By Fotis Kaliampakos
In an event befitting the reputation and prestige of the “Delphi 25” chapter, members of AHEPA, along with their families and friends, celebrated their Golden Jubilee on Saturday, November 11th, the day when the official American state honors veterans. The event took place at the luxurious “Harvard Club” in the “Midtown” area of New York.
An event of this caliber will undoubtedly go down in the history of the organization, not only as highly successful but also as an example of the potential and creativity possessed by AHEPA members when there is enthusiasm, unity, and fruitful cooperation.
It is worth mentioning the elegant and gold-lettered album, enriched with the presence of distinguished personalities, such as former congresswoman and Philhellene Carolyn Maloney.
As for the artistic program, it was also well-organized and dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Maria Callas’s birth. It was curated by the baritone Kostas Tsourakis and featured soprano Olga Xanthopoulou, violinist Raphailia Kapsokavadi, pianist Glavkos Kontemeniotis, and bouzouki player Kostas Psaros.
On behalf of Archbishop Elpidophoros, Archimandrite Chrysostomos Panos participated in the event. The Very Reverend Father Chrysostomos read the message from Archbishop Elpidophoros and, together with Archimandrite Chrysostomos Gilbert (Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity), led the prayer. Also present at the dinner was Archimandrite Michael Yiavris.
The President of the “Delphi 25” chapter of AHEPA, Dr. Sotiris Stergiopoulos, explained to the guests that despite being in a landmark location, this chapter of AHEPA has a rich history and enduring activity, rightfully earning the title of a “landmark.”
He also mentioned that in the past, Franklin Roosevelt (brother of former President Teddy Roosevelt) was a member of the “Delphi 25” chapter.
Dr. Stergiopoulos paid tribute to the deceased former presidents of the chapter and then greeted the attending former presidents.
A greeting was also delivered by AHEPA Governor Peter Ragousis.
Also present were the governors of the “Daughters of Penelope,” Mrs. Eleni Damaskou, and the “Daughters of Athena,” Mrs. Christina Filios. Along with the governor of the “Sons of Pericles,” Mr. George Kalivas, and the Supreme President, Mr. Alex Economakis.
The Supreme Director of the Board of Trustees of AHEPA, Mr. Nikos Karakostas, was also present.
Dr. Marinos Petratos spoke on behalf of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Following this, Governor Ragousis of the Empire State region and Supreme President Savvas Tsivikos delivered speeches.
The Supreme President congratulated the “Delphi” chapter, which, as he mentioned, is the largest in the AHEPA family.
Referring to the organization’s journey, he emphasized that we have a glorified past filled with laurels.
However, he added that now is the time and our turn, and we need to solidify everything we have created.
Our active participation is needed, our involvement in public affairs, and our engagement and consultation with our elected representatives.
We have, he continued, many issues that need to be promoted, both at the local and national levels. And he emphasized that Orthodoxy is constantly under attack.
We have, he added, the Cyprus issue and the matters of Education and Philanthropy that we are advancing. Changes are needed, he added.
Hellenism is an idea, not just an identity.
Subsequently, Mr. Tsivikos presented a special award to the “Delphi” chapter’s board.
This was followed by the entrance and a brief speech by the Mayor of New York City, Mr. Eric Adams.
The Mayor brought with him the proclamation of the City of New York, according to which November 11, 2023, was declared as AHEPA – “Delphi 25” Day.
Mayor Adams, in his speech, praised the significance of the organization’s activities, especially the “Delphi 25” chapter, and emphasized with great emphasis that both the city and the pillars of AHEPA work diligently to promote the ideals of Family, Education, Business, and Public Safety.
According to a recent poll mentioned by Mayor Adams, 52% of respondents do not wish to defend the country if our country comes under attack. You, he pointed out, belong to the 48%, and for that, you deserve praise.
In conclusion, Mayor Adams asked those present to return to Astoria so that “Astoria can once again have smart people.”
It is noteworthy that Mayor Adams, before leaving the room, approached and warmly embraced Margot and John Catsimatides.
Immediately after the Mayor left, all former Presidents of the “Delphi 25” chapter were honored with a special medal for the occasion. This commemorative medal bears the inscription of the 100th anniversary, within a case, emphasizing this glorious moment for the entire Greek-American community.