Greece and the Balkan Wars Lecture Held at Transfiguration Church of Corona
By Catherine Tsounis
“What did Greek-Americans do for Greece during the 1912 Balkan Wars?” asked Peter S. Giakoumis, keynote speaker at the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Community of Corona event celebrating the 100 years of freedom of Macedonia, Epirus, Crete and the Aegean islands. “Four million dollars (9 million in U.S. currency today) was donated in 2007 for the Balkan wars. Fifty-seven thousand immigrants returned to Greece to fight for freedom. Those who survived returned to the United States to work and send funds back home, primarily to the Peloponnese.”
Mr. Peter Giakoumis research is original, on primary sources that should be in the archives of a library or in a book. One cannot find his particular information on the internet. The exact title of the lecture was “Greece and the Balkan Wars: An insight into the contribution of the Greek American Community.” The lecture took place on Sunday, November 4th at noon in the Transfiguration Community Hall. Rev. George Anastasiou is the presbyter of the Transfiguration of Christ Cathedral.
Leonidas Korachais, President of the Parish Council who celebrated his birthday at the event, said “we are honoring the struggle of the Greek army for freedom in 1912. Our Culture Committee’s aim is to bring culture, promote Greek Letters, civilization and the Greek Orthodox faith in our community.” Prominent persons included: Koula Sophianou; Consul General of Cyprus, Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, Consul of Greece; Fotis Gerasopoulos of the PanMacedonian Federation; Geroglis Panagiotis; Captain Nikolaos Armpouniotis; Dr. Constantine Kosmas, who made opening remarks and Professor Christopher H. Tripoulas, the “right arm of the community”, according to Rev. Anastasiou.
Mr. Giakoumis is a military Historian with a Master of Arts degree in Political Science. He is a former Captain in the New York State Guard-Army Division. The speaker is a twenty year Federal Law Enforcement Officer and a Living History practitioner with the Greek Warriors. His presentation was bilingual Greek/English in a power point presentation. He showed bibliography based on eye witness accounts in American sources of 1912. “I am offering this lecture to all groups and universities interested in learning about Phil-Hellenism in Greece’s participation in the Balkan War of 1912.” Contact Mr. Gakoumis for more information at [email protected].
The newsletter of the Transfiguration Church gave an excellent summary of the 100 years Centennial of Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, Crete and the northern Aegean Islands. “The country doubled in size,” it reads. “The Greek American community actively contributed to his victorious campaign through financial and military assistance.” Speaker Giakoumis, who wore military clothing of the 1912 army, said “the soldiers were of the business and blue collar community from the West, South and North. Seven to Eight thousand Greeks in Utah volunteer to go back to Greece to fight. Jane Addams, Noble Peace Prize winner and founder of the Hull House in Chicago and B.G. Hutchinson were Phil-Hellenes. Hutchinson, who was an American soldier in the Greek army, played a significant role. Hellenism and patriotism to America went hand in hand in the struggle.” In 1974, I purchased a lithograph of the 1912 war showing Greece moving to freedom with the Statue of Liberty and the American flag by its side. Love for America and Greece went hand in hand together. Mr. Peter S. Giakoumis rendered an accurate presentation of a glorious period of Greek history. For more information, visit
Photo 1 – Peter S. Giakoumis, keynote speaker at the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Community of Corona event celebrating the 100 years of freedom of Macedonia, Epirus, Crete and the Aegean islands.
Photo 2 –Peter S. Giakoumis with artifacts presentation viewed by honored guests and diplomats.