Christos Karras, the Consul-General of Greece in Sydney and Katia Gkikiza, the Trade Commissioner of Greece in Australia have completed their term in Sydney and will be leaving Australia on 30 September.
The outgoing Consul-General expressed his gratitude to the Greek-Australian community earlier today.
“My spouse, Katia Gkikiza, Trade Commissioner of Greece in Australia, and I would both like to extend to you our deep gratitude and appreciation for the cooperation and support offered to us on many occasions during our stay in Sydney,” Mr Karras said.
“Ιt has been a real pleasure for us to be part of the Greek-Australian community of Sydney and we will continue to feel so for the rest of our lives. It has been an honour and privilege for both of us.”
Mr Karras, was awarded the Silver Cross of St Andrew the Apostle by Archbishop Makarios of Australia in recognition of his contribution to the local Greek community last Friday, 23 September.
Mr Karras received the award during a vespers service held at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and our Lady of Myrtles in the Sydney suburb of Kogarah.
After honouring Mr Karras with the Silver Cross, Archbishop Makarios addressed the church congregation and praised the Consul General for his contribution to Hellenism in New South Wales, emphasising his response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
The Archbishop also mentioned Mr Karras’ good cooperation with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, and expressed his heartfelt thanks to Ms Gkikiza, who will also depart Australia at the end of the month.
In response, the Consul General thanked Archbishop Makarios for the award both as an individual and on behalf of the institution he represents, while expressing gratitude for the warm relationship he developed with the Archbishop as well as with all the bishops and clergy.
Pointing out that the Antipodes is home to one of the most important and dynamic parts of the Greek Diaspora, Mr Karras expressed his confidence in the ability of the Archbishop to successfully respond with his spiritual guidance.
“It is certain that the virtues you have demonstrated in the three years of your ministry thus far,” he said, “will function as a catalyst to the successful completion of your mission, to the promotion of the rich heritage and universal ecumenical values of Orthodoxy, to the fulfillment of the expectations that have been entrusted to you by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the flock of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.”
“It was a joy, honour and privilege to be, for these five years, a member of the Greek Australian community of Sydney and I will continue to feel a member of it for the rest of my life,” Mr Karras said.