An umbrella among many



For decades, “Community” circles have been advocating the erroneous notion that the Greek Community of Toronto is the “umbrella” or representative organization of all residents or citizens of Hellenic descent in the Canadian metropolis; an obsolete notion that prevailed in the broader area in the 50s, 60s and 70s.


In recent years, this notion is obsolete and remains as an obsession only in the minds of some well-known and hard-nosed members of the organization, as their minds have been lodged in past decades and refuse to accept the fact that, during the last 50 years, over a dozen new

Communities have been founded and have been operating in our city, in addition to the Greek Community of Toronto, offering the same services to their members.


Of course, the frequent allusion to the “umbrella concept” has sometimes paid off and helped in the election of a Member of Parliament or the appointment of a judge, or the interests of several other aspiring individuals to show off and gain publicity.


Nevertheless, let us see what the position, size and role of a Greek non-profit organization is in a city, where tens of thousands of Greek immigrants live. 


Greek emigrants living in urban centres abroad usually constitute ethnic communities, known as Greek “paroikias”. 


In these “paroikias”, expatriates basically draw together, establishing solidarity guilds of ethnological or charity nature that eventually become non-profit organizations that may be called “Communities”.


In some cases, when the religious (Greek Orthodox) element in a “paroikia” was particularly high, multiple Greek Communities were founded in the same city. 


A community organization or “Community” of a city is part of a certain Greek “paroikia” or general community, but not one and the same entity or identical concept.


ALL Greeks residing in a host city, permanently or temporarily, are part of a “PAROIKIA”. However, ONLY THOSE WHO WISH IT become members of a “COMMUNITY” (organization). 


Therefore, if a “Community” claims that it is the only representative organization or “Community” of the entire “paroikia” or of all residents or citizens of Greek descent in the city, apart from being senseless, inaccurate, and arrogant, it is also highly offensive to the directors and the members of the other existing community organizations of Toronto. 


The price of arrogant behaviour is almost always hefty. Unfortunately, in the case of the “Greek Community of Toronto”, the arrogant individuals that have run it came out unscathed at the end of their terms, whereas the same did not happen with the organization. Their only concern was to forcibly impose themselves on the entire “paroikia”.

Nevertheless, the last directors and toadies should keep in mind, even at the last moment, that: "Hubris leads the crash, and arrogance precedes the downfall". This is where things are at now.  


All right, then. Let us all give a helping hand to mitigate the downfall. However, all members should keep in mind that, if the same ghosts of the past” remain at the same leadership or advisory positions by November, it is more than certain that no additional fundraising or other effort will be able to prevent the organization from crashing.