On Tuesday, November 1, at a modest but moving event hosted in a packed hall at the Saint Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia awarded the “Good Samaritans” of the Greek Welfare Centre, that is, the volunteers of the Organisation who are at the forefront of a titanic struggle to support our weak and vulnerable fellow human beings.
The Greek Welfare Centre of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia has a long history of reaching out and social work, starting in March of 1975. All these years, thousands of cumulative volunteers dedicated themselves body and soul to the noble purposes of the Organisation, while their contribution during the last three years was particularly commendable when the Australian society, like all humanity, was tested by the health crisis and the restrictive measures for the coronavirus.
These new conditions, on the one hand, negatively affected the lives of people who belong to the most vulnerable categories, and on the other hand, made the efforts of the management staff and volunteers of the Greek Welfare Centre difficult. However, by general admission, the Organisation of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, under the guidance of the Director, Mr. Steve Magdalopoulos, managed to adequately respond to the challenge of the pandemic, even expanding its services and programs, in order to meet the needs of as many cared for individuals and families as possible, from the Greek Community and from the wider Australian society, without discrimination.
For these reasons, the Archbishop’s address during the event was particularly warm to all the staff and volunteers of the Greek Welfare Centre, with particular emphasis on the volunteers, who dedicate their precious time and energy to help their fellow human beings, mainly because they do it with dedication, self-sacrifice and a lot of love. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios expressed his heartfelt thanks to the volunteers, as well as the gratitude of the entire local Church, while assuring them that he is and will continue to be by their side, to help them in whatever is required.
In addition, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia described the Greek Welfare Centre as a “pride” and a “blessing” for the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, while he gratefully commemorated his predecessor, Archbishop Stylianos of blessed memory, during whose days the organisation was founded. He also did not fail to mention with reasons of thanks to the person of Elder Stefanos Pantanassiotis, who envisioned and started the blessed charitable ministry of the local Church through the Greek Welfare Centre.
“For all those who worked for the Greek Welfare Centre and have passed away, I pray for God to rest them with the Saints and the Righteous, and for those who are alive, I wish them many happy, blessed, fruitful and prosperous years, with health and much joy in their lives, and above all to have strength to be able to continue this work which you diligently and successfully carry out, for the glory of Christ, for the glory of our Holy Archdiocese and for the salvation of our faithful brothers and sisters”, the Archbishop concluded.