The Lonely Path of Integrity
Stone Studio

The Greek Press - April 12, 2001

The Lonely Path of Integrity Presented in Toronto

Great public interest in the presentation of Justine Frangouli's The Lonely Path of Integrity

By Costas Kranias

The presentation of The Lonely Path of Integrity concluded on this Palm Sunday evening in Toronto with a large bouquet of spring flowers, offered with love and pride by the Association of Lefkadians, to their compatriot, author and journalist Justine Frangouli. The whole evening was exceptionally dedicated to our colleague from Montreal both by the Federation of Hellenic Media Abroad (OMME) and the local Greek Community.

The event was attended by representatives of Greece and Cyprus, as well as by officials from our local Greek community: the Consul General of Greece in Toronto, Alexis Alexandris; the Consul of Cyprus, Efstathios Orphanidis; the Press Attaché of the Cyprus Consulate, Costis Hadjicostis; the Commercial Attaché of Greece, Yannis Paschalis; the President of the Greek Community, Costas Menegakis; the President of the Toronto based Federation of Greek Canadians, Dinos Sophocleous; and the President of the Lefkadian Association, Mr Theiakos. Present at the event were also many other public figures and a large number of local Greeks who had come to meet with the author. Justine Frangouli gladly signed and dedicated her books.

The literary gathering was conducted by Vassilis Diamantopoulos. He introduced with graciousness and style all the evening's speakers who later referred not only to The Lonely Path of Integrity but also to the author's impressive career.

The curtain rose on Costas Kranias, OMME's President, who spoke with enthusiasm about Justine Frangouli and her early work as a writer. He stressed that the purpose of the event was to honor not only his colleague from Montreal but also the broader Greek community in Canada.

He was followed by Nikos Terzis, head of OMME's cultural department and organizer of the evening's event. Terzis spoke at length about The Lonely Path of Integrity calling attention to extracts that brought out in high relief the nature of Archbishop Spyridon's options, options that finally led to his resignation and to his self-imposed withdrawal from active church ministry.

The President of the Greek Community, Costas Menegakis, then referred to the author's remarkable career. He described Justine Frangouli as an untiring journalist rigorously active both in Greece and in Canada, where she has worked for years and, to this day, still works for the Athens News Agency, the Sunday Eleftherotypia and Ethnos, as well as for the Montreal Greek newspaper Ellinikos Tachydromos. After the President had given his clear-cut portrait of the journalist and author, he drew attention to her ability to inspire confidence in the former Primate to the point where he entrusted her with his personal archives for the historical biography in question.

The next speaker was the author herself. She described her long and laborious journey through the archival material given to her by Archbishop Spyridon, a journey that carried her through to the end of a book. Justine Frangouli-Argyri mentioned that in The Lonely Path of Integrity she has given her own personal testimony to the events of Archbishop Spyridon's stormy three-year tenure in America (1996-99). She pointed out that the game played against Spyridon clearly took on the color of money and power. It involved the Patriarchate, the Greek State, the clergy in America, and prominent Greek-Americans, threatening the unity of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America.

This literary sit-in on the first evening of spring in Toronto concluded, after a review of the book by Antonis Vazintaris, with the reading of a letter from Archbishop Spyridon. In this letter read by Vassilis Diamantopoulos, Archbishop Spyridon congratulated OMME on its initiative to project and promote The Lonely Path of Integrity. He also stressed that "it was a source of special pleasure to learn that the proceeds from book sales will serve as OMME's humble contribution to the Greek Community's new Cultural Center in Metropolitan Toronto. Currently under way, the Center has the ambition to become the focal point for Hellenism in that great Canadian city. The Center's future role in preserving Hellenic culture is considered as certain and beyond question."

The presentation of The Lonely Path of Integrity by Justine Frangouli-Argyri was one of those events that remain indelible in people's memory for their immediacy, warmth and, above all, as something new to add to our outdated everyday routine.

[Translated from Greek]