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Martha Henty: The volunteer who is always there


We welcome today in our newspaper the renewed page for featured articles with profiles of important Hellenes amongst us  who dare make a difference. With their ethos, life achievements,  work philosophy and an overall exemplary presence in their family and community around them these people are amongst us and should be role models for all of us. We welcome them in our featured profiles pages and wish them all the best in their personal, professional and social lives.
Featured today: Mrs Martha Henty- President of Associations Department of The Greek Community of  Toronto (elected)


Tassos Theodoridis: Please provide us with a short description of your involvement with the Greek Community. How does this involvement complements/contradicts your other family/professiona/social responsibilities, if at all?  

I am married with three children, two sons and a daughter, working full time in the financial industry for many years where I was also awarded as an annual achiever. I came from a large family of eight siblings having the most wonderful, amazing, hard working parents. Greek Cypriot decent  from the beautiful island of Cyprus.  I started being involved with the Cypriot/Greek Community as a  volunteer, for approximately 18 years. During those years I served as the President of the Cypriot Community of Toronto, Board of Director of the Hellenic Hope Centre, Board of director of the Cypriot Federation of Canada, PSEKA Canada, Hamogelo Zois, served and still serving as the
President of the Cyprus Canada Chamber of Commerce, Board of director of the European Union
Chamber of Commerce in Canada, Board of director of the Greek Community of Toronto, member of St. Irene’s Greek Orthodox Church ecclesiastical council serving as a secretary and President of the GCT Associations Department. Always trying my best to help wherever help is needed.

What made you get involved in the Cypriot/Greek Community?

Many times I was asked how am I  able to achieve, do and cope with the  things that I am involved with. My answer always is that, I am not the one who is doing all these activities. It is the guidance and God’s help. Due to my faith, the love of my family, the love of my community, the love  and respect that I have for every individual. I believe going to Sunday School as a child and having my
mom as my role model and seeing and watching growing up my honest, descent hard working parents, had a huge impact in my life. I always wanted to help and give  back to my community. Always included my wish in my prayers. Everything we do in our lives, we come across with numerous challenges. Those challenges we face with wisdom, patience, guidance.  Always trying to do what is in the best interest for the organization that we are volunteering and working for.
Seeing the big picture, being broad minded. Never have an ego. Being nice, kind and understanding. Always putting yourself into other people’s shoes. Think before you speak. Being understanding. This is how I believe we should face our challenges and as a President I have often met quite  some challenges. Having efficient  and supporting Board of Directors and community members, working
together as a team makes a huge difference while you are leading an organization/community.
How has your Cypriot/Greek heritage facilitated / hindered your progress and decision making in your professional life? It is important for our children and grandchildren to learn about their  heritage, their roots, their culture, customs, language, religion. They need to know where they are coming from and to be proud of their Greek/Cypriot  Heritage.
By allowing them to be involved with the community such pride is possible to achieve. By sending the children to Greek schools to learn about «pedeia» is essential for this.

What are the major challenges you have faced in your term as president?  
What goals or ideals would you suggest that must be included in the Associations’ future planning?  Is there any future at all for the  “Syllogoi” in the Greek community at  large?  

What I would like to see from the  associations, is to bring their children and grandchildren closer to them, closer to their community. Thy will achieve that by involving them with the GCT programs and activities. With the «Pedeia» cultural programs. The older generation is fading away. We
need the new generation to take over. We need to trust them and encourage them. They need to be proud of their Greek Heritage. After all, almost everything started from the ancient Greeks,
i.e mathematics, medicine, philosophy etc.  We need to make a better world for our children and
grandchildren for generations to come. That is what we all strive for. The GCT is 108
years old, and let us help it to continue stay alive for many more generations to come.
That should be our goal and that is what we should try to upkeep for our children.
Now, the secret to a successful career and/or the volunteer work that you do, is  to love what you do, and that I do.
Closing this interview I would like to ask all the younger generation to come and get involved with
the community. We have to carry on our family values, our culture, our customs our Greek Heritage further.
I do thank the «Greek  Press» Newspaper and its Editorial Board for giving  me this opportunity to speak  about my contribution and  community involvement.
Those challenges  we face with  wisdom, patience,  guidance. Always  trying to do what  is the best interest for the organization  that we are volunteering and working for. Seeing the big picture,  being broad minded. Never have an ego. Being nice, kind and understanding. Always putting  yourself into other peoples shoes. Think before you speak. Being understanding