The Hellenic Community of Bloemfontein was founded by Mr. Christo Tarnanis in 1955. The constitution was signed by the founding members on the 1st May 1956.
The committee then comprised of seven members of which Mr. Tarnanis was the founder Chairman with George Manidis as his Secretary. Each of the members at the time paid a membership fee of seven guineas per month.
Although the committee was only formed in 1956, several families had been residing in Bloemfontein for many years, primarily engaged in the retail business. Some of the earlier traces dating back to before the Anglo Boer war.
Gradually these families grew and adapted themselves to life in South Africa, forming an integral part of our productive socio-economic society, in this way enabling them to offer a variety of services to the public.
Through several fund raising campaigns, the present Greek Orthodox Church, situated at the corner of Andries Pretorius and Bree Street was purchased in 1961. Prior to that Church services were held on a regular basis at various church’s in the city.
Finally in January 1979 the first official Greek teacher Mr. E Gerogakis inaugurated our Greek School and has been operating for 30 years now. We currently have 2 teachers, one for high school and one for primary school needs. With over 50 students we aim to keep the school as one of our cornerstones in the community.
At the same token the formation of the BHYA(Bloemfontein Hellenic Youth Association) in the 1990’s ensured that a strong foundation be set for the youth of the community. They are aswell associated to NAHYSOSA (National Association of Hellenic Youth & Student Organisation of South Africa) which allows them to keep ties with young Hellenes all over South Africa.
The community today comprises of over 90 families.
The Hellenic Executive committee has the responsibility of running the month-to-month concerns of the Church grounds as well as ensuring that Hellenism in Bloemfontein remains as strong as it has been for past 53 years.
Its emphasis on the Hellenic ethnos is aswell one of its primary concerns which all Hellenes should be proud of.
Having had such a rich Hellenic history in Bloemfontein, Hellenism is strong with the young adults as well as the youth today.
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