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Argos Orestikon donates $1 million to GCM

altThe Victorian Association of Argos Orestikon and District (Orestias) proudly announced that donated the sum of One million dollars to the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria.

This donation is as a result of the sale of their club premises in Hughesdale, Oakleigh.

Orestias firmly believes that its own future like many other Hellenic associations would one day come to an end. It was important therefore to our Founding Members, and all of our members that the blood sweat and tears shared in the development of the association are not wasted.

After much deliberation the association considers its future prospects, and the potential future of its Third and Fourth generation members will be best served as part of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria.

The Club shall continue to operate within the new purposefully built Hellenic associations club floor, and the administration rooms within the Greek Community headquarters at Lonsdale Street Melbourne.

The Victorian Association of Argos Orestikon & District (Orestias) was formed in 1954. Over the years the association enjoyed great support and prosperity, to the degree were in 1994, thanks to the generosity and tremendous efforts of amazing individuals like Nikos Sikavitsas (President), Jim Megas (Secretary) and Costas Siskos (Treasurer), Vangelis Spyrou and many more inspiring and hardworking members, they finally had enough support to proceed with the purchase and extensive renovations of the new club house at 85-87 Warrigal Road, Hughesdale, Oakleigh.

“The new home of Orestias was established and their dream was realised”

This new home was host to many wonderful and unforgettable social and formal gatherings as well as many overseas and local dignitaries’ visitations.

Of recent times and like many Social Hellenic Associations/Clubs in the Diaspora, the new generation membership is declining. As a result the current executive including the new president - Leonidas Ouzounis, Jim Megas and Costas Siskos together in discussions with Harry Patras, Chris Sikavitsas and Bill Papastergiadis were able to offer a new possibility and revival of the Club, it’s future and the future of the next generations, keeping alive our rich and proud cultural Hellenic diversity and spirit. The current board includes Messrs Vasilliou, Genitsiadis, Dernikos and Partalis.

Mr Ouzounis, President, says:
“We are confident we, together with the amazing individuals whom are no longer with us (especially to the foresight & dedication of our previous president, the late Mr. Nick Sikavitsas) that all our efforts, hard work and dedication to our Heritage have a greater chance of prosperity, and that our future lay in working closely supporting and being supported by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria”.

Mr Ouzounis adds:
“We see our donation of One Million Dollars to the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria as an investment not only into our future as Orestias but also keeping alive our Kastoriani culture and our legacy when we are no longer around”.

“At the same time we are also greatly contributing to the success of the GOCMV, with its extensive and diverse education, cultural and social programs, which appeal not only to the broader Greek community but the community in general, we as Hellenes must support them” says Mr Ouzounis.

Mr Ouzounis explains his vision and says:
“They are one significant Hellenic link that future generations will be able to relate to outside of the efforts that we all make at home and with our own families. The success that the GOCMV has had in recent times is quite extraordinary (especially important as we smaller clubs are slowly declining and have not managed to attract younger members). It is led by an enthusiastic and visionary President, Mr Bill Papastergiadis with a capable, diverse and equally enthusiastic board made up of second and third generation Hellenes. This is remarkable and comforting for us, the future of our religion, culture and language for those of us who made the decision to call Melbourne home many years ago and for more recent arrivals of Hellenes to this wonderful city”.

“We see it as another new beginning and encourage and hope other Hellenic Social groups will see the benefits in working together and keeping our rich cultural spirit alive, further cementing Melbourne as the capital of Hellenes in the Diaspora”

Jim Megas (Secretary) said:
“My father was one of the first Argites to arrive in Melbourne and one of the founding members of the Association of Argos Orestiko and District in 1954. Since then, both my brother and I have had a continual involvement in the club in various roles and positions. My family has been there for a very long time. It has been nothing short of a blessing to have been there from the start and to still be here today. It is with great pleasure that we can announce that our contribution to the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria we believe will assist them on their very important journey in embracing our Greek heritage and future ensuring our legacy will not be forgotten but also prosper for many generations to come.

Costas Siskos (Treasurer):
“I came to this beautiful country on my own as a young man in 1962 as a qualified Carpenter, not knowing anyone I soon sought comfort in meeting others from Argos Orestikon and the surrounding districts, from then till now we formed long life mateships that I call family. It was together with this my new family that we built and contributed to the success of Orestias. I am excited and pleased that all of our efforts and Heritage will continue and prosper”.

Harry Patras:
“As someone that has been involved with the Hellenic community since a teenager, and a lifelong pride and passion in maintaining our Hellenic spirit, I am so proud of these our Migrant Hero’s, who came to this country with one suitcase and have not only managed to be successful individuals and greatly contributing to this beautiful country we now call home, but also provided us with the foundations for the prosperity of our Hellenic culture well into the future. As far as I’m concerned their decision to support the GOCMV is not only pioneering but also wise and visionary”.

Chris Sikavitsas:
“Having grown up surrounded by many of the Argites for much of my childhood and with my father’s heavy involvement in the club, I have nothing but love and admiration for their story. I am so very proud to be associated and involved with both Orestias and the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria and their individual accomplishments. The foresight shown by both in this initiative will pave the way for greater prosperity for us all. A selfless donation with nothing but a love for our culture, heritage and religion as well as a huge interest in our future as Greeks. Many people were a part of the story of Orestias in Victoria since 1954. A thank you to all of them. Finally a thank you to my late father Nicholaos Sikavitsas for his commitment to Orestias and belief in the GOCMV”.

Bill Papastergiadis:
"We thank the Argos Association for its generous donation. Mr Ouzounis, Mr Megas, Mr Siskos and all of the board are true visionaries. They have put the future of all Greeks in Melbourne ahead of themselves.
The donation represents everything that is noble in our community.

This Association is writing history not only in Melbourne but globally in the Greek Diaspora. Future generations will look at Mr Ouzouris and his board as the true leaders in our vibrant community. History remembers those who are bold and decisive.

Equally, I must thank Chris Sikavitsas and Harry Patras who were instrumental in recognising the importance of this gesture and who worked closely and tirelessly to achieve today’s announcement.

The future has never looked brighter for all Greeks in Melbourne."


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