submitted by James Victor Prineas on 14.08.2011
by Yiannis Mavrommatis
On August 7th 2011 the 100 anniversary of Sotiras Church - Aroniadika celebrated. Metropolitan Serafim of Kythera leaded with the Sotiras committee organized the ceremony. In front of hundreds of faithful at the “Paraklisis” the Byzantine Choir of Kythera performing inside the historical Church producing a great harmony of hymns and Byzantine music.The Metropolitan outlined these historical moments.
Key speaker, professor and researcher of Kytherian Archives, Mrs Eleni Xarou reported at the Church grounds about the building history process. The Potamos Brass Band, “ Filarmoniki”, played Greek folk music under the ageless maestro Stratis Theodorakakis- Tsabiras, who also conductd the Potamos Choir.
Christos Yiannaras, well known ex University professor, referred to the power of cooperation, and congratulated Fr Sampson, Dean of Sotiras, for his substantial restoration building works.
I pointed out the importance of Sotiras, an architectural jewel of Aroniadika, as the focal point of Faith and inspiration that protects and blesses us. In addition, I thanked our forfathers who built this Church, and the Kytherians of Diaspora, mainly from Australia, the Nickolas Aronis Foundation and all other donors, who under the encouragement of Nick Stamatakos, repeatedly funded the maintenance and the recent restoration of Sotiras.
Finally, I also stressed the great contribution of Fr Sampson, to the restoration of the Church and the arrangements of the new frescoes in the church walls. Fr Sampson for many recent years worked tirelessly voluntarily as a professional builder, “μάστορας “, refusing however, to get a penny for his work.
Moreover, on behalf of all Aroniades, I thanked the Metropolitan, the visitors and every contributor who in various ways assisted to the success of the ceremony, emphasising the importance of unity, coordination and cooperation to successfully carry out such projects.
Thodoros Magonezos, from the oldest residents of Aroniadika, recalled moments of earlier church restorations. Mayor Koukoulis congratulated everyone on the anniversary and the Metropolitan closed the ceremony, thanking all for their contribution and attendance. A reception followed with sweets and soft drinks offered by the ladies of Aroniadika . I was lucky to be at that anniversary for the 100 years of Sotiras. Xronia Polla.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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