On Friday, October 16th Robert W. Peck concluded his four year posting in Athens as the Canadian Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic. While serving as our ambassador he was also appointed as the non-resident High Commissioner of Canada to the Republic of Cyprus. How fast the four years seem to have gone! Bob was an active, enthusiastic and strong supporter of our mission in Greece and our activities. He attended our lectures and events as well as visiting our archaeological fieldwork projects. Bob made sure that visiting dignitaries from Ottawa would visit the Institute as part of their familiarization program about Greece. Often when I meet someone here in Athens who is not connected with the Institute he or she has said that Ambassador Peck has already told them all about the excellent work that we are doing!
Much of what we have accomplished in public outreach over the past four years – both here in Greece and in Canada – has been facilitated by his active lobbying, skillful diplomacy and financial support. The CIG Portal to the Past (www.portal.cig-icg.gr) came about as an initiative from him to raise our profile in Canada and beyond. My two lecture tours to Canada were again with his encouragement and financial assistance. Certainly in the past four years under his leadership here we have had a strong and warm synergasia with the Embassy staff.
Shortly after his departure from Athens last month he wrote an OP ED piece for the online English edition of the Kathimerini newspaper. It is worth reading as he highlights his four years here promoting Hellenic/Canadian relations and Canadian interests in Greece: (http://www.ekathimerini.com/202678/opinion/ekathimerini/comment/an-ode-to-hellas).
Bob and his wife Maria have returned to the “home office” in Ottawa for the next year at least. We look forward to their frequent visits to Athens and to the Institute in the future. Sas efharistoume therma yia ola!!!