Famed Greek popular singer Antonis Remos made a visit to the Greek Centre in Melbourne on Sunday, accompanied by his maestro Vasilis Panagiotou and Greek Australian promoter Vasilis Mavrogiannis.

Remos was welcomed by GCM president Bill Papastergiadis, GCM board members Marinini Pirpiris, Helene Hiotis, Leonidas Vlahakis, and GCM staff Jorge Menidis and Antonia Tsamis.

During his visit, Remos was taken on a tour of the Greek Centre, which was hosting events for the Comedy Festival. He expressed his admiration for the GCM’s education and cultural programs, which were explained to him by the hosting party. He also spoke about the various influences of music in Greece and the importance of cultural influences on people, particularly young people.

Bill Papastergiadis and Antonis Remos. Photo: Supplied

Remos emphasised to the leadership that people need to exhibit as musicians and referred to various initiatives he has proposed to the Greek Ministry of Culture on mentorship programs that he was keen to involve himself in for kids in Greece.

“Wherever I travel around the world, I feel that I come to communities that speak to a real Greek culture and identity thriving in these distant places,” Remos said.

Bill Papastergiadis presented Remos with a gift pack that included the GCM’s new history book that was recently published. He noted that the GCM has a rich cultural program that spans the entire year and involves most aspects of culture from live music, dance, film, lectures, and theatre.

Antonis Remos at the Greek Centre with the president and members of the GCM. Photo: Supplied

Of particular interest to Remos was the discussion of the Greek Summer Cultural Camp program in Thessaloniki, which the GCM started last year and is looking to run again in 2023. “Forty young people on a hosted cultural excursion through Northern Greece funded initially with the support of the Greek Foreign Ministry,” explained Papastergiadis, “with the benefits for the participants spilling well beyond the 10 days of the camp itself. We see energized young people return with a desire for Greek content – I am sure some of the 2022 cohort will see your shows whilst you are here because of newfound enthusiasm in Greek cultural practice.”

Remos was moved by what the GCM hosts had to say as the diaspora has a particular relevance for him as he originated from Dusseldorf which had a profound influence on him. Leaving the Greek Centre, Antonis Remos congratulated the hosts and wished them success in the GCM’s future projects.