History of the Order of AHEPA 1922 - 1972
Chapter Eleven: The Years 1962 - 1966
The Fortieth Supreme Convention
August 19 to 25, 1962 - Chicago, Illinois
The 40th Supreme Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois, during the week of August 19-25, 1962.
Convention officers were Louis J. Dukas, Chairman; John C. Castanes, Vice Chairman; Gregory J. Despinakis, Secretary.
Supreme Lodge delegates were Nicholas Coffinas, George J. Margoles, Nicholas J. Chirekos, Panayes G. Dikeou, John M. Manos, Peter Kotsonas, Toby Caragian, Mike Costas, Peter Caravoulias, James Kostopulous, Sam Nakis, Nicholas T. Laskaris.
Supreme Board of Trustees delegates were Ernest E. Dematatis, Gus Nicholas, Michael Colias, Chris E. Athas, William G. Chirgotis, Anthony E. Papageorgiou, A. Don Bullion, George J. Pappademas.
Mother Lodge delegates: Nicholas D. Chotas, James Campbell, George A. Polos, Harry Angelopoulos, John Angelopoulos.
Past Supreme President delegates: George E. Phillies, George C. Vournas, Peter L. Bell, John G. Thevos, Leo J. Lamberson, Constantine P. Verinis, George E. Loucas.
District Governor delegates: Sergei Kampakis, Christopher Ekonomou, Tom P. Pappas, Perry Chappen, Thomas Kress, John S. Linakis, Alexander Demessianos, Charles J. Kirkiles, Theodore Caras, James Palmer, Thomas L. Chase, Peter Pakes, John C. Castanes, Peter G. Andrews, Thomas Polley, George Calfas, George P. Dikeou, Gust P. Carkulis, George Mahlis, Nick Koumiotis, John G. Kaplanis, Steven Gimurtu, Louis Yankou.
In addition to the above, there were 613 Chapter delegates registered at the convention.
The convention acted upon the following matters:
(1) Expressed support of pending legislation in Congress to increase immigration from Greece;
(2) Approved membership of Ahepa into the American Immigration and Citizenship Conference;
(3) To hold an Excursion to Greece in 1963;
(4) Selected Toronto, Canada as the site of the 1964 convention;
(5) Selected Athens, Greece as the site of the 1965 Supreme Convention;
(6) That Ahepa go on record as disapproving and condemning any and all discriminatory acts by friendly governments against the United States nationals and interest, and respectfully petitions the U.S. government to withhold any and all aid of any nature, form or description to such governments under the 1962 or subsequent Appropriations Acts until such time as discriminatory actions are effectively removed or just compensation been made;
(7) That the inclusion of Byzantine History be made in the curriculum of the public schools;
(8) Authorized the Supreme Board of Trustees to subdivide the Florida Property into a section to be an Old Age tract, and the balance of the property to be sold as lots for housing.
The following new Supreme Lodge was then elected:
George J. Margoles, Supreme President; Nicholas J. Chirekos, Supreme Vice President; Louis G. Manesiotis, Supreme Secretary; Panayes G. Dikeou, Supreme Treasurer; Peter C. Charuhas, Supreme Counsellor; George Prahales-Panos, Supreme Vice President of Canada; Gus Cherevas, Supreme Governor; Mike Costas, Supreme Governor; Chris Anton, Supreme Governor; Arthur Lagadinos, Supreme Governor, Nick Smyrnis, Supreme Governor. Angelo F. Mavrigan was elected Supreme Athletic Director.
The members of the Supreme Board of Trustees were: Gus Nicholas, Ernest E. Dematatis, Michael Colias, Chris E. Athas, William G. Chirgotis, Anthony E. Papageorgiou, A. Don Bullion, and Speros J. Zepatos.
A special survey was undertaken by the Ahepa Headquarters during the year on the number of courses offered in universities and colleges on Hellenic Culture. The results were published in a special report by Supreme Vice President Nicholas J. Chirekos, which listed the schools offering courses in Greek language, history, drama, as an aid to students seeking such learning. The report also included facts on Ahepa's scholarship programs over the years. The booklet was entitled "Ahepa 's Educational and Scholarship Programs." …
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania chapter, in cooperation with Lehigh Valley Heart Association, brings 12 year old Nicholas Nafpilotis of Chios, Greece to Philadelphia for a heart operation … District #5 gives $500 scholarship; District #1 two $200 scholarships … Hempstead, N.Y. #170 presents 4 sets of the Greek Classics, and 8 Ahepa Medals for Scholastic Excellence … Presentations of the Ahepa Greek Classics to libraries and Ahepa Medals to students of Greek schools continues throughout the country … District #11 gives two $300 scholarships … Dr. Robert B. Hass, Head of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles, thanks Ahepa District #20 for their sponsorship of the "Greek Heritage" course at the university.
Marino Anastasiou of Piraeus, Greece arrives in Washington through Ahepa sponsorship for a heart operation … Director Leonard A. Wien of the Miami Dr. Papanikolaou Cancer Research Institute, thanks Ahepa for the gift sent for support of the institute …
LIFE Magazine honors 100 most important young persons in the United States, and three are of Greek descent: U.S. Representative John Brademas of Indiana; Peter G. Peterson of Kearney, Nebraska, President of Bell and Howell Co.; Chryssa, Athens-born sculptor …
John Glimis Pappas of Union City, NJ enters West Point Military Academy.
Sculptor Felix W. deWeldon, internationally known for his Iwo Jima Statue in Washington, D.C. begins work on the Ahepa statue of former President Harry S. Truman, to be placed in Athens, Greece.
In expressing its reasons for the erection of a statue to President Truman, the Ahepa published this statement:
Under the circumstances of the conditions then existent in Greece, (in 1947) the outcome of the struggle between the Communists and the Greek government would have been doubtful had not the United States come to the assistance of Greece. With the logistic support of the United States, the Greek Army was reorganized and managed, after three years of bitter warfare, to crush the Communist rebellion in September, 1949. The economic assistance of the United States to Greece was mainly used for keeping the economy going on a day-to-day basis, and caring for the homeless and jobless refugees of war-stricken areas, which at one time reached the alarming proportions of 1/10 of the population of the country, or 700,000 persons. The 'Truman Doctrine' not only saved the country of Greece from communistic control, but also furnished the necessary economic aid for a starving, homeless and war-stricken people.
In 1950, the country of Greece finally embarked upon a comprehensive plan of economic reconstruction, and started on the final road to recovery. The effect of the economic and technological assistance from the United States upon the Greek economy can best be judged by stating that without this aid, Greece would most likely not be a free nation today.
The Order of Ahepa, desiring to pay tribute to the 'Truman Doctrine' and to President Truman for the life-giving and critical aid given Greece, has undertaken the Ahepa Truman Memorial, as a commemorative gesture of international friendship and good-will between the two countries.
The fraternity begins a drive in the fall of 1962 to raise funds for the purchase of "Sports Kits" to be sent to the schools in Greece. These "kits" consisted of Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball equipment. A survey of Greek schools indicated that there was a dire need of such sports equipment … Aleck Economy of the Bronx, N.Y. chapter donates $1,000 to the Dr. Papanikolaou Cancer Research Center in Miami … Ahepa District #13 (Illinois, Wisconsin, part of Missouri) establishes its District Scholarship Fund with its first annual Scholarship Fund Dance and a $500 donation from Peter D. Gianukos of Chicago, which he pledged to give annually to the Fund … Stephania Fragoyianni of Greece arrived in Chicago for a heart operation under the auspices of Ahepa District No. 13, and Dr. Thomas Baffes, noted heart surgeon, donated his services for the operation. This was the first of a series of such heart operations for Greek children sponsored by the District. … George A. Morris of the Boise, Idaho Chapter is honored by the March of Dimes for ten years of service to the National Foundation.
Nicholas L. Strike of Salt Lake City, Utah chapter, Past Supreme President of the Sons of Pericles, and General Manager of Ajax Presses of Salt Lake City, receives President Kennedy's "E" for Export Excellence Award for his firm's outstanding export business during the past year … The Ahepa Welfare Committee of the Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope of District #6 (New York State) continues its annual drive to feed, clothe, and entertain underprivileged children of New York City.
The Summary of Greek Courses offered in 462 colleges and universities prepared by the Order of Ahepa indicated that there were 2,979 courses offered in the study of Hellenic Culture, representing 11,977 course hours of study, an average of more than six courses at each school. The States of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio ranked first, second, and third, in the most courses offered at universities and colleges …
Ahepa officially joins the American Immigration and Citizenship Conference, which is active in matters of immigration and citizenship, and supports programs and legislation affecting both … State Commissioner of Veterans Services for Massachusetts Charles N. Collatos, of the Boston chapter is re-appointed for a second five-year term.
The Omaha, Nebraska Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope chapters took active part in a Festival of Nations Program at the University of Nebraska which was titled "Greece -- Its Legacy to America." The panelists discussed the discoveries of ancient Greece and their application today … U.S. Representative John Brademas of the South Bend, Indiana Chapter was named as one of America's Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1962 by the National Junior Chamber of Commerce … The City of Athens, Greece and the government of Greece approve the site for the Ahepa Truman Memorial. … George J. Vavoulis is re-elected Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1962.
Spiro T. Agnew of Baltimore, Md., was elected (1962) as the new County Executive of Baltimore County, in his first attempt to a major public office. He won by an 18,000 majority. He was a former member of the county Board of Appeals, and also an original member of the 3-man Zoning Agency set up when the new charter form of government took effect in 1957 and served as its chairman for two years. Brother Agnew was an attorney and partner in a Towson, Maryland law firm, and served in various local civic groups. He received his law degree from the University of Baltimore, and was serving there as an instructor in 1962. His father, Theodore S. Agnew of Baltimore, was a Past President of the Baltimore Chapter, and also a Past District Governor of Ahepa District #3, and an Ahepan for 38 years.
Supreme Counsellor Peter C. Charuhas, of Washington; D.C., an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, was commended by U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for his 25 years of service … Christ G. Xinakes was re-elected to third consecutive term as President of the Buffalo, N.Y. chapter … James Brahos finished his 14th term as Secretary of the Hammond, Ind., chapter. … Kansas City University's annual dinner was named "Greek Year Dinner" with the program on Greek Culture, with Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope Chapters taking full participation. Dr. Moses Hadas of Columbia University, recognized authority on the Greek Classics, was a speaker.
Ahepa received the following letter from Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, on the Truman Memorial to be erected in Athens:
Certainly President Truman's historic appeal in 1947 had the support of the overwhelming majority of Americans and was endorsed by the Congress which was aware of the Communist threat. Personally, I gave the legislation my vigorous endorsement and recall with satisfaction my speech on the floor of the House in its behalf.
The 'Truman Doctrine' was an unprecedented, bold program to assist free peoples to resist outside pressures. It was our answer to assist the valiant, democratic people of Greece whose willingness to defend themselves against Communist expansion found ready response in the hearts of Americans. You may be intersted, in this connection, in what I had to say to the Greek people last year at the Thessaloniki Trade Fair: 'Fifteen years ago as a young Congressman I stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and raised my voice for Greek-Turk aid known as the Truman Doctrine. That was a courageous step, but I never took a prouder or surer one. And, I might add, you have justified the faith of every one of us who believed in you.
Fifteen years ago, you looked into the eye of the danger of communism's attempt to take over the world. The people of Greece did not blink. The people of Greece did not waver. You did not blink, you did not waver, you did not flinch. Because of your courage, communism was stopped here and the line drawn against the aggressor has never been crossed. Greek and American -- and free men and women everywhere -- are united tonight in determination that the line shall never be crossed. We free people are united in determination that the peace shall be kept and that a better life will be created for all free people everywhere.
It is good to know that the Order of Ahepa has undertaken to commemorate that historic period of American-Greek brotherhood and to honor the man whose vision made it possible.
- LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Vice-President of the United States.
(The letter was dated March 25, 1963, the anniversary of Greek Independence Day)
Ahepa chapters were busy raising funds for both the Ahepa Truman Memorial in Athens, and the Dr. Papanikolaou Cancer Research Center in Miami … Gust Catsulis of the New Orleans Chapter is honored as the outstanding naturalized citizen of Louisiana by the Daughters of the American Revolution … Dan D. Diamond of Denver Chapter #145 is appointed Judge in the Municipal Court for the city and county of Denver.
AHEPA Truman Statue
On May 29, 1963, the Ahepa Truman Memorial was dedicated in Athens, Greece before a crowd of some 20,000 people. The ceremonies were covered by the major press bureaus and services of the world for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. The dedicatory service was given by Archbishop Chrysostom of Greece, and Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America. The presentation address was by Supreme President George J. Margoles, and the unveiling and principal address by Prime Minister Constantine Caramanlis of Greece. Addresses were also made by American Ambassador to Greece Henry R. Labouisse, and Mayor Angel Tsoukalas of Athens.
President John F. Kennedy's message for the ceremony was:
This occasion is an inspiring one to all Greeks and Americans and to free men everywhere who watched with respect and admiration heroic Greek efforts to preserve their freedom against Communist aggression. Until our collective security relationship under NATO was established, the Truman Doctrine helped provide the shield for the free world. This statue is a fitting tribute to President Truman, under whose leadership the American people rallied to forge a special relationship with Greece. We remember that this occurred when free men were hopeful that peace would follow the years of war and when the Greek people were beset by the problems of reconstruction and a new threat from abroad. We are especially proud that the action taken to meet the crisis, while principally borne by the Greek people, was a joint Greek-United States Effort. That close cooperation, and the feeling that we share common problems and aspirations still marks our relationship today.
I hope this outstanding memorial, which the Order of Ahepa has made possible, will come to symbolize not only our common heritage and efforts, but will serve to remind us of the high priority President Truman gave the progress of Greece toward economic development and social justice in peace and freedom.
-JOHN F. KENNEDY, President of the United States.
The heroic size 12 foot statue of President Truman weighs more than 6,000 pounds, in bronze, and was the work of sculptor Felix W. de Weldon of Washington, D.C. It was cast in a New York City foundry, and shipped to Greece by steamship. It was placed in Athens, in a triangular plaza specified by the City of Athens and the government of Greece, at the juncture of King Constantine and King George II Streets in Athens, about three blocks from the Athens Hilton Hotel.
On the pedestal bearing the statue, the following inscription is carved in both Greek and English:
Harry S. Truman
President of the
United States of America
April 12, 1945 - January 20, 1953
Statesman- Humanitarian - Philhellene.
Dedicated by the
Order of AHEPA
May 29, 1963
Behind the statue, on the marble wall, the following inscription is in Greek and English:
To Harry S. Truman, in grateful acknowledgement of the Truman Doctrine which he as President of the United States of America proclaimed on March 12, 1947 thereby helping the Greek people to preserve their freedom and national integrity at a crucial turn of the history of mankind and expressing the devotion of the American people to the ideal of Liberty. Dedicated on May 29, 1963 by the Royal Greek Government on behalf of the Greek people and by the Order of Ahepa, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association on behalf of American citizens of Greek descent.
On the marble wall to the right of the statue, the following inscription is in both Greek and English:
I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free people who are resisting attempted subjugation -- if Greece should fall under the control of an armed minority, confusion and disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East-moreover, the disappearance of Greece as an independent state would have a profound effect upon those countries in Europe whose peoples are struggling against great difficulties to maintain their freedoms and their independence while they repair the damages of war -- should we fail to aid Greece in this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to the West as well as to the East – we must take immediate and resolute action."
(Excerpts of the address of President Harry S. Truman before a joint session of the Congress of the United States of America on March 12, 1947)
The Executive Committee of the Ahepa Truman Memorial Committee was: Honorary Co-Chairmen, George J. Margoles and Nicholas Coffinas; General Co-Chairmen, John L. Manta, Socrates V. Sekles; Vice-Chairmen, George E. Johnson, Sam S. Nakos, Tom Ross; Secretary, Louis G. Manesiotis; Treasurer, William G. Chirgotis; Asst. Secretary, John Paulos; Counsellor, William Zacharellis; Advisor, Peter L. Bell; Public Relations, Andrew Fasseas, and George Douris; Coordinators, John G. Plumides, Kirnon A. Doukas, Peter D. Gianukos.
Excerpts from some of the addresses made at the dedication ceremonies were
Greek Prime Minister Caramanlis
Thanks to the sacrifices of her heroic children, but also to the Truman Doctrine, Greece saved her territorial integrity and freedom. If the Greeks want to survive as a free nation, they should not forget that dramatic period with which Mr. Truman's name is linked. Should they forget it, they would deserve their fate and have no right to ask for anyone's help. The Greek-Americans who have had the initiative of erecting the monument today are worthy of praise because they have given us the possibility to repay, as a Nation, a sacred debt to a great friend of our country, but also to a great champion of the noblest ideals of Man. At the same time, in Mr. Truman's person, we are honoring the entire American people, because it is their virtues and generosity that Mr. Truman embodied. They are the people with whom, in addition to close allied bonds, we are linked-and will always be linked-by feelings of sincere friendship and gratitude.
Ahepa Supreme President Margoles:
In foreign affairs, the United States since its birth has achieved two major milestones. One is the Monroe Doctrine of the early 19th Century and the other, the Truman Doctrine of 1947. The Monroe Doctrine assured the liberties of the peoples of the American Continents. The Truman Doctrine assured the liberties of all peoples living in the Free World.
Following the ceremony, Prime Minister Caramanlis sent the following cablegram to former President Truman at his home in Independence, Missouri:
Today I had the privilege of unveiling your statue in a central part of Athens. This supreme honor is justly bestowed upon you, because at a most critical turn of our history you contributed decisively to the salvation of the Greek Nation.
Without the Truman Doctrine it is very probable that Greece would have not only shared the hard fate of the peoples behind the Iron Curtain but would also have been wiped out as a race. Through the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and the Atlantic Alliance, all of them achievements due to your initiative, you have given the Western World, and first of all Greece, peace and freedom. The Greek people will remember with infinite gratitude your generous action of March 12, 1947.
- CONSTANTINE CARAMANLIS, Prime Minister of Greece.
Past Supreme President John G. Thevos originally conceived and proposed that AHEPA undertake to erect the statue of President Truman in Athens, Greece.
A few of the many American newspaper comments on the Truman Statue were:
"the bronze figure of the Fair Dealer will be in the best of company in the land of the Greek sculpturers of antiquity" … "The Greeks could do worse than to honor Harry S. Truman, a humble American who proved himself worthy of Olympian challenges." … "If not the father of Greece reborn, Harry S. Truman is at least the godfather." … "The statue to Harry Truman in Athens is an honest tribute, thoroughly deserved." … "Harry may not be quite so handsome as Pericles, but he did save Athens and all Greece." … "Ahepa deserves great gratitude for undertaking this tremendous project and bearing the full brunt of its expense and its unmerited criticism." (A few communist-inspired newspapers in Athens were critical of the statue.) … "The Athens statue of Truman shows him holding a copy of the Truman Doctrine. This doctrine, proclaimed in 1947, and soon supplemented by the Marshall Plan, certainly saved Greece, Turkey, Italy and France -- perhaps all Europe -- outside the Iron Curtain. And equally certain, Truman's decision to stand in Korea saved at least half that country -- and probably the Philippines and Japan. The Berlin airlift rescued West Berlin from strangulation and absorption by the Communists. These were no mean deeds. Reflecting on them, one begins to ask why is not all of Europe studded with statues of Truman?"
1963 - Views of the Ahepa Truman Statue erected in Athens, Greece in commemoration of the "Trumman Doctrine" of 1946 which rushed aid to Greece and saved that country from a Communistic take-over after World War II.
Dr. George Nicholas Papanikolaou
Dr. George Nicholas Papanikolaou was born May 13, 1883 in the town of Kimi on the island of Euboea, Greece and educated at the University of Athens. In 1928, when he was an obscure Cornell Medical College researcher, he reported in a medical journal on a "New Cancer Diagnosis." He outlined his theory that cancer of the uterus, which was then one of the leading causes of death in women, could be detected by a microscopic examination of a vaginal smear. The test seemed far simpler than the standard system of surgical biopsy.
His theory was ignored by most physicians for the next decade, but in the late 1930's, Dr. Papanikolaou resumed his studies, and in 1943 his new findings showed conclusively that such vaginal smears could indicate uterine cancer before any other symptoms had appeared.
His findings then won total acceptance, and the "Pap test" for women helped cut the national death rate from uterine cancer nearly in half in less than 25 years. Thereafter, Dr. Papanikolaou won international acclaim, but he continued his work at Cornell, where he completed a 48 year association. He then took over a research institute in Miami, Forida, which was named after him, the "Papanikolaou Cancer Research Institute at Miami." Only a few months later, Dr. Papanikolaou died, at the age of 78.
In one of his last letters, he wrote to the Order of Ahepa:
Due to my recent moving to Miami, Florida I have just received your announcement of the 60-day campaign initiated by our great organization for the purpose of raising funds for our new Cancer Research Institute here.
I am very deeply touched by it and I can find no words to express to you my sincere appreciation and gratitude. Our Institute will be dedicated to research on problems related to the control of cancer, particularly through the further development and wider application of the method which was originally devised in our laboratory. It is now generally recognized that our greatest hopes for controlling this dreaded disease is through its detection at an early, curable stage.
The valuable assistance and support you so graciously propose to give us at this crucial moment is indeed a very generous gesture which is most deeply appreciated.
GEORGE N. Papanikolaou, M.D.
George Papanikolaou -- A Pioneer in Medical Research
Supreme Governor Chris S. Anton died suddenly on June 2, 1963, and the Supreme Lodge elected Xenophon K. Microutsicos of Trenton, N.J. to fill his unexpired term on the Supreme Lodge .... Supreme Counsellor Peter C. Charuhas represents the Supreme Lodge at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day for the laying of the Ahepa Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Committee also decorated the graves of American veterans of Greek descent buried at Arlington, with Ahepa wreaths
Gust J. Herouvis and Peter N. Mantzoros were co-commanders of the 1963 Excursion to Greece, which departed on March 12 from New York City on the S.S. Queen Frederica. Other committee members were Thos. D. Lentgis, John Basel, Gustav Coffinas, Mrs. Pota Saratsis, Mrs. Zoe Rummel, Cathy Yeotis and Peter Zegras. The committee visited the Ahepa Agricultural School at Velo, located on a 16 acre plot of land, with 12 acres in cultivation at the time. Established by Ahepa in 1931, it began operation in 1934, and has accommodations for 30 boys. The committee donated funds for the purchase of books and bookcases during its visit.
Columbia, South Carolina Chapter #284 donates $2,000 to the Holy Cross Theological Seminary at Brookline, Massachusetts .... Sam Mihalis of the Allentown, Pennsylvania chapter is decorated by the Greek government for his many donations to his village churches of Viotia, Greece .... U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island is initiated into the Newport, R.I. Ahepa chapter. ... President George N. Giovas of the Mansfield, Ohio chapter was selected as the Outstanding New Jaycee of Mansfield.
Theodore S. Agnew, Past District Governor of District #3, of Baltimore, and father of Ahepan Spiro T. Agnew, County Executive of Baltimore County, Md., in 1963, died on January 30, 1963. He was a Charter Member of the Baltimore chapter, and was often called upon to speak at Ahepa chapter ceremonies. The following address was delivered at a Baltimore Chapter Past President's Dinner, about a year before his death:
If I were asked to attempt to express in a single work my dominant emotion tonight, I would have to say it is pride. Not a personal sense of accomplishment, but a comfortable feeling of identity with my Brother Ahepans -- past and present -- who, working together in the spirit of brotherhood, have made this Order an outstanding example of democracy in action.
These are days of dire threat to our adopted country -- days of grave danger to the principles of freedom and dignity of the individual. Who better understands the true value of freedom and dignity than we in this room who are direct descendants of the authors of those principles-the ancient Hellenes. Who better understands the true value of freedom and dignity than we who have matured and prospered in the workshop of democracy, the United States of America. Yet, understanding as we do the value of freedom and dignity, we fail miserably to recognize the imminent threat that menaces our priceless heritage. We are apathetic about Cuba, about Laos, about the tidal wave of communism that rolls ever closer to our shores.
We have grown soft in our prosperity -- our muscles atrophy and waste. Meanwhile, our enemies -- energetic and vital in their hunger for the luxuries we no longer appreciate – become ever stronger. It is not bad that new countries should grow and rise in stature to become world powers. It was ever thus. Unfortunately, in the present case, the country in question is not a child grown to useful manhood, but a cub grown to a carnivorous tiger. That tiger is the reality today -- threatening to consume the free world -- to rend and devour the principle of freedom and dignity I recently mentioned. Perhaps we oldsters are mostly to blame for not caging the tiger when he was but a cub. But fixing the blame will not serve any constructive purpose. Blame is at best anesthetic for those who abhor action. I call upon you younger Ahepans to become fully aware of the dangers that threaten you and your children -- I call upon you to rise to the defense of the precious freedoms that may one day slip through our fingers if we are not vigilant -- I call upon you to make the first two letters in Ahepa mean what they say -- American, Hellenic.
My legacy to you is the painfully accumulated knowledge that the principles of Americanism and Hellenism need and deserve your constant protection -- that we must work, fight, give, to make democracy live.
The Forty-First Supreme Convention
August 11 to 17, 1963 - San Diego, California
The 41st Supreme Convention was held in San Diego, California During the week of August 11-17, 1963. Convention officers were: William P. Tsaffaras, Chairman; Peter G. Chingos, Vice Chairman; Ted Mavrick, Secretary.
Supreme Lodge delegates were: George J. Margoles, Nicholas J. Chirekos, Louis G. Manesiotis, Panayes G. Dikeou, Peter C. Charuhas, George Prahales-Panos, Gus Cherevas, Mike Costas, Arthur N. Lagadinos, Xeonophon K. Microutsicos, Nick Smyrnis, Angelo F. Mavrigan.
Mother Lodge delegates: Nicholas D. Chotas, James Campbell, George A. Polos.
Supreme Board of Trustees delegates: Gus Nicholas, A. Don Bullion, William G. Chirgotis, C.E. Athas, Speros J. Zepatos.
Past Supreme President delegates: Peter L. Bell, John G. Thevos, George E. Loucas, Nicholas Coffinas.
District Governor delegates: Harry G. Carratt, G. William Holmes, Frank D. Grammas, James A. Rappas, Peter H. Despotopulos, Peter G. Palmer, Peter Laras, Sam Stavrakas, Frank A. Karigan, Alex C. Booras, Dr. Peter G. Frangos, Tommie Sotiriou, George Marantos, Louis Frangos, Spero T. Southas.
In addition, there were 268 Chapter delegates in attendance.
The 1963 San Diego convention was the first Supreme Convention under the direct supervision and responsibility of the Supreme Lodge, the Supreme Board of Trustees and the Executive Secretary, by amendment of the Constitution at the 1960 Montreal convention.
Action was taken by the San Diego convention on the following:
(1) Approved the report of the special committee on the feasibility of a Supreme Convention to be held in Athens, Greece in 1965, and directed the Supreme Lodge and Supreme Board of Trustees to proceed with all arrangements;
(2) Eliminated the "zone" system for selection of Suprme Convention sites, allowing future conventions to select convention cities from any part of the Ahepa Domain;
(3) Endorsed pending legislation designed to protect all minorities in the United States regardless of race, religion or national origin, to achieve for all groups and people full and complete equality in education, employment, and housing;
(4) Supported a stronger scholarship program;
(5) Created the new elective office of District Athletic Director;
(6) Increased the number of Supreme Trustees to sixteen, two of whom to be the Supreme President and Supreme Vice President;
(7) Added one more Supreme Governor to the Supreme Lodge;
(8) Created an Ahepa Publication Board;
(9) Required the use of Voting Machines for balloting on Constitutional Amendments.
Message of President John F. Kennedy to the San Diego 1963 Supreme Convention:
It gives me great pleasure to extend greetings to the members of Ahepa on the occasion of your Supreme Convention. Your ancestors gave to all Western Civilization its first idea of human freedom by giving the world not just the word for, but the very concept of, democracy. Their descendants who have come to these shores have contributed much to the rich cultural traditions of this Nation. American democracy has been defended on battlefields throughout the world by men -- many of them in your Order – whose ancestors defended the cause at Marathon and Thermopylae.
Thus, the United States owes a unique debt to you just as you enjoy a unique heritage as the heirs alike of Socrates and Jefferson. With best wishes for continued good fortune in all your endeavors.
- John F. Kennedy.
The new Supreme Lodge was: John G. Plumides, Supreme President; Nicholas J. Chirekos, Supreme Vice President; Nick Smyrnis, Supreme Secretary; Xenophon K. Microutsicos, Supreme Treasurer; Theodore Alexander Bardy, Supreme Counsellor; George Prahales-Panos, Supreme Vice President of Canada; Harry C. Boosalis, Supreme Governor; George Dimas, Supreme Governor; Gus G. Gatseos, Supreme Governor; Nick T. Georges, Supreme Governor; John G. Kaplanis, Supreme Governor; James G. Petheriotes, Supreme Governor. Pete G. Pasvantis was elected Supreme Athletic Director.
The new Supreme Board of Trustees was: Socrates V. Sekles, Chairman; C.E. Athas, Vice Chairman; James Mazarakos, Vice Chairman; William G. Chirgotis, Secretary; Gus Nicholas, Treasurer; Nicholas G. Chronis, Panayes G. Dikeou, A. Don Bullion, Gust J. Herouvis, Sam S. Nakos, Anthony E. Papageorgiou, George J. Pappademas, Peter Sideris, Speros J. Zepatos, and the Supreme President and Supreme Vice President.
At the convention Grand Banquet, George E. Loucas, Past Supreme President was honored as the recipient of the Cross of the Commander of the Royal Order of Phoenix by the Greek government for his many services to the peoples of Greece and the United States … Supreme President John G. Plumides attended ceremonies on Sept. 11, 1963 at the United Nations in New York City where U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai Stevenson presented a donation of $500,000 from the United States to the United Nations to be used as assistance for refugees in Greece. The funds were to be used for housing, medical and subsistence requirements, and for resettlement of refugees. Besides government officials, U.S. Congressman John Brademas and Presidential Administrative Assistant Mike Manatos also attended.
Pontiac, Michigan chapter member Philip Pratt was appointed by Governor Romney of Michigan as a Circuit Judge for Oakland County, Michigan … Mike Manatos, Administrative Assistant to President John F. Kennedy is honored at the District #12 convention with an Ahepa achievement award … Charles J. Drewes of Jamaica, N.Y. chapter #86 is named District #6 Ahepan of the Year for 1963 … Demos Kakridas, President of the Boston, Mass. chapter receives the Royal National Institute of Greece Gold Award for his work in the establishment of libraries in the towns of Greece.
The entire world was shocked at the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and the three days between his death and his funeral were days of shocked disbelief on the part of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Only three weeks before his death, President Kennedy gave an interview in which he referred to the definition of the Greeks for happiness: "It is full use of your powers along lines of excellence." Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded to the Presidency, and one of his first acts was to re-appoint Ahepan Mike N. Manatos as Administrative Assistant to the President.
LIFE Magazine, on September 27, in an article on scholarship awards of various organizations, said: "If you have a relative who is a member in good standing of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) you can have a shot at a $500 award." … In his book on The Story of America's Religions, author Hartzell Spence wrote in discussing Greek-American clubs and the Greek Orthodox Church:
The social and mutual-aid clubs, strongly church-centered gradually replaced the boardinghouse coteries and became national fraternities. The largest of them, the Greek-American AHEPA founded in 1922, requires its members to become American citizens, and uses only the English language in its meetings. In 1939, the Junior Order of Ahepa published an English translation of the Divine Liturgy for a new Greek-American generation to whom Greek is no longer a native tongue. Ahepa also encouraged political activity and became such a force that Harry S. Truman, while President, joined it in a White House ceremony. Largely as a result of Ahepa's work, Atlantis (daily Greek language newspaper published in New York) in 1959 estimated that more than one thousand Greek-Americans were candidates for public office in that year.
The newly-established Ahepa Publication Board members were Supreme President Plumides, Supreme Trustee Chairman Socrates V. Sekles, Executive Secretary Leber, Peter Agris (Chairman), Nick Rekas, Alfred G. Vonetes … Mike Christopher of Jackson, Miss. Is honored with a distinguished service citation at the Southern Restaurant Trade Show … Past president John T. Katsenes of the Phoenix, Arizona chapter is elected President of the Phoenix Junior Chamber of Commerce … Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Neal sends thanks to the Ahepa for its part in the 1963 Freedom Bond Drive … Nick A. Theodore of the Greenville, S.C. chapter is elected to the South Carolina General Assembly. Governor Donald Russel of South Carolina attended the testimonial dinner given Theodore by his chapter. He served the Sons of Pericles as Supreme President … Dee G. Andros becomes head football coach at the University of Idaho …
Ahepa Headquarters issues two new chapter manuals:
“Ahepa Chapter Participation in Community Projects" and
"Chapter Program Guide"
Also available from Headquarters were manuals covering:
"Chapter President's Manual"
"Ahepa Public Relations Manual"
"A Plan for Increasing Membership"
"lndoctrination of New Members";
"How to Make Chapter Meetings lnteresting";
"The Order of Ahepa, 42 Years of Service and Accomplishment"
All were written by Executive Secretary George J. Leber.
Supreme President John G. Plumides attended a special White House Conference on Immigration on January 13, 1964 at the White House, as the representative of Americans of Greek descent. The conference was attended by 40 national leaders of labor, ethnic and social groups for a seminar discussion on immigration laws and how they should be revised for a more equitable application to those nalions with small quotas …
Nicholas W. Genematas of Tucson, Arizona (formerly of Detroit) gave $3,000 in scholarships (6 scholarships of $500 each) to the University of Arizona to be used for the study of Greek civilization. He gave the scholarships through the Order of Ahepa.
Supreme President John G. Plumides and Mrs. Plumides attended the White House luncheon given by President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson for Her Majesty Queen Frederica of Greece on Monday, January 27, 1964 … District No. 13 sponsors heart surgery for 6 year old Demetrios Prosiliakos of Lefki, Messenias, Greece, who is flown to Chicago for the operation by Dr. Thomas G. Baffes of Chicago, who donated his services for the operation. This was the District's second Heart Project … The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Ahepa chapter buys a $6,000 lot and donates it to the Greek Orthodox Community to be used to build a church … Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Ahepans voluntarily assisted the city's Salvation Army during its Christmas Kettle campaign by manning their own special booth, and also donating monies from the Chapter … Baltimore chapter honors racing jockey Samuel Boulmetis with an athletic award … San Francisco, California chapter held its second annual Sports Testimonial Dinner in Nov., 1963 and honored 17 high school seniors for athletic achievement with scholarship awards and trophies … San Mateo, California Chapter #392 hosted 50 patients of the County Ward hospital at the annual Christmas party … Ft. Lauderdale, Florida chapter assisted the Salvation Army in the collection and distribution of Christmas bags for the needy.
King Paul of Greece died, and President Lyndon B. Johnson in a press conference named his personal representatives to the funeral as: Former President Harry S. Truman, Mrs. Johnson, Archbishop lakovos, Supreme President John G. Plumides, Judge John Pappas, U.S. Representative John Brademas, Presidential Special Assistant Mike Manatos, and Past Supreme President George C. Vournas. With the exception of Mrs. Johnson, all members of the American official representatives to the funeral of King Paul, were members of the Order of Ahepa, undoubtedly a signal honor to the fraternity's place in all aspects of American life.
Recipients of the AHEPA Socratic Award
Affairs in Cyprus were again making headlines, and the Ahepa issued this statement on the subject:
There has been a Turkish minority in Western Thrace (Greece) since 1912. This minority has all the rights of the majority and some additional protections and privileges not accorded to the Greek majority. No programs have ever been perpetrated against this minority. No genocide has been practiced on this Turkish minority. They have, on the contrary, been accorded all the privileges and prerogatives of free citizens in a free, enlightened and civilized country governed under a democratic constitution and form of government.
There has been a Jewish minority in Greece since time immemorial. There has never been any programs or suppression against this minority. In fact, the Jewish citizens of Greece have all the rights of the majority and some additional privileges not accorded to the Greek majority. There has been a great deal of unfair, one-sided, prejudiced and even false information disseminated by some news media in the United States concerning Cyprus, its government and its people concerning their just aspirations. The form of government instituted in the United States by our Founding Fathers and practiced by us since that time has been based on the ancient Greek ideal of democracy for all its citizens with due recognition for the dignity of the individual. The United States became a free nation and a democracy by overthrowing the yoke of tyranny and oppression. Since that time the American government has steadfastly stood for freedom for all peoples and for self-determination for all nations.
The people of Cyprus are, at this time, asking for freedom and self-determination based upon and in accordance with the ideas and ideals originally set out in our Declaration of Independence and practiced by our government and the people of America, for themselves and steadfastly supported by them for all enslaved and downtrodden peoples ever since. The right, presently claimed by some nations, to intervene in the internal affairs of Cyprus, is contrary to the ideas and ideals promulgated in our Declaration of Independence. It is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations. The right of intervention, which has been condemned by us when practiced in the Communist World, cannot be justified because it is or may be practiced by the Western Democracies. Only they are virtuous, who not only proclaim but who actually practice virtue.
The members of the Order of Ahepa believe in, subscribe to, and fully support the policy of self-determination for the people of Cyprus.
The Order of Ahepa regrets and condemns the publication in various news media of false, unfair, one-sided and prejudiced information in the United States concerning the struggle of the people of Cyprus to obtain self-determination and freedom from foreign threat and domination. The Order of Ahepa pledges, by all legitimate means, to bring to the attention of our government and our fellow-Americans, the truth concerning the struggle of the people of Cyprus to rid themselves of foreign domination, to obtain self-determination and to adopt a truly democratic constitution under which the rights of all the people of Cyprus will be protected, respected and guaranteed, for too long have we, in America, tended to cling in desperation to the short-range defenses of pacts and treaties, of military bases and security arrangements. They have been allowed to overshadow our most valuable weapons-weapons embodied in the ringing words of democracy, freedom, justice, law and self-determination for all people.
The Greek and the Turkish communities on Cyprus were engaged in communal strife on the island, which was bringing the countries of Greece and Turkey to a near state of war. Russia was exploiting the situation in the United Nations and with letters to other governments. The crux of the argument on Cyprus was the Turkish minority of 17% demands for a final veto over taxes, foreign affairs, defense and security, which the Greek majority of 83% would not agree to, since no government could expect to operate under such conditions. The American government, despite appeals, would take no stand on the matter, even though the principle of majority rule seemed obvious. Both Turkey and Greece were allies of the United States. The Constitutional rights of the Turkish minority on Cyprus were fully protected under the new Constitution of Cyprus, but the demands of the Turkish minority of 17 % for final veto on vital matters were such that no government could hope to survive or operate for any length of time. U.S. Senator Keating of New York stated at the March16, 1964 Ahepa National Banquet in Washington, D.C.: "With a minority veto, effective government is impossible." U.S. Representative John Brademas, at the same banquet, stated: "In democracy, the majority, again respecting the situation of the minority, must ultimately be able to work its will, or democracy will become meaningless."
The 1964 Ahepa National Banquet honoring the U.S. Congress was held on March 16, 1964, and featured the first and initial presentation of the new Ahepa Socratic Award to Henry R. Luce, Editorial Chairman of LIFE and TIME Magazines, in appreciation and recognition of the series of articles published in LIFE Magazine in 1963 entitled "The Miracle of Greece." The articles depicted the contributions of Ancient Greece to modern civilization and the Western World, and it was for this dissemination of Hellenic culture and Hellenic ideals to the peoples of the world, that Ahepa made this award to Mr. Luce. In its editorial page, LIFE Magazine Managing Editor George P. Hunt wrote:
The Thrill of Being 'Seized with Themes'
Match 27, 1964 EDITORS' NOTE – LIFE Magazine
"The greatest thrill for an editor is to be seized with a great theme." Speaking in Washington last week to a gathering of a thousand Americans of Greek descent. Editor-in-Chief Henry R. Luce was referring to LIFE's 1963 series -- The Miracle of Greece. For the series, Luce was presented the first Socratic award from the Order of Ahepa -- the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association -- which was founded in 1922 to educate in the English language and the American way the thousands of Greeks who emigrated to the U.S. after World War I and the Turkish invasion of 1922. Supreme president of the order, John G. Plumides, made the presentation to a standing ovation of the men of Ahepa and members or its auxiliaries – the Daughters or Penelope, the Sons of Pericles and the Maids of Athena.
"In the 20th Century," Luce ended his acceptance speech. "we have a little bit of the feeling of what it must have been like in the time of Pericles. The challenge is to create an American civilization based on the idea of Greece -- the expansion of knowledge, music, culture. universities. For 200 years the American people have been faithful to one dominant purpose, namely, to the establishment or a form of government. That purpose has now been fulfilled, and we are at present seized by a broader challenge, namely. the shaping or a civilization. We will meet that broader challenge, too. We will succceed in creating the first modern, technological, prosperous, humane and reverent civilization -- 2,500 years after Pericles. Pursue excellence rather than mediocrity -- that is what the Greek community is saying to us today.
George P. Hunt
The Ahepa Socratic Award is a bust done in bronze, about 3/4 life size, of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, and it is accompanied by a scroll. The award is given every two years, on the occasion of the Ahepa National Banquets honoring the U.S. Congress.
Besides Henry R. Luce, principal speakers at the 1964 banquet were U.S. Senator Kenneth B. Keating of New York, U.S. Representative John Brademas of Indiana, U.S. Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina. Banquet Chairman was John J. Charuhas, and toastmaster was Supreme President John G. Plumides. Two hundred and four members of the U.S. Congress attended that evening. President Lyndon B. Johnson's message to the banquet was:
On the occasion of the 16th Ahepa National Banquet, honoring the 88th Congress of the United States, I am pleased to extend greetings to all members of this fine American organization. In its national and international endeavors, your association of American citizens of Hellenic descent has constantly propounded and followed the ideals and principles of our American heritage. The Order of Ahepa blends the cultural heritage of both America and Greece, which has served to help maintain the close bonds between these two countries.
Dr. Theodore Saloutos, Ahepan, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of History at the University of California at Los Angeles, published his new book "The Greeks in the United States" the most comprehensive account of the Greeks in America ever written. Published by Harvard University Press on April 24, 1964, it is 386 pages in length, and filled a great need by documenting into one volume the story of the Greeks in America.
An earlier book by Dr. Saloutos was "They Remember America" which recounted the status of former Greek immigrants to the United States who had returned to Greece to live prior to World War II.
"The Greeks in the United States" covers practically all aspects of the life of the Greek immigrant, from his early arrival to the present. The book also has the most complete bibliography on the subject of the Greek immigrant ever compiled.
Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama becomes a member of the Birmingham, Alabama chapter. … The annual Ahepa wreath-laying ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., at the Tomb of the Unknown Sodier, and graves of Greek-American veterans are also decorated. District Governor G. William Holmes and Lt. Governor Anthony Manuel represented the Supreme Lodge at the ceremony … Past Supreme Governor Mike Costas is elected to the Supreme Board of Trustees, to fill the unexpired term of Supreme Trustee Anthony Papageorgiou, who died …
Attending the White House Luncheon given by President Lyndon B. Johnson in honor of visiting Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou were Supreme President John G. Plumides, Executive Secretary George J. Leber, Past Supreme President George C. Vournas, Past Supreme Vice President George E. Johnson, Gregory G. Lagakos, Spyros Skouras, Justice Theodore Souris, Peter Agris
The Turkish government applies political pressure on the Cyprus issue by expelling Metropolitans Emilianos of Selefkis and lakovos of Philadelphia, members of the ruling synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, with resulting protests from the U.S. government, the World Council of Churches and from religious leaders throughout the world.
Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois joins the Chicago Woodlawn chapter of Ahepa … Louis P. Maniatis of Washington, D.C. Past Supreme Secretary is named executive director of the Nationalities Division of the Republican National Committee … Col. Lewis Kyrios of Southbridge, Massachusetts, is appointed military aide to Governor Endicott Peabody of Massachusetts
The 1964 Excursion to Greece departed from New York on April 10 with Pana yes G. Dikeou as commander, assisted by Stephen Berdalis, Mrs. Helen Peterson, Peter C. Charuhas, William Gregory, George E. Loucas, George T. Poolitsan, Miss Faith Prassas, Anthony Lagiss, James Petrolias, James Stamos, John Lamprakos, Alex Nakos …
Peter S. Marthakis of Salt Lake City, Utah is appointed Deputy County Attorney … District #13 (Illinois, Wisconsin, part of Missouri) gives $3,200 in scholarships from their Peter D. Gianukos Scholarship Fund in 1964 … President William Varkas of Manchester, N.H. chapter is named New Hampshire's Outstanding Biology Teacher for 1964 … Supreme President Plumides receives North Carolina's Distinguished Service Award at a testimonial dinner in his honor at Charlotte, N.C. for services to the State above and beyond the call of duty … Mayor George J. Vavoulis of St. Paul, Minnesota is re-elected to office in 1964, and receives national recognition for his progressive city development programs during his four years in office.
"America, America" new film by Greek-born author-director Elia Kazan receives top notices in the industry … The late Tom Chamales book "Go Naked in the World" is made into a hit film. The story is about a Greek family, with lead roles played by Anthony Franciosa and Ernest Borgnine … Teresa Strata of Toronto sings at the Metropolitan Opera House in a lead role …
Theodore C. Kiscaras of AHEPA Bergen Knights Chapter #285 in Hackensack, NJ is United States Commissioner for New Jersey, an appointment he first received in 1945.
Councilwoman Ellen A. Sampson becomes the first woman mayor of Lowell, Mass … Other Americans of Greek descent holding city offices in Lowell include Police Superintendent Peter G. Guduras, and George Kouloheras, School Committeeman … William Rummell of the Chicago Ahepa chapter is appointed U.S. Comptroller of Customs, with headquarters at the Chicago Customs House … Louis P. Kurtis is Commissioner of Public Welfare of Westchester County, New York … Professor James Notopoulos is Hobart Professor of Classical Languages at Trinity College, and President of the Classical Association of New England … Dr. George S. Parthemos becomes Vice President of the University of Georgia, at Athens, Georgia … Bill George is a star lineman with the champion Chicago Bears professional football team.
Peter J. Jordan is elected Mayor of Revere, Mass … President James P. Skenas of the Brockton, Mass. chapter is appointed to the city Development and Industrial Commission … George Pappagianis of Nashua, N.H. is appointed State Deputy Attorney General. … Paul Vyrros is Associate professor of languages at St. Anselm's College, Manchester, N .H.
The Forty-Second Supreme Convention
August 16 to 22, 1964 - Toronto, Canada
The 42nd Supreme Convention was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the week of August 16-22, 1964. Convention officers were: Charles J. Panagopoulos, Chairman; Gregory J. Despinakis, Vice Chairman; Thomas C. Yeotis, Secretary.
The Supreme Lodge delegates were: John G. Plumides, Nicholas J. Chirekos, Nick Smyrnis, X. K. Microutsicos, Theodore Alexander Bardy, George Prahales-Panos, Harry C. Boosalis, George Dimas Gus T. Gatseos, Nick T. Georges, John G. Kaplanis, James G. Petheriotes, Pete G. Pasvantis.
Mother Lodge delegates were: Harry Angelopoulos, and George A. Polos.
Supreme Board of Trustees delegates were: Socrates V. Sekles, C.E. Athas, James Mazarakos, William G. Chirgotis, Gus Nicholas, Nicholas G. Chronis, Panayes G. Dikeou, Anthony Don Bullion, Gust J. Herouvis, Sam S. Nakos, Mike Costas, George J. Pappademas, Peter Sideris, Speros J. Zepatos.
Past Supreme President delegates were: Peter L. Bell, Stephen S. Scopas, C.P. Verinis, John G. Thevos, Leo J. Lamberson, George C. Vournas, George E. Loucas, Nicholas Coffinas, George J. Margoles.
District Governor delegates were: Gregory J. Despinakis, James S. Scofield, Anthony E. Manuel, Constantine Gekas, Dean S. Papanou, Angelo Petromelis, C. Charles Chekas, Arthur Pappas, John G. Scontsas, Thomas C. Yeotis, Nicholas J. Pitanis, Peter T. Sofios, Peter W. Boznos, John D. Kazos, Ted Jamson, Dr. Peter Athens, Michael T. Thames, Angelo T. Mountanos, Gustav G. Kostakos, Chris Zakos.
In addition to the above delegates, there were 403 chapter delegates who attended the convention.
Resolution on Cyprus and the Christians of Turkey
The following Resolution was adopted by the Supreme Convention:
The members of the Order of Ahepa again reaffirm their oftstated opposition to communism and all other forms of tyranny and subversion.
Immediately after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson gave hope and inspiration to the enslaved and downtrodden nations and peoples of the world by enunciating the principle and doctrine of self-determination.
This doctrine was wholeheartedly supported and became a cornerstone of American foreign policy, great segments of the world were liberated and many peoples of the world have established their own democratic nations in Africa and Asia. It is a policy that continues to give hope and inspiration to those nations and peoples still enslaved behind the Iron Curtain. It is a policy that has given deserved credit to the United States. There is a struggle going on in the island of Cyprus. The people of Cyprus are entitled to self-determination for the purpose of establishing a democratic government where all the citizens will have equal educational, economic, and social opportunities in accordance with American history and tradition.
The Order of Ahepa again endorses this basic principle of United States foreign policy, and urges the United States government to wholeheartedly pursue and fully implement this policy of self-determination for the people of Cyprus.
The Christians of Constantinople and other parts of Turkey are being expelled and persecuted. Their properties are being confiscated without compensation. The Order of Ahepa condemns this arbitrary, unjust and uncivilized treatment of these Christians by Turkey, and calls upon all men of good will everywhere to urge their respective governments to come to the aid of these unfortunate victims.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and its hierarchy are being persecuted and exiled unjustly. The Order of Ahepa condemns such barbaric practices and appeals to all people of every faith to join in this condemnation so that religious freedom may be reaffirmed in Turkey.
The convention approved the following resolutions and legislation:
(1) The Cyprus Question was uppermost in the minds of the delegates following the attack of Turkish warplanes on the island, and the following resolutions were passed:
That Whereas Turkey, a recipient of U.S. Military and Economic Aid in excess of Three Billion Dollars did, on August 8, 1964, embark upon acts of aggression against the defenseless people of Cyprus, using U.S. made planes, rockets, air bombs and military equipment and supplies of all types, in clear violation of Sections 505 and 506 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended in 1962, and Whereas such aggression caused the deaths of innocent civilians, women, and children, and the destruction of peaceful towns and villages, including churches, and the government of Turkey has taken no action to redress and mitigate the suffering and repair the damage inflicted by such wrongful acts, Therefore be it resolved that the President of the United States he petitioned to suspend all economic and military aid to Turkey and he petitioned to espouse, on behalf of the United States, the establishment of a branch of the International Court under the United Nations and cite the Government of Turkey and such persons who participated in the Cyprus Aggression to said court for proper trial;
That a full-page advertisement he published in the New York Times on Sunday (August 23) stating the stand of Ahepa on the Cyprus Question and also featuring the statements of U.S. Senators and Congressmen who supported the position of Ahepa in this matter.
(2) Condemned the action of Turkey in expelling Christians from Turkey and confiscating their properties without compensation, as being arbitrary, unjust and uncivilized;
(3) Condemned Turkey's action in persecuting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and in exiling certain members of the Patriarchate;
(4) Adopted an Ahepa Group Insurance Program as submitted by the Joseph K. Dennis Company of Chicago to be offered to the membership;
(5) Officially changed the name of the Junior Order of Maids of Athens to "Maids of Athena";
(6) Selected Washington, D.C. as the site of the 1966 convention;
(7) Appropriated $5,000 to be donated to the Columbia Cancer Clinic for a Cobalt radiation machine for the King Paul General Hospital in Greece;
(8) Appropriated $8,500 for the use of Headquarters in converting the Headquarters membership records to a Data Processing system.
One of the features of the Toronto convention was the appearance of Miss Corinna Tsopei, of Greece, selected as Miss Universe at the Miami Beach "Miss Universe" contest in August. She attended most of the convention functions, and was also honored with events in her honor by the City of Toronto.
This convention also featured the first Ahepa Family debutantes presentation during convention week.
The new Supreme Lodge elected was: Nicholas J. Chirekos, Supreme President; Kirnon A. Doukas, Supreme Vice Presdient; Gus Cherevas, Supreme Secretary; Gust Rakus, Supreme Treasurer; George S. Stratigos, Supreme Counsellor; Nicholas Liaskos, Supreme Vice President of Canada; Peter H. Cardiges, Supreme Governor; Gus G. County, Jr., Supreme Governor; Charles M. Georgeson, Supreme Governor; J. William Holmes, Supreme Governor; George T. Poolitsan, Supreme Governor; William G. Poulos, Supreme Governor. Andy Panos was elected Supreme Athletic Director.
The new Supreme Board of Trustees for 1964-65: Socrates V. Sekles, Chairman; James Mazarakos, Vice Chairman; Sam S. Nakos, Vice Chairman; William G. Chirgotis, Secretary; Gus Nicholas, Treasurer; Nicholas G. Chronis, Panayes Dikeou, A. Don Bullion, Gust Herouvis, Mike Costas, Peter Sideris, Speros Zepatos, Peter Kouchalakos, John A. Samios, and the Supreme President and Supreme Vice President.
Eugene T. Rossides of New York City and member of the Ahepa Cyprus Committee was the campaign manager for the election campaign of U.S. Senator Kenneth Keating of New York .... Nick Scandalis of the Marysville, California chapter was honored by the City Council of Marysville with a "Nick Scandalis Day" in 1964 .... The late Ted Kapsos of the New Orleans chapter, Past District Governor, and resident of New Iberia, Louisiana, was honored for his contributions to the youth of the city when the New Iberia Little League Association dedicated a city baseball park in his memory and named it Ted Kapsos Memorial Field .... Thomas Annos, President of the Wilmington, Delaware Sons of Pericles chapter was named 1964 Teen-Ager of the Year by the local Lions Club.
The November, 1964 issue of The Ahepan Magazine was almost entirely devoted to the Cyprus Question, with an historical background of the island, and events leading up to the current crisis on 1964, as well as statements from Members of Congress on the situation ...
The Sons of Pericles National Advisory Board members appointed by Supreme President Chirekos were announced as: William Damaskos, Chairman, X. K. Microutsicos, Frank Manta, Nicholas L. Strike, James S. Scofield, and George J. Brotsis .... Mayor John C. Chiotis of Gramercy Park, N.Y., was awarded the American Association of Criminology Award for outstanding achievement in the field of criminal investigation.
Hermes Chapter #186 of New York City honors Bobis Marketos, editor and publisher of the Greek American newspaper, National Herald by naming a special class of Ahepa initiates in his honor .... George J. Pyre of Chicago Chapter #94 honored by the National Jewish Hospital at Denver for his work as chairman of the hospital's Interfaith Appeal, and receives its award for Distinguished Philanthropic Service .... Jo Ann Diamos of Tucson, Arizona, was appointed as Interim U.S. Attorney for Arizona, appointed to fill the position vacated by Carl A. Muecke.
Visit with President Johnson
President Lyndon B. Johnson received the Ahepa Supreme Lodge at the White House on Tuesday, September 29, 1964, and those attending were President Johnson's Administrative Assistant Mike N. Manatos, Supreme President Nicholas J. Chirekos, Supreme Board of Trustees Chairman Socrates V. Sekles, Supreme Vice President Kirnon A. Doukas, Supreme Secretary Gus Cherevas, Supreme Counsellor George S. Stratigos, Supreme Vice President of Canada Nicholas Liaskos, Supreme Governor Peter Cardiges, Supreme Governor Gus County, Jr., Supreme Governor Charles M. Georgeson, Supreme Governor J. William Holmes, Supreme Governor George T. Poolitsan, Supreme Governor William G. Poulos, and Supreme Athletic Director Andy Panos.
On the previous day, an Ahepa delegation headed by Supreme President Chirekos was invited to the State Department for a special briefing session with State Department officials on international affairs. Those also meeting with Under Secretary of State George W. Ball were Socrates V. Sekles, Kirnon A. Doukas, John G. Thevos, Peter L. Bell, Daughters Grand President Josie Chase, and Alfred G. Vonetes ... Supreme President Chirekos and Mrs. Chirekos, and Supreme Trustees Chairman Sekles and Mrs. Sekles attended the Royal Wedding of King Constantine of Greece and Princess Ann-Marie of Denmark, in Athens, at the invitation of the Greek government.
The Daughters of Penelope Grand Lodge visited President Johnson's daughter Lynda at the White House on September 28, 1964, and presented her with an ancient Greek coin (400 B.C.) as a token of appreciation for her attendance at the Royal Wedding in Athens. Those present were: Mrs. Josie Chase, Millie Kontos, Mrs. John Yack, Mrs. William Damaskos, Vivian Poulos, and Maids Grand President Kathy Halkias.
... Chicago Chapter #323 donates $1,000 to the St. Nicholas Church building fund .... Sons Past Supreme President Nicholas L. Strike of Salt Lake City elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers .... The 13th District of Ahepa honors Dr. Thomas G. Baffes, noted heart surgeon with a testimonial dinner in Chicago for his contributions to the District Ahepa Heart Program .... Worcester, Mass. Chapter #80 announces that its annual Scholarship Awards will amount to $2,200 each year.
Frank Gus Tsutras of the Huntington, W. Va. chapter is appointed by U.S. Representative James Kee of West Virginia as his Administrative Assistant in Washington, D.C .... Supreme President Chirekos is honored by His Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras at Constantinople with the Order of Great Archon Referenthariou of the Greek Orthodox Church .... The Society of Public Relations of Greece honors Ahepa with the presentation of its Golden Medal. ... The George Valos family of Bakersfield, California was awarded the title "Football Family of the Year" by the Bakersfield Progressive Club .... Paul Kramos of the Kansas City, Missouri chapter elected president of the Manufacturer's and Business Men's Association of Kansas City .... Mitchell P. Coolures of the Stockton, California chapter is appointed Fire Chief of the Stockton Fire Department.
Peter D. Gianukos is honored at the Ahepa Governor's Scholarship Ball in Chicago, as the founder of the District #13 Peter D. Gianukos Scholarship Fund which announced that the 1966 scholarship grants would amount to $4,000 .... The second heart patient for the year of the District #13 Ahepa Heart Fund, 5 year old Stelios Danikas of Greece, arrives in Chicago to undergo a heart operation by Dr. Thomas G. Baffes, under the sponsorship of Ahepa District #13 .... James Kangles of the Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada Chapter is elected City Alderman .... Panayes G. Dikeou of the Denver Chapter is the subject of an article in the Denver Post entitled "The Man with the Golden Touch" .... Christos Costarakis of the Dover, N.H. chapter, and Past District Governor, is honored by his chapter for his 15 years as Chapter Secretary .... Worcester, Massachusetts chapter #80 holds a "Burn the Mortgage Party" to celebrate the final payment on their Ahepa Home .... Washington, D.C. Chapters #31 and #236 complete their pledge of $2,500 to Children's Hospital for an Isotope Room.
The Los Angeles, California Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope cooperate with the International Student Union of the University of California at Los Angeles to present an annual "Greek Festival" with Dr. Theodore Saloutos head of the History Department, as Program Chairman. The program included Greek folk dances, songs of Greece, and recitations from Greek literature .... Ahepa protests actions and statements from the Turkish government that it "plans to expel, without exception, all Greek nationals living in Turkey." More than 6,000 had already been deported within the year, and their property confiscated without compensation.
The Post Office of Greece issues a special Ahepa Stamp (6 Drachmas) in honor of the forthcoming Ahepa Supreme Convention to be held in Athens, Greece in August, 1965. The stamp features the Ahepa emblem.
… A formal presentation of the original model of the Ahepa Athens Statue of former President Harry S. Truman is made to President Truman at a luncheon and ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri to become a part of the Truman Library archives. National and local officers and members of Ahepa attended, as well as representatives of the Greek government.
President Lyndon B. Johnson's message to the ceremony was:
I am delighted to participate in Ahepa's splendid tribute to my cherished friend and our distinguished former President Harry Truman. The handsomely wrought statue which you dedicate will serve as a fitting symbol of profound and common gratitude to a statesman who honorably defended and exalted the high ideals and traditional love of freedom of Greece. Emblematic of the ties of friendship and cooperation between our two nations, it will always be an inspiring memento of the past and a magnificent monument to human freedom.
Supreme Governor J. William Holmes of Washington, D.C. represented the Supreme Lodge at the annual Ahepa wreath ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The committee also decorated the graves of Greek-American veterans at the cemetery … . On April 3 the 1965 Ahepa Easter Excursion to Greece departed from New York City, with Chris E. Athas as commander and Peter Caravoulias as vice commander. … The fifth heart patient of the District #13 Heart Program arrived in Chicago for an operation. Nikos Sarres of Leonidion, Greece was the patient … . Angelo Cotsidas and Theodore Tonna of the Worcester, Mass. chapter contribute $1,500 to the chapter scholarship fund.
Ahepa Policy Statements Issued in 1965 Cyprus
"Since the first outbreak of difficulties in Cyprus (in August, 1964 when Turkish planes attacked Greek-populated areas of the island), the Order of Ahepa has taken an intense interest in the problems besetting the Greek population of Cyprus. We have recognized the just position of the Greek population of Cyprus, and have made every effort towards informing not only the American government, its officials, and the American public, but even the world, of the validity and justness of the stand taken by the Cypriot Greek."
"This is not the first time that the Ahepa has taken an active part in the affairs of Cyprus. In the year of 1955, the Order of Ahepa formed a Justice for Cyprus Committee which strongly endorsed the Cypriot struggle for independence, and which helped form favorable American opinion during that Cypriot struggle."
"The Ahepa is now deeply concerned with the goal of the Cypriot Greeks in seeking a just solution to their problem. The fraternity has strongly advocated "self-determination" for the peoples of Cyprus and our position has been made known to American officials. During the past several months, we have received strong letters of support in our stand from almost 200 Members of the United States Congress."
"The Ahepa has protested strongly to our government for the rashness and incredible acts of the Turkish government against both Cyprus and the Greeks in Constantinople during these past few months. Members of the Ahepa throughout the United States and Canada have sent letters and telegrams of protest to their government officials and to the President of the United States. Also, letters of protest have been mailed by these Ahepans to newspapers."
"The National Ahepa Committee on Cyprus has carried on a continuous program of information to the public and government officials since the outbreak of the Cyprus Question. Full page advertisements were published in August and September, 1964, in the New York Times, carrying the letters of endorsement that the Ahepa received from U.S. Congressmen. These advertisements were also published in the International Editions of the Times. The Committee and Ahepa Supreme Lodge participated in briefings with the U.S. Department of State on different occasions on the Cyprus Question. A special edition of The Ahepan Magazine has been published, dealing entirely with the Cyprus Question, and which has been mailed to every newspaper, library, and government official in the United States, as well as to city and state officials. A special reprint of the book "The Blight of Asia" by George Horton, former U.S. Consul in Smyrna, was arranged and several thousand complimentary copies mailed to government officials and prominent citizens throughout the United States. This book deals with the atrocities of the Turkish Army during the burning of Smyrna and with the long history of Turkish massacres against Christianity.
"The campaign of the Order of Ahepa on the Cyprus Question will continue until a just and acceptable solution has been reached. It is our fervent hope that such a solution will be an actuality soon."
Protection of Minorities
"The rights of the Turkish minority in Cyprus and the rights of the Greek minority in Constantinople should be upheld and guaranteed by a United Nations Mission which will have the right to inspect and check into all conditions affecting these minorities in both of these troubled areas. The Mission should submit periodical reports of its findings to the United Nations Organization and to the press of the world. We advocate the creation of such a Mission."
The Ecumenical Patriarchate
"The See of Constantinople was established by the Apostle St. Andrew. Its Primate is accepted as the symbolic head of all Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches. Even the Ottoman Sultans allowed the Ecumenical Patriarchate to exercise its churchly and religious functions. Today, in the twentieth century, the Hierarchy and Clergy of this ancient institution are being persecuted and exiled without as much as a protest from the Christian Nations of the West. The same United Nations Mission should have the responsibility to constantly review and examine the treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Turkish Government so that there will be no persecution or interference by the Turks in the proper and free exercise of the churchly and religious functions of this seat of Eastern Orthodoxy. The United Nations Mission should also be required to make periodical reports on this subject matter to the United Nations and the world news media."
U.S. Representative John W. Wydler of New York becomes a member of Hempstead, N.Y. Chapter #170 .... Peter Boudoures of San Francisco is honored at the City of Hope's Testimonial Dinner and receives its Humanitarian Award. A Research Fellowship is established at the City of Hope's National and Research Center in his honor ... Mike Chiule of San Fernando Valley, California #412, gives a benefit concert for the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Boston.
The Forty-Third Supreme Convention
August 7 to 13, 1965 - Athens, Greece
The long-awaited Supreme Convention in Athens, Greece was held during the week of August 7-13, 1965, and despite the travel distances required for attendance, it proved to be the fraternity's most spectacular and best-attended convention in history.
From the original plan for a convention in Athens some three years earlier, up until only a short six months prior to the convention, there was some trepidation in taking such a step, with the fear that attendance might be slight. But, once convention plans were published, and the fact that Ahepa charter flights would offer big reductions in fares, the response from members for flight seats was almost overwhelming. There was, of course, the desire among all members of the Ahepa to visit Greece, and the fraternity gave its members this opportunity with greatly reduced fares, thus enabling Ahepans to include all members of their immediate families on Ahepa flights.
Fifty Ahepa Charter Flights left the United States for Greece during the spring and summer of 1965. The first flights left in late March, and the last returning flight came hack in late September, 1965. The duration of the charters was from a minimum stay of two weeks, up to a maximum stay of six months. This was probably the largest air jet flight mass movement ever undertaken by any association or organization as of that time. More than 8,000 members and their families took part in those jet flights. An additional 4,500 members and their families travelled to Greece on either Ahepa steamship excursions, or on other non-Ahepa flights. The fraternity was unable to satisfy all members' reservations for these air jet flights, since the Ahepa was unable to secure more than 50 charter flights.
Almost from beginning to end, it was the fraternity's most hectic and yet most enjoyable convention. It was hectic because of the mass attendance, with resultant problems in hotel reservations, and facilities in Athens for the usual Ahepa social affairs and dinners were inadequate. However, we must confess, that with the record attendance present wanting to attend all convention functions, every day of the full week, hardly any city in the world could have adequately provided the necessary facilities for such a large group, in 1965. The problem was compounded into an impossible situation when conventioneering Ahepans, practically all of whom had close relatives in Greece, also wanted to bring their relatives to convention functions as their guests. However, despite these problems which had no solution, the convention was highly successful, for, as many put it, "Just being able to be in, and visit, Greece, is more than worth the trip."
The convention officers elected for the business sessions were: Peter G. Batsakis, Chairman; Arthur A. Karkalas, Vice Chairman; and James S. Scofield, Secretary. All were elected unanimously.
Supreme Lodge delegates were: Nicholas J. Chirekos, Kirnon A. Doukas, Gus Cherevas, George S. Stratigos, Nicholas Liaskos, Peter H. Cardiges, Gus G. County, Jr., Charles M. Georgeson, J. William Holmes, George T. Poolitsan, William G. Poulos, Andy Panos.
Mother Lodge delegates were: Nicholas D. Chotas, James Campbell.
Supreme Board of Trustees delegates: Socrates V. Sekles, James Mazarakos, Sam S. Nakos, William G. Chirgotis, Gus Nicholas, Nicholas G. Chronis, Panayes G. Dikeou, A. Don Bullion, Gust J. Herouvis, Mike Costas, Peter Sideris, Speros J. Zepatos, Peter Kouchalakos.
Past Supreme President delegates were: George E. Phillies, George C. Vournas, Peter L. Bell, George E. Loucas, Nicholas Coffinas, John G. Plumides.
District Governor delegates were: John C. Stamatiades, Constantine P. Lantzounis, Michael G. Plumides, William Mackrides, Dino G. Callas, William A. Vasiliou, Harold Harper, George S. Diamond, Thomas N. Fisher, Nicholas J. Pitanis, William Damaskos, Ted N. Mavrick, John D. Kazos, Christ J. Kallos, John N. Janes, John P. Dikeou, Paul C. Kanas.
In addition, there were 750 Chapter delegates in attendance, or an overall total of 802 voting delegates at this convention, the largest voting delegation in the· history of the Order.
The new Supreme Lodge was elected unanimously:
Kirnon A. Doukas, Supreme President; Xenophon K. Microutsicos, Supreme Vice President; Peter H. Cardiges, Supreme Secretary; Gus Cherevas, Supreme Treasurer; William P. Tsaffaras, Supreme Counsellor; Chris Zakos, Supreme Vice President of Canada; George P. Dikeou, Supreme Governor; Charles A. Alexander, Supreme Governor; Christopher Ekonomou, Supreme Governor; Gus G. County, Jr., Supreme Governor; Andy Panos, Supreme Governor; Peter J. Chimoures, Supreme Governor. John Paulos was elected Supreme Athletic Director.
The new Supreme Board of Trustees was: Gust J. Herouvis, Chairman; Sam S. Nakos, Vice Chairman; Peter Sideris, Vice Chairman; Peter Kouchalakos, Secretary; Speros Zepatos, Treasurer; James Mazarakos, Peter D. Gianukos, Tom Reos, Basil S. Milonas, George J. Brotsis, and the Supreme President and Supreme Vice President. Action was taken by the convention on the following:
(1) Again the Ahepa asked for self-determination for Cyprus, and stated that it was opposed to any partition of Cyprus into Greek and Turkish enclaves;
(2) Re-affirmed Ahepa's stand against communism;
(3) Asked for religious freedom for the Greek Orthodox Christians living in Turkey;
(4) Approved the progress of the new Ahepa Group Insurance Plan;
(5) Expressed appreciation for the U.S. government CARE program for Greek charitable institutions of the distribution of surplus food commodities;
(6) Expressed appreciation and gratitude to Mrs. Joseph Gale Ramsay, III, of Minneapolis, Minnesota for bringing to the United States eighteen Greek children for Open Heart surgery at the University Hospital in Minneapolis;
(7) Asked for the return of Northern Epirus to Greece;
(8) Affirmed Ahepa's support of America's foreign policy in Vietnam;
(9) Voted for the sale of the Albuquerque Property;
(10) Selected Dallas, Texas as the site of the 1967 convention.
For the record, the program of the 1965 Athens Supreme Convention is being included, since this was undoubtedly one convention whose magnitude and scope of activity and social events may never be repeated.
A pre-convention party was hosted by the Metaxas Company of Greece on Friday evening August 6 at the Athens Hilton, by invitation. But genial Spyros Metaxas wanted to invite everyone, and the result was a mass of humanity crowded into a limited ballroom space, which gave good warning of coming problems to the Convention Executive Committee, and Chairman Socrates V. Sekles.
Saturday morning the business sessions opened at the Athens Hilton, and Saturday night the Official Opening was held at the new Greek theatre on Lycabettus Hill, where crowds were turned away after the 3,500 seats were filled, creating a monstrous traffic jam. Greek officials attended, and also, Governor Edmund Brown of California and U.S. Senator Philip Hart, who came to attend the convention.
Sunday morning Doxology Services were held at the Athens Cathedral, after which an Ahepa processional marched to the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to the Monument of the American Philhellenes of the Greek Revolutionary War of 1821, where Ahepa wreaths were laid. At noon, Mayor George Plytas of Athens named the square in front of the Athens Hilton Hotel "Ahepa Square" (Plateia Ahepa), and the Supreme Officers were then guests of the Mayor at the Auberge in Tatoi.
Sunday night's event was the Festival of the Greek Armed Forces at the Athens Stadium, with more than 65,000 people present, a capacity crowd. The festival was in honor of the Order of Ahepa, and featured dancers of Greek folk dances from all parts of Greece, floats, exhibits of gymnastics, and a representation of the ancient Panathinea Procession. This was the convention's highlight.
Monday night more than 8,000 went to Daphni, site of the annual Wine Festival, where Ahepans were entertained with music and dancing, and food and wine. Tuesday noon was the Daughters of Penelope Fashion Show luncheon, with the feature being Greek costumes and fashions from ancient to modern times, and Tuesday night the Grand Banquet at the Hilton. Attorneys of the Ahepa were guests of the Athens Bar Association at a luncheon on Wednesday noon, while the District Lodges held their luncheon at the Hilton. In the early evening, a tour to Sounion was available, followed by dinner and dancing and entertainment at Asteria in Glyfada.
Thursday noon a luncheon was given by the Royal National Foundation for the Supreme officers at the Ethniki Estia, and in the early evening the American Embassy hosted a reception, and that evening the Dehutantes Presentation and Ball was held simultaneously at the Athens Hilton and Grande Bretagne Hotels. Friday night Ahepa hosted a banquet in honor of the Greek government officials at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, and the Farewell Dance was held on the same evening at the Athens Hilton. The King and Queen of Greece also gave a special audience to the officers of Ahepa.
It was an exciting convention, and the thousands of Ahepans who attended all had an exciting time. The hospitality and cooperation of the City of Athens and the Government of Greece was, at all times, almost overwhelming. There was nothing left undone to make Ahepa 's visit to Greece the most pleasurable possible.
Even the mild demonstrations that went on in Athens that summer, due to the rise and fall of Prime Ministers and Cabinets, failed to dampen the spirits of conventioneers. While the headlines of newspapers in the United States carried streamers of so-called "riots" in Greece, all that was visible in Athens was the spectacle of university students and young people marching peaceably up to Constitution Square almost every evening for an hour's demonstration, then disbanding. Once in a while a tear gas bomb assailed the eyes of tourists at the King George and Grande Bretagne Hotels, fronting on Constitution Square, and traffic jams formed in and near the area, hut otherwise there were no riots, no violence, very little disorder and certainly no crime, in Athens. The patience and the discipline of the Greek Army and the Athens police during those demonstrations was something at which to marvel.
The "scare" headlines of European and American newspapers the summer of 1965 about "riots" and "demonstrations" did frighten thousands of tourists into cancelling previous travel plans to visit Greece that summer, but few if any members of Ahepa cancelled plans to the convention on that account.
The 1965 convention in Athens was such a success, that the fraternity scheduled another convention there for the year 1970, which was also successful, but not on the same magnitude as the 1965 version.
U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, brother of the late President Kennedy, becomes a member of the Ahepa .... Ahepa District #11 (Ohio, Kentucky, W.Va.) awards $900 in scholarships in 1965 ... Grand Rapids, Michigan chapter donates $1,000 to the Ypsilanti, Michigan, Greek Theatre .... William Sargent, (Sartalis), charter member of the Des Moines, Iowa, chapter, holds free Thanksgiving Dinners to needy persons annually at his cafe, and served 1,000 needy people in 1965 .... Charles N. Collatos of the Boston Chapter, Massachusetts Veterans Services Commissioner, is appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the three member National Selective Service Appeal Board ... Tommie Sotiriou of the Salt Lake City chapter is appointed to the Utah State Board of Pharmacy for a five year term .... Past Supreme Counsellor Gregory G. Lagakos of the Philadelphia chapter is appointed Judge of the County Court of Philadelphia by Governor Scranton of Pennsylvania .... Michael Saytanides of New York City is appointed Judge of the Criminal Court by Mayor Wagner of New York.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the amendments to the Immigration Act which become law at a ceremony at the Statue of Liberty which was attended by Supreme President Doukas and other officers. President Johnson said, in signing the bill:
It repairs a deep and painful flaw in the fabric of American justice. It corrects a cruel and enduring wrong in the conduct of the American Nation. It will make us truer to ourselves as a country and as a people. It will strengthen us in a hundred unseen ways.
The amendments corrected to a great extent the old National Origins Quota which limited immigration from countries according to their immigration to the United States in 1890, at which time there was very little immigration from any of the Mediterranean or Eastern European nations.
In December, 1965 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution on the Cyprus Question favoring the Greek Cypriot position on the matter by an overwhelming majority of the voting nations, and by the Resolution Cyprus is recognized as a completely equal member of the United Nations, as a sovereign and completely independent state. The Resolution condemns any intervention by any state at the expense of Cyprus. The Resolution read:
The Republic of Cyprus, as an equal member of the United Nations, is, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, entitled to enjoy, and should enjoy, full sovereignty and complete independence without any foreign intervention or interference.
The Resolution also called "upon all States, in conformity with their obligations under the Charter, and in particular Article 2, paragraphs 1 and 4, to respect the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from any intervention directed against it."
Supreme Vice President Xenophon K. Microutsicos hits "the Ahepa trail" on an intensive program of establishment of new chapters and the reactivation of inactive chapters with outstanding results … The San Francisco chapters hold their fourth annual Sports Award Dinner, awarding $2,000 in scholarships, and trophies and plaques to 16 outstanding athletes of the area. The annual John and Daisy Jerome Foundation Award amounted to $1,000 … Chicago Chapter #94 donates $700 to St. Demetrios Church for the purchase of Greek school desks, and pledged an additional $700 for the next year … Asheville, N.C. chapter donates numerous costly reprints of outstanding works on ancient and medieval Greece to the library of Asheville-Biltmore College … Gary, Indiana holds its sixth annual Ahepa Awards Night with awards to outstanding local citizens, with an award in each category of Ahepa's full name, American, Hellenic, Educational, Progressive, Association.
Theodore Birbilis of the Schenectady, N.Y. chapter is appointed Schenectady County Manager. The 36 year old Ahepan was named the county's first manager, after serving as county auditor and city finance director … Noted heart surgeon Dr. Thomas G. Baffes of Chicago, who performed several heart operations without charge for the District #13 Heart Program, is decorated by the Greek government with the Gold Cross of the Royal Order of King George I. The Ahepa Supreme Lodge visits President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House on March 14, 1966. Those present were Kirnon A. Doukas, X. K. Microutsicos, Peter J. Chimoures, Gus G. County, Jr., George P. Dikeou, Charles A. Alexander, William P. Tsaffaras, Nicholas D. Chotas, (Mother Lodge), John Paulos, Gust J. Herouvis (Chairman, Supreme Trustees), Andy Panos, Christopher Ekonomou, Peter Cardiges, Gus Cherevas, Chris Zakos, Executive Secretary George J. Leber, and Mike Manatos, Administrative Assistant to President Johnson.
The 17th Ahepa National Banquet honoring the U.S. Congress was held on March 14, 1966 at the Sheraton Park Hotel, and the "surprise" speaker of the evening was Ahepan Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States. The recipient of the Ahepa Socratic Award was President Lyndon B. Johnson, and the award was received in his behalf by Presidential Assistant Mike N. Manatos.
In his message to the banquet, President Johnson said: “The Order of Ahepa has adhered to the highest traditions of democratic citizenship." Besides Vice President Humphrey, speakers were U.S. Senator Philip Hart of Michigan, U.S. Representative Donald Fraser of Minnesota. Chairman of the banquet was Anthony E. Manuel and the toastmaster was Judge Gregory G. Lagakos.
The 1966 Ahepa Excursion to Greece departed on March 23 from New York City with Mother Lodge member Nicholas D. Chotas as Commander, George Mayakis, Vice Commander, Mrs. Mary Kapsos, Louise Hatzis, and George Goritz, on the committee. Supreme President Doukas flew to Naples, Italy from the U.S. and embarked from that point with the excursionists to Greece … Sam Karakostas of Chicago appointed to the City Planning Commission of Maywood, Illinois …
Queen Frederica of Greece attended the official dedication and inauguration of the Daughters of Penelope Penelopean Shelter Home for Teen Age Girls in Athens, Greece … Past Supreme President John G. Plumides won the Democratic primaries for U.S. Representative from the 8th Congressional District of North Carolina, but was defeated in the General Election that November by the incumbent Congressman.
Memorial Day was again celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery by the Ahepa with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the decoration of Greek-American veteran graves. Supreme President Doukas headed the committee at the ceremony
… George Chimerakis of the Miami chapter organizes the new Miami Dolphin Booster Club and serves as its first president. … Patriarch Athenagoras of the Greek Orthodox Church honors Charles N. Boyatis of Brockton, Massachusetts with the title of Archon Hieromnemon.
© Copyright Order of AHEPA
George J. Leber's book is copyright protected. However, any portions of this book may be quoted at length, provided that proper credit & acknowledgement is given to the book, author, publisher, and pages.
Leber, George J. History of the Order of AHEPA 1922 - 1972. Washigton DC, Order of AHEPA, 1972.