Speech of President of the Republic János Áder at the Gala Dinner of the Constantinian Order of St George in London
I am aware of all the places where the Order helps those in need, the poor and those in need of support. Therefore on behalf of my wife and myself I would like to express my appreciation for your work and to express our gratitude to the Knights of St George for inviting Hungarians to their table.
We represent a nation here, which similarly to the English are also proud of their tradition and who are convinced that the past doesn’t only belong on the pages of history books, but that it lives on in us – in our skills, desires and aspirations.
This is why we will remember forever how sixty years ago we Hungarians managed to turn the wheels of history forward. In 1956, it was the Hungarians who drove the first nail into the coffin of communism. We tried to protect freedom, the most ancient European value against one of the most murderous machines of Europe.
The Hungarian nation could not win the battle of inequals, but it did provide a tragically beautiful example of how you sometimes have to take on a hopeless battle in the interest of a good cause.
Gyula Illyés put it this way: “Our history teaches us logic. It teaches us, and this is what makes it consoling and austere, that notions like courage, valiance and adherence to ideas are the ones that really have any sense in the life of a nation.“
In just a few years, the Constantinian Order of St George will be celebrating a truly memorable jubilee: the five hundredth anniversary of papal recognition.
I wish that reaching this prestigious date, you should have the strength for another five hundred years to continue your work, to pass on the legacy, to preserve the tradition. I wish that you remain faithful to your austere idea, to provide support to the poor, to promote interfaith dialogue and to give an example in solidarity and love in service.
I thank you for your honouring attention.