In 1944, the Greeks in Glasgow numbered two or three families. As the numbers increased through marriage and as a result of relations joining them, it was inevitable they should seek a link with their national heritage and turn to the Church as a focal point for their community. They found help and encouragement from St. Peter’s Church in Hyndland and St. Matthew’s Blythswood Parish Church in Bath Street where they held services until 1953 when Reo Stakis purchased and donated to the Community the church in Grafton Street. In 1962, the present Cathedral of St. Luke in Dundonald Road was consecrated in a service attended by the then Lord Provost of Glasgow and other church and civic dignitaries.
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As the Community grew so did our activities including an active Greek School and Youth Club, with organized excursions, sporting and social activities involving our young people. We had a champion football team "Glasgow Hellenic" which was the highlight of Sunday afternoons for many of the community, and also earlier generations of our very own Glasgow Hellenic Dancers. One highlight in 1971 was a trip of 52 young people to Greece, which was an outstanding success educationally and socially (10 Scots children were part of the group). The group also visited General George Grivas in his Athens home. The enthusiasm of the various members of the Church Committee and the Ladies Auxiliary Association and Church Fellowship over these years has contributed to the strength of our community. The Ladies group especially have shown the kind of voluntary, unselfish and tireless practical help and advice to the sick and lonely among the Greek and wider community which has contributed to our stability.
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The youth club has been in existence since February 1976, when it came under the name Glasgow Hellenic Athletic Club. The name Glasgow Hellenic is retained for the Club’s subgroups e.g Glasgow Hellenic Dancers. The Youth Club represents the interests of young people of Greek origin and their family and friends, and is dedicated to promoting Greek cultural activities in the Glasgow area in a way that preserves their Greek heritage and also integrates with the wider Scottish community. The Club also works closely with the Greek School which is based at St. Luke’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the only such school dedicated to Greek language for children in Scotland, and some of its members are also pupils at the School. Our dancers have represented the community at both Greek and non-Greek events. (for a list of events, just click on the "Events" link over on the left. One of the Youth Group's purposes is to promote the Greek Community and to shed light on one of Glasgow's hidden cultures. In the past decade the Youth Group has held major festive events at St. Lukes' Greek Orthodox Church, such as the "Millenium Greek Night" on the 5th of March 2000 and the "Greek-Scots Anthology" which was part of Mayfest in 1996. One of the biggest nights in Glasgow Hellenic's history was when Anastasia Moutsatsou, Nikos Ziogalas & Manos Pyrovolakis, performed at the Greek Week Festival in June 2002!!! (See Issue 1 of Its All Greek 2 Me for info and pics!!!)
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Our Future Glasgow Hellenic is aimed at providing a focal point for Greek activities for young people and others in and around Glasgow. We welcome Greeks, Scots and all nationalities and are happy to integrate with other nationalities' activities, whether in dance, drama or food. We have joined up with other Greek communities across the United Kingdom - for example, we have visited and danced with the Leeds and Surrounding Districts Greek School and community, joined with the London and Birmingham communities in Outward Bound experiences, and danced at the Festival of Youth in London. Now in 2009 we are still moving forward with various upcoming events both in and out of Glasgow.
Keep checking back as we continue to grow.