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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 April 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2016 23 OPINION OPINION ROYO LLOYD An inspiring legacy: Chris P. Tomaras’ lasting impact Chris P. Tomaras led a full and meaningful life, and will be remembered as a distinguished businessman, entrepreneur, leader, and philanthropist. Although he was successful in many areas of his life, his most important legacy will live on through the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation. Mr Tomaras founded the PanHellenic in 1998 to support financially deserving college students of Hellenic descent as they pursue their higher education. Since then, the foundation has awarded $2.3 million in scholarships to 322 exceptional Greek American college students. One such student was Dr Elizabet Katerina Tassis, a 2008 scholarship recipient. She recently shared how much Mr Tomaras and her PanHellenic Scholarship Award influenced her life. In 2012, Dr Tassis graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with degrees in Chemistry and Entrepreneurship & Management. LETTERS Religious freedom for Christians in Turkey Four years ago, President Erdogan of Turkey promised President Obama that he would reopen Halki Theological Seminary. Four years later, it remains closed. In 1971, the Turkish government closed the doors of Halki, the only seminary to educate the priests who go on to become the Ecumenical Patriarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church. Despite repeated calls to have Halki reopened, Turkey refuses. We need to keep fighting for Hellenism and for fundamental rights like the right of religious freedom. So here's what you can do right now. Turkey's president is meeting with Vice-President Biden this week in Washington, DC. We are going to deliver a petition to the administration before that meeting to demand that the issue of Halki Seminary be addressed. Add your name to the petition. It only takes one minute to sign to help fight years of broken promises on Halki. Today, stand up for Hellenism, stand up for the rights of Greeks in Turkey, and protect religious freedom: http://hellenicleaders.com/ reopenHalki Vanessa Kamberis HALC Fellow USA Country cyclists I'm concerned about the reaction to the new cycling regulations that came into force in NSW earlier this month. The new laws include drastically increased fines for dangerous cycling and not wearing a helmet, as well as higher penalties for drivers who fail to leave an adequate buffer zone. One notable headline declared that these new laws will make NSW the 'laughing stock of the world', because of the requirement for cyclists to carry ID. But I'm not laughing, and neither are the thousands of people injured or killed on country roads every year. Sharing the roads with cyclists is often painted as a city issue, but the popularity of cycling seems to be growing in rural and semi-rural areas. The difference is that most country roads weren't designed with cycling in mind. A quick look at the latest NSW crash data shows one cyclist is injured on country roads for every three in metropolitan areas. That ratio almost doubles for fatalities, with two regional cycling deaths for every three in the city. I deal with road accident victims every day and the reality is that life-changing crashes take place on otherwise completely ordinary days, in familiar locations, often with little warning. These new laws may be con- troversial but ultimately they are about safety and the problem they are addressing is a real one. Regards, Fiona Ley Senior Associate Slater and Gordon Lawyers NSW Bravo Gerry Georgatos Bravo Gerry Georgatos for bringing to the fore the appalling details of suicide and racism within indigenous communities. Aborigines make up about 28 per cent of our adult prison population, yet they represent less than 3 per cent of our general population. Apparently half of 10- to 17-year-olds in jails are Aboriginal. The more shocking figures are that in the Northern Territory close to 96 per cent of Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think that Orthodox and Catholic Easter should be celebrated on the same day? 47% YES 53% NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think marrying outside of one’s ethnicity is still a concern for diaspora communities? Yes/No Vote online now. Go to neoskosmos.com Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. 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Editor-in-chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Journalists: Christopher Gogos Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Panos Apostolou, Nikos Fotakis, George Stogiannou Contributors: Dean Kalimniou, Michael Sweet, Theodora Maios, Billy Cotsis, Georgios Hatzimanolis, Royo Lloyd Sub-editor: Angela Costanzo Graphic design: Peter Kelidis In 2015, she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. She now works as a registered pharmacist. When describing how the foundation helped her pursue these academic goals, she says: “The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation holds a special place in my heart. It not only supported my studies financially, but it also gave me the emotional support and determination to strive for greatness.” Dr Tassis was also inspired by the way the foundation brings together the Greek American community from across the United States. She reminisces of the night she won her award: “It was fascinating to see Greek Americans from all over our nation come together to support and admire the accomplishments of the young selected students chosen for the award.” Since Mr Tomaras established the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, it has become a prestigious institution and a place for the Greek American community to collectively celebrate the achievements of the younger generation. This is yet another effect of the admirable legacy Mr Tomaras has left behind. Mr Tomaras hoped that the PanHellenic Scholarship Awards would not only support students during college, but would also inspire them to give back. Dr Tassis’ personal story is evidence that Mr Tomaras’ dream is now a reality. She remembers as a young award recipient, telling Mr Tomaras of her hope that “one day I would become a successful Hellene and be able to support this same foundation that is honouring me”. Now, as a dedicated benefactor of the Foundation, Dr Tassis writes that she intends to “help students achieve their dreams, the same way the award I received in 2008 helped me reach mine”. Through the students he reached and the Greek American community he tirelessly served, Chris P. Tomaras left a remarkable legacy that will continue to inspire all who have been affected by his life’s work. In the words of Dr Tassis, Mr. Tomaras’ “passion and dedication to his philanthropic missions have impacted so many individuals, including myself, that his legacy will live on forever”. Email your letter to: email@example.com those in juvenile detention are aboriginal. It’s also in the Northern Territory, where they have what is called paperless arrest laws. This is where the police can arrest and detain someone who they suspect of a minor crime such as swearing or being loud in public and hold them for up to four hours without any charge. Worse still is, even if the police suspect that someone intends to cause one of these minor misdemeanours they can still be arrested without charge and held for up to four hours. I'm not sure how the police can tell if a person intends to start swearing or making a loud noise in public. By the way, the majority of those being arrested are Aboriginal. Is it any wonder they feel so discriminated against? So what are our political parties doing about these issues? Con Vaitsas New South Wales Please note that the submission of a letter does not guarantee that it will be published. We reserve the right to edit your letter for clarity, grammar, spelling and style. Letters that use inappropriate language will not be published. All letters published will include the author’s name and location. Comments posted on Neos Kosmos’website, facebook and twitter pages can also be included for submission at the editors’ discretion and will be edited accordingly.
26 March 2016
9 April 2016