A call for Restructuring and Renewal at the Hellenic Community of Montreal

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To: The Hellenic Community at large, the HCGM membership and the HCGM President and HCGM Board of Directors

On the Eve of the 200 years of the rebirth of the Greek nation, the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal (HCGM), finds itself in a crisis of confidence and trust and not only. Just as the Greek nation was reborn 200 years ago starting with the creation of the Company of Friends (Filiki Eteria), so too it is perhaps time to start a new Company of Friends for the rebirth of the HCGM. A rebirth that passes through a necessary reorganization and subsequent renewal.

For far too many years the HCGM has been operating in a manner that has alienated vast numbers of our community, is perpetually on the brink of financial disaster and offers no vision for the future to the newer generations of our community. Ever growing numbers of our community see little or no reason to support the flagship of Hellenism’s presence in Quebec and indeed Canada. This is not only the fault of the people in office over the years and it would be wrong to simply seek the removal of those presently in office. The problem, at its core, is a structural one.

A major Reorganization of the HCGM needs to be undertaken if it is to be seen as a credible institution that promotes  the progress of the Hellenic community of Montreal at large. Our cultural heritage, our religious heritage, our traditions and more importantly our  Hellenic values need to be a springboard for healthy integration into the broader Quebec and Canadian society.

We are punching far below our weight as a community, and this needs to change!

One week ago I met with an initial group of founding members of the Company of Friends.The seriousness, commitment, enthusiasm for the cause, the standing and representativity of the group, has convinced me to devote time and effort to this cause.

The names of the initial participants of the Company of Friends will be released along with the names of everyone that has raised their hand, to move forward with us since then. I expect many more to join this cause over the next few weeks.

The Company of Friends has been created with a view to initiating a movement for change that seeks to bring together a broad spectrum of all the components of our community. From the early Greek families that built the HCM as it was called, to the newest arrivals of post crisis Greece and everyone in between.

The purpose of the Company of Friends is to bring together everyone that can see the need for structural change in the HCGM and agrees on a Common Platform based on three principles:

  • Decentralization,
  • Professionalization of management,
  • Transparency and Involvement.

Without divesting or separating the HCGM from any of its mandates,  the services it offers need to be put in the hands of those that are most involved and concerned by their success, its management needs to be put in the hands of accountable, professional staff, overseen by a volunteer Board that sets objectives and priorities and works to keep the membership motivated and involved.

A Draft Common Platform that elaborates on these principles is presently serving the participants in the Company of Friends as the basis of discussion for the formulation of the final version in the next few weeks.

The final version will serve as the framework for the overhaul of the internal by-laws of the HCGM without which, no significant change can endure.

The Company of Friends is not a political team aimed at taking over the HCGM.

It aims at being as inclusive as possible.

It is open to everyone that espouses the Common Platform including the present administration of the HCGM.

In fact, the most ardent wish the Company of Friends is that the present administration of the HCGM will espouse the basic principles of the Common Platform as its own.

We would welcome a formal mandate from the President of the HCGM and the HCGM Board for the Company of Friends to submit to the HCGM the  necessary by-law changes before the end of 2021.

That can be  our way, as a diaspora community, of joining Greece’s 200 year celebrations and ensuring hellenism’s flourishing for the next hundred years in Montreal.


Christos Sirros

July 23, 2020.

If you want to be a part of this movement or want  more information, you can contact:   hcgmrenewal@outlook.com

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