Milton’s Coptic Christian community welcomed Milton families July 28 for its fifth annual St Abanoub Festival. The event held on the last Saturday of July marks the life, and sacrifice of a 12- year old Coptic Christian martyr in the fourth century. Organizer Ramy Boutros attributes the festival’s success to the people. “The human being is a social creature. They like to be at such a gathering and have fun. Especially our kids,” he said.
The activities included bouncy castles, water games in the back parking lot. In front of the church were pony rides, and a tent with Egyptian food, and a table with information on Coptic Christianity, and the church itself. The majority of the festival’s volunteers are kids under the supervision of adults. Kevin Mossa and David Gabra are 18-year old volunteers. They know the importance of being role models to the younger children. “We try to be respectful, teach them to follow the rules.
The festival drew first-time attendees from Milton, and the surrounding communities. Mina Eglaycus and Mina Soleiman were volunteers. The festival is on both their calendars. “It’s just a really nice way to get in touch with the community, and show people who we are,” Soleiman said. Located along Nippissing Rd, it looks like a storefront. “The church is more than just a building with pictures, it’s the people, and the prayers,” he added.
The church will be relocating later this year to 555 Steeles Avenue later this year, because the building is no longer large enough to support a congregation of nearly 700. “Milton is getting bigger. And as well our Coptic church is getting bigger.” Festival Ramy Boutros said. The move is the result of a three year quest for a larger building. They looked at buildings in the immediate area, but nobody wanted to sell. “They gathered together to raise funds, and it worked thanks God,” Boutros said. “We want to keep his memory by having this festival not only for the Coptic congregation, but for all Miltonians.” For more information on St. George and St. Abanoub Coptic Church visit their website: www.sgsamilton.ca
Photos by: Denise Cooperwhite