Athina Papadimitriu, Certificate of Honor for Balázs Somogyi
Heavy snow was falling as I approached the Wallingford exit, and I was glad I had an umbrella in the car. Fortunately, there was a parking spot on the street, not too far from the hall, and I gladly pulled in.
The Reverend Attila Tóbiás opened the program with a prayer. Following the American National Anthem, and words of welcome by the President of the Club, Ákos Horváth, Rev. Tóbiás recited Petőfi’s Nemzeti dal.
Next on the program was a surprise: two musical segments were presented by Hungarian actress Athina Papadimitriu, recipient of the Jászai Mari Prize (2019), who was visiting from Budapest. She has performed at various theaters in Budapest and is currently affiliated with the Budapest Operetta Theater. In addition, she has been seen in numerous films, TV films and has several CD’s and a DVD to her credit. Her presentations were warmly received.
Barbara Kapi and Kenneth Wargo of the Club’s Board of Directors offered a remembrance of Miklós Janitsáry, a humanitarian adventurer and Vietnam veteran related to Kenneth. Barbara encouraged people to support the almost 103-year old Club which, she said ”had always been a home away from home ...The major focuses ... have always been family, faith, food, and especially education.”
The main speech was offered by Peter B. Nagy, Counselor of National Cohesion from New York, who emphasized that respect for freedom, responsibility for, and defense of our thousand-year old culture are the main goals of the Hungarian government. Despite historic losses, we were always victorious, because we always survived. In Hungary, the seeds of freedom find fertile soil, and we are happy only when we are free and independent.
Irén Fehér, well-known among Hungarian communities in Connecticut for her wonderful poetry recitals at various commemorative events, recited Petőfi’s poem ”Magyar vagyok”.
The program closed with the Hungarian National Anthem.
In the name of Consul General István Pásztor, Counselor Peter B. Nagy then presented Board Member Dr. Balázs Somogyi with a Certificate of Honor, in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the preservation and nurture ”of the values of Hungarian cultural heritage in the United States of America.” It was presented ”in remembrance of the famous Hungarian Nobel Prize winner biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi on the 35th anniversary of his death.”
Refreshments were available afterwards.
By the time I headed for my car, the sun had come out, and no trace of the snow was left.