On Sunday 24 August, the Feast of Saint Kosmas Aitolos was celebrated at theCathedralof Saint George in Cape Town. After the service His Eminence Archbishop Sergios officiated at the Artoklasia Service dedicated to the Saint together with Reverend Fr. Nikolaos Giamourides and Deacon Fr. Michael Simos, in the presence of Mr Nassos Martalas, president of the Hellenic Community of Cape Town, Mr. Haris Marcopoulos, vice president, Evgenia Sofianos, the school administrator and members of the main committee. Also present was Andreas Coulbanis, president of the Hellenic Students Association of Cape Town and the teachers and pupils of the school.
In his address after the service His Eminence made reference to the fact that the Feast Day was a very significant day for the community of Cape Town because the Greek school which was established many years ago was named after the Saint Kosmas Aitolos. He went on to say that Saint Kosmas travelled throughout Greece and neighbouring Orthodox countries which were under Turkish oppression to teach the Greek language and the Orthodox faith. He encouraged the people to build schools rather than more churches because there were many churches already in Greece. The Saint was martyred in 1779. During his lifetime he made many prophesies which were documented by the Monks of that time. Some of his prophesies have already been fulfilled and continue to be fulfilled in this day and age.
He went on to say that it is our duty as Orthodox Greek communities outside of Greece to follow the example of Saint Kosmas Aitolos and emphasised that as Greek clerics the priests try their utmost to hold on to the language because they do not want to be the last generation of priests who speak Greek. His Eminence said that we have a responsibility as a Greek Community to run the school efficiently and to instill a pride in the children we teach. We are fortunate that Greece sends us teachers and together with those teachers who live in South Africa we must strive to improve and maintain the integrity of the school by creating an environment which is conducive to learning and progressing in the Greek language. His Eminence ended by thanking the grandparents and parents who bring their children to Church, Sunday school and Greek school.
Maxine Schaff, one of the pupils from the school delivered a speech about the Saint in impeccable Greek and was duly applauded. After the service everyone congregated at the Hellenic Community Centre for the annual Feast Day lunch and the children participated in story-telling and Greek dances. The children were also entertained with crafts organised by “Mungo Joe children’s party planner” owner Tammy Manning who was assisted by Crystal-Jade Lerios, Yiota Christoforou and Artemis Michaletos.