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Bestowing of the distinction of the Grand Commander of the Order of Honour, upon Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, member of the Supreme Court of Canada (Ottawa, May 22, 2015).
During a special ceremony held at the official residence of Greece in Ottawa, H.E. George L. Marcantonatos, Ambassador of Greece to Canada, conferred the distinction of the Grand Commander of the Order of Honour upon Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, member of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Based on a decision by H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, this bestowing illustrates Greece's profound gratitude for Madam Justice Karakatsanis' significant services rendered to her Motherland, as well as for her acts, contributing to better relations between Greece and Canada.
Madame Justice Karakatsanis thanked the Greek state for awarding her one of the highest civilian honours. She noted that she is proud of her Greek origin, whilst stressing the love and admiration for Greek culture and civilization. In this regard, she emphasized its important contribution to the shaping of Western civilization, especially in the arts and letters.
Madam Justice Karakatsanis and Ambassador Marcantonatos
The full text of the Ambassador's speech is following:
Αξιότιμη κυρία Ανδρομάχη Καρακατσάνη, Μέλος του Ανωτάτου Δικαστηρίου του Καναδά,
Madam Justice Karakatsanis,
Honourable Members of the Supreme Court of Canada, of the Federal Court of Canada and of the Federal Court of Appeal.
Honourable Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
Dear President of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa and
Dear Presidents of the Hellenic Associations of Ottawa,
Αποτελεί για εμένα μεγάλη τιμή που είμαι ο οικοδεσπότης της σημερινής ξεχωριστής βραδιάς, κατά την οποία θα απονεμηθεί το παράσημο του Ανωτέρου Ταξιάρχη του Τάγματος Τιμής στην κα Ανδρομάχη Καρακατσάνη, μέλος του Ανωτάτου Δικαστηρίου του Καναδά.
It is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to be the host of this evening’s special event:
The bestowing of the distinction of the Grand Commander of the Order of Honour, upon Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, member of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The award ceremonies are important moments for reflection, inspiration and for gathering together.
Indeed, societies have long had the desire to reward those, who have brought honour to their country, to their Motherland. Because in doing so, they reaffirm the values and aspirations that define it.
Hellenism Abroad is considered to be a major extension of Greece, beyond the limited geographical borders of our country.
It composes a second Greece, which is progressing, always active and knows how to address challenges and overcome difficulties, relying on its creativity, intelligence, hard work and “φιλότιμο”. I think that there is no equivalent word for “φιλότιμο” (what is offered to the others beyond our obligation) in any other language, just because this is a virtue characteristic only for Greeks.
This is really the example of Mme Justice Karakatsanis, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, in October 2011. The above mentioned decoration was offered in recognition of her significant services rendered to Greece, as well as her acts, contributing to better relations between Greece and Canada.
More specifically, this distinction is a token of appreciation for Justice Karakatsanis’ declared love for the Greek culture, the classics and history, her participation and active role in a number of events and initiatives, forging a stronger partnership between our two countries and peoples.
Her pride of being the daughter of Greek immigrants is evident. Her connection to her Hellenic roots is an integral part of her life.
As a member of the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Karakatsanis visited Greece in June and July 2012 during a very difficult time for the Greek people.
She expressed her solidarity and support to Greece’s efforts to overcome the economic and financial crisis.
Her visit, which was widely covered by the media, sent a positive signal to Canada and especially the Greek-Canadian Community, encouraging Canadians of Greek descent to further enhance their contacts with Greece in many fields as well as to spend their time and offer their skills for the benefit of their homeland.
The Canadian Ambassador to Greece Mr. Robert Peck accompanied her on many of her meetings, furthering the relationship between our two countries.
Her meetings with the President of the Hellenic Republic, members of the Greek government, dealing with justice affairs, the President of the Supreme Court of Greece (Areios Pagos) and many other judges, also strengthened the judicial ties between Greece and Canada.
I think it is evident, from what I have just said for Madam Justice, that Hellenism Abroad constitutes a huge national asset. Its active engagement is for Greece an important element of power and a major amplifier of its international presence.
We greatly value its significant contribution to the historical evolution and progress of our Motherland.
Before concluding my speech,
I wish to recognize the presence of Madam Justice’s husband Tom Karvanis, a staunch supporter of our Hellenic heritage and civilisation, of her mother Ms Xanthippe Karakatsanis, who should certainly be proud of her daughter, of her sister Ms. Catherine Karakatsanis as well as of her brother and sister in law Mr. Antony Karakatsanis and Ms, Erika Kerhoulas, all of them, strong promoters of our Greek culture and Hellenism.
On behalf of the President of the Hellenic Republic I wish to express my sincerest congratulations, as well as my warm wishes for every success to your endeavours and your noble objectives in the future.
We wish to all of you and your families continued health and happiness.