“But most important, they formed the community and came together,
not for the sake of life only but rather for the good life ”
The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community of London & Vicinity is a non-profit organization without share capital. The Community is a registered Charity under the Income Tax Act of Canada.
It was first organized as a Community on January 12, 1936, and the first president was Mr. Gus Mandas. It was incorporated in 1949 by letters patent in the province of Ontario with the name Hellenic Community of London & Vicinity. A new constitution was ratified by the General Assembly, on April 30, 1950.
On April 17, 1952, the Community Council signed the papers to purchase the land on 1114 Richmond Street North for $9,000. On May 26, 1954, a contract for $54,277 was signed to build the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Then Community President Mr. George Kerhoulas, turned the sod on the site to build the new church on Sunday June 6, 1954 and the ceremony was conducted by the Community’s first priest, Rev. A. Sarantides.
The first service in the church was a wedding on Sunday October 10, 1954. It was the marriage of Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Suntres. Rev. A Sarantides officiated. Actual dedication of the new Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church took place on October 16, 1955, by His Grace Bishop Ezekial. The same year the community approved its by-laws, and constitution, under which it was governed until 1967.
On October 22, 1959, the lot behind the house on 1118 Richmond Street North was bought for parking purposes. The House itself was not bought until December 4th 1969 for $23,000.
In September of 1967, the General Assembly of the Community approved to adopt the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. In March of 1968 the community adopted new by-laws. On April 9, 1968, it amended its original letters patent and changed the corporate name to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community of London & Vicinity.
On June 16, 1975 the Community bought the Glendale Sports Center, as it was then known, on Southdale Road for $150,000. President at the time was Mr. Anthony Demakos. This property then became the Hellenic Community Center. On March 28, 1978, under the Presidency of Mr. George Anas, a one acre property and the house (since demolished) at the front of the Hellenic Community Center was purchased for $39,000.
This was made possible with the financial assistance of the local chapter of AHEPA.
With the purchase of this additional property, the Hellenic Community Center property was squared off, with a frontage of over 300 feet and a total area of approximately twelve acres.
On February 24, 1975, under the presidency of Mr. Gary Kerhoulas, the official sod turning ceremony took place to build a new Community Center for a cost of approximately one million dollars. This new addition when attached to the old community center would more than triple its size. The official dedication took place on September 7, 1975, with His Grace Bishop Sotirios and Rev Stathis Kontorravdis officiating.
The Hellenic Community Center during 1997 and 1998, had yet another major expansion, of about one half million dollars with the addition of the East Room, and major renovations to the original structure. The president at this time was Mr. Anthony Demakos.
The time had come now to build a new Byzantine Style Church in our Community’s Southdale Road Property. The ground breaking ceremony took place on September 19, 1999 under the presidency of Mr. Anthony Demakos. The old church on Richmond Street was sold in 2004 for $650,000. The construction of our new church took about three years to complete. Under the presidency of James W Giannoulis, our New Church – the Holy Trinity- was completed at a cost of about $6,000,000 and was consecrated on December 22, 2003 by His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios of Toronto and Rev. Elias Drossos and many area priests officiated. It is commendable that our members and our organizations fundraised and donated in the millions of dollars to complete this magnificent church. In the next two years the church basement was also completed.
The next project of our Community was the re-building of our soccer field facilities. The soccer field was upgraded with new surface, irrigation system, lights for night games, new fencing, and seating. The total cost was about $200,000 and under the presidency of James W Giannoulis, in 2005-2006, one of the best soccer fields in London Ontario was created. We acknowledge the receipt of a grant in the amount of $75,000 from the Ontario trillium Foundation towards this project. Building upon the success of our soccer teams and staying within the ten year plan of our Community, under the presidency of James W Giannoulis a vivid soccer supporter and past London Olympians player for more than fifteen years, a new building was designed for construction near the soccer field to house new dressing rooms, a concession and a storage area and a pik-nik covered area. The building was completed at a cost of $290,000.00 during the summer of 2010, when Mr. James W Giannoulis was President.
Our Church under the strong leadership of the Board of Directors is undergoing its iconography project which started in 2010 and it has a multi year phase completion.
In 2012, the then president Mr. James Giannoulis initiated an application for funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, for the construction of a major addition to the Hellenic Community Centre. The application was successful for a grant of $500,000 which our Community had to match. This additional Community space, is home to a Greek Library, new administration offices, cultural and heritage rooms, and an enlarged lobby. The construction was completed during the 2013 and 2014 years when James W Giannoulis was the President at a cost of $1,350,000.
Our Community is evolving constantly. It remains steadfast to servicing its members by teaching its faith, its cultural and ethnic heritage, and the Greek Language through its Greek School. It now embraces its third generation of members and it is welcoming the intermarriage spouses of other ethnic backgrounds. It is the focal point of Hellenism in London, Ontario Canada, and makes every Hellene proud.