Last week, on the third floor of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV), a sizable crowd gathered, eager to honour the contribution to the culture and the education of the Greek Community by Kyriakos Amanatides.
The event, organised by the Greek Consul General, Mr Christos Salamanis, paid homage to what he termed an, “unsung hero of the Greek community.”
In his opening remarks, poet and writer, Kostas Kalymnios observed that, “people of the historical importance of Kyriakos Amanatides, do not need honours bestowed upon them. Rather, it is the entire Hellenic world that is honoured by recognising his contributions over many years.”
Mr Kalymnios underscored Kyriakos Amanatides’ long-standing contribution as secretary of the Committee in Support of Human Rights for the Greeks of Northern Epirus and as a member of the Panepirotic Federation of Australia.
A number of speakers, themselves educators and cultural leaders in their own right, stood to praise Mr Amanatides’ contribution to the cultural life of the Greek Australian community.
Dr Kostas Vitkos, Professor George Kanarakis, Christos Fifis, Makis Kasapidis, Vlassis Mavraganis and Tassos Douvartzides, each focused on the influence and far-reaching impact Mr Amanatides has had upon their lives and the whole Greek Community.
Mr Amanatides has been a chief examiner for Modern Greek in Victoria, a teacher, a mentor, an author and critic; a founder of the Greek-Australian Cultural League of Melbourne; the editor of Greek literary journal Antipodes.
Through his long-standing weekly column in Neos Kosmos, he continues to reflect and add to the conscience of an entire generation.
Mr Amanatides’ daughter, Kalle, spoke in English about her childhood memories, explaining how her father’s “social and educational mission was inextricably intertwined within her upbringing.”
A slideshow of photographs, compiled by the Education Attache of the Greek Consulate Mr Ladopoulos, depicting Kyriakos Amanatides’ early life and progression as a respected community stalwart and intellectual was then screened.
In closing the event, Consul-General Christos Salamanis presented Kyriakos Amanatides with a commemorative certificate and a selection of the works of some of the greatest Greek authors.
The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria presented him with an inordinately large bouquet of flowers.
Mr Amanatides thanked all present, attributing his success to the “unfailing support of his wife and poet, Dina Amanatidou.”