, for preserving one of the things that bind us all together, and that is our language,” Dendias said.

“Because our language is this essence that carries a 3,000-year-old tradition with it,” he added.

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