George Miminis (meh-MEEN-ees)
Occupation: Professor of Computer Science at MUN. Father of 2 kids. President of the Greek Community of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Bio: Born in Athens, Greece, this arresting Virgo arrived in Montreal when he was 26 years old to attend graduate school at McGill. After completing his PhD in Computer Science, he found himself juggling quite a few offers from various schools across Canada to join their faculty. MUN’s offer was the worst of the lot, but he came to St. John’s nonetheless to check it out. Sure enough, despite landing in the middle of a blizzard, he loved it, and has been here ever since.
How big is the Newfoundland Greek Community?: “It has about 30 to 35 members right now, but there are between 80 and 100 Greeks in Newfoundland.”
When you all get together, is it all about sandals and robes and in-depth discussions about the art of citizenship?: Not exactly. The society puts on the occasional play down at the Athenian Restaurant, has a once-a-year dinner and dance party at the Battery Hotel and has put together two musical groups, the Forgotten Bouzouki and Acousmata. Says George, “’Acousmata’ is a Greek word meaning something like ‘the sounds of our past that shaped our lives.’” He plays guitar and sings. The Greek Community has also set up two scholarships, one for a student related to the community doing post-secondary education and one within the department of Immunology at MUN, in honor of Dr. Miminis’ late wife.
How would he describe the Greek approach to life?: “You know, one side of it really is like My Big Fat Greek Wedding…outgoing, fun, careless, please everybody. But there is another side, a deeper side, where you take a much deeper approach to life, you philosophize, sing deep songs…and try to find out how to live both sides well.”
And how does the St. John’s approach to life measure up to that of the Greeks?: “I don’t think you can really find that kind of approach anywhere in the world [other than Greece] but St. John’s is not bad.”
Musical preferences: “Greek music, definitely. But I’m biased.”
— Sarah Smellie