History of the Order of AHEPA 1922 - 1972

Chapter Nine: The Years 1951 - 1956

Page 381

The Twenty-Ninth Supreme Convention

August 19 to 25, 1951 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 29th Supreme Convention was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the week of August 19 - 25, 1951, and the convention officers were: Van A. Nomikos, Chairman; George Papanicolas, Vice Chairman; and George Nick George, Secretary.

Supreme Lodge delegates were: John G. Thevos, Leo J. Lamberson, Zack T. Ritsos, William D. Belroy, George Geroulis, Socrates V. Sekles, Nick Jamson, Peter V. Paulus, Stanley Galanos.

Mother Lodge delegates: George A. Polos, James Campbell, Spiros J. Stamos, James Vlass.

District Governor delegates: George G. Mooney, John T. Manos, Nick Pappas, Thomas D. Cook, Peter Caravoulias, S.S. Peters, Sperie Perakos, George A. Granitsas, George M. Papadopoulos, John B. Doukas, George Nick George, Emmanuel S. Zaphiriou, Peter K. Thanasoulas, William Bouramas, Leo J. Zotaley, Elias S. Sutter, John Pappadas, George Poulos, Thomas J. Bastas, George Karras, George J. Brotsis, William Rotas, Jack S. Tsapralis, Christ D. Tsipuras, James Baltekos.

In addition, there were 322 Chapter delegates in attendance.

The convention mandated the following:

(1) Established a permanent National Ahepa Hospitals Committee for Greece and named Past Supreme President Harris J. Booras as permanent Chairman for his "work as author and moving spirit in the success of the program;"

(2) Selected Washington, D.C. as the site of the 1952 convention;

(3) Continued the scholarship program;

(4) That the Supreme Lodge seek bids for the sale of the Florida Property, and seek a more suitable property near Tarpon Springs, Fla. for the creation of a Rest Home for the Aged;

(5) That the Sunday before Memorial Day be set aside for memorial services for departed members;

(6) Elected John L. Manta, Louis Preonas and James Mazarakos as Directors of the Sanatorium property;

(7) Raised the age limit for members of the Sons of Pericles to 25 years;

(8) Authorized a 1952 Excursion to Greece;

(9) Emphasized Ahepa's opposition to communism and any other 'ism' which threatens the American way of life and the dignity and freedom of the individual;

(10) Protested again the abduction of 28,000 Greek children from Greece by communists during the Greek civil war and called upon the United Nations and all other parties for their return to Greece.

Page 382

The new Supreme Lodge elected was: Peter L. Bell, Supreme President; Anthony Aroney, Supreme Vice President: Constantine P. Verinis, Supreme Secretary; George Geroulis, Supreme Treasurer; Louis J. Dukas, Supreme Counsellor; Socrates V. Sekles, Supreme Governor; John A. Kiamos, Supreme Governor; Tom Ralles, Supreme Governor; Stanley Galanos, Supreme Governor for Canada.

The 12th Ahepa Excursion to Greece departed from New York for Greece on March 26, 1951, on the Nea Hellas, with Past Supreme President V. I. Chebithes as Commander, and the other officers included Socrates V. Sekles, Vice-Commander, James Leventis, Secretary, and Tom Ralles, Treasurer. The Excursionists attended the dedication of the Ahepa Hospital at Salonika on May 14th, with the King and Queen of Greece and many other officials …

Cleveland, Ohio chapter honors Korean war hero Captain Alex M. Sentes who flew 101 fighter missions in Korea … Elmira, N.Y. Chapter No. 111 completed the construction of its new Ahepa Home ... Past Supreme Pres. John G. Thevos is named assistant U.S. attorney for the northern New Jersey District ... Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, is rated as the conductor of the year by music critics.

Johnny Karras, All-American halfback with the University of Illinois, winds up the 1951 season with 12 touchdowns, just one short of the all-time Illinois record held by Harold "Red" Grange ... Harry "The Golden Greek" Agganis, star passer of Boston University football team, receives national recognition for his playing … Gus Niarhos, in major league baseball, is catching regularly for the Chicago White Sox.

A Salt Lake City, Utah fifth grade class starts a drive to collect school classroom materials and sports equipment to be sent to the children of Greece and their schools, and the idea spreads through the efforts of Chris Athas of Salt Lake City … The Order of Sons of Pericles celebrates its 25th anniversary.

An article in the Saturday Evening Post in 1951 is about the Greek soldiers in Korea, fighting the communists. Some excerpts:

Among them are big dark men from Crete, handsome and hot tempered. Among them also are calm, slow-moving men from Thessaly, and steady Macedonians, very sure of themselves in battle, and clever men from the Peloponnesus, and tall, blond mountain men from the villages of Epirus, tough and long-enduring. Each in little ways is different from the others, as a Vermonter differs from an Alabaman.

There are variations in their speech, in their songs, and in the bounding dances they perform, when, after the fighting is over, they restore their spirits with good Greek wine. But in some respects all the men of the Greek battalion now fighting in Korea are the same. All remember that once long ago in Attica the first great democracy was born, and that for almost 3,000 years their little country has fought against oppression and tyranny, whether it stemmed from Persia or Istanbul, Berlin or Moscow. They do not wonder why they left their graystone villages in the mountains of Greece and travelled around the world to fight.

Page 383

They know. For them, who fought communists for long years in their own land in one of the bloodiest civil wars in history, there was no other choice a freedom loving people could make. "When a dangerous beast is abroad in the world,” a Greek officer said, “he must he killed, no matter whether he approaches your door or that of one far off.” To the rank and file of Americans, and to many of the other nations fighting here, the war in Korea is a dirty, bloody, indecisive business the wisdom of which may be hotly debated.

To the Greeks it is a holy crusade.

In the years of their own terrible war of brother against brother, they learned to hate communists of any race with a fierce, implacable hate. They have come here to kill, and they carry out their mission with more skill, perhaps, than any other troops in Korea. They are the old pros of this war. For eleven years they have been fighting in mountain country, first against Germans and Italians, then against their own Reds, and they fight with a fixlike sagacity, a battle know-how that few other troops can match. Their General Dascolis, and their colonel, Dascalopoulos, are old fighters, skilled in combat, but they do not give much advice to the battalion commander, Dionysious Arbousis, for Lieutenant Colonel Arbousis is one of the world's great experts on mountain warfare and the tactics of the communists in the field.

The rank and file are younger and less experienced, but they burn with the same hatred of the communists and the same pride in the fighting tradition of their race. This hatred and this pride go deep. They are bred into them.

Roxane Cotsakis of Atlanta, sister of Past Supreme Governor George Cotsakis, publishes her novel "The Wing and The Thorn", the story of a Greek and his struggles to become oriented in a strange country …

Chairman George A. Polos (Mother Lodge member) of the Ahepa Displaced Persons Committee reported that the committee had completed its goal of resettlement of 10,000 displaced persons from Greece to the United States, and that more than 40,000 had filed for refugee status in Greece. He also reported that efforts were being mainly pushed for the resettlement of Greek orphans which was a major area of relief in Greece. The red tape, processing, and securing of visas had proved to be an enormous task, which necessitated offices of the committee in Greece, as well as in the United States. The committee was also endeavoring to get Congress to pass another Bill to allow an additional number of displaced persons to come to the United States from Greece.

On the question of the original Displaced Persons Act of 1948, it was noted that the United States allowed 300,000 Displaced Persons to come to America within a short period of time, hut up to the end of 1950, Greeks were not included in the legislation. A critic of this lack of consideration of the Greeks stated:

We have the greatest respect and compunction for all of these people. They were or are displaced as the victims of religious and political persecution. But, outside of the Polish people, few if any of these people were participants in and victims of active warfare on America's side.

Page 384

They did not lose their homes, their property and their loved ones while fighting and resisting the enemy as America's allies. The Greeks did. And therein lies the difference and the greatest injustice to America's staunchest, most dependable and faithful ally. We shall always wonder and will ever be mystified as to why the special groups that sponsored this Displaced Persons legislation through Congress failed to include a Greek quota in the law. The Order of Ahepa, in order to rectify this mistake, sponsored, and the United States Congress gave Greece a ten thousand quota for 1951.

The 10th National Biennial Banquet honoring the Congress of the United States was held in Washington on March 24, 1952 at the Statler Hotel. George Cazana was Chairman, and Past Supreme President John G. Thevos was toastmaster. Principal speakers were U.S. Secretary of the Interior Chapman, U.S. Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, Commissioner of Immigration MacKay, and Secretary of Agriculture Charles F. Brannan. Two awards were given that night to outstanding American-Greeks, Spyros P. Skouras for his services as President of the Greek War Relief Association, and Dr. George Papanicolaou of Cornell University for his discoveries in methods of detecting cancer in its early stages

Alex Aronis of Hollywood, California enters Annapolis Naval Academy … Supreme Governor John A. Kiamos of New York, entertained at lunch the 60 children and faculty of St. Basil's Academy, and then took them to the circus at Madison Square Garden. He was assisted in the generous gesture by James Liberis and Andrew Grupp, following a custom these three started three years earlier … U.S. Senator William Benton of Connecticut joins the New Britain, Connecticutt Ahepa Chapter … Mrs. Olympia Pappas of Webster, Massachusetts was proud of her nine sons, all of whom were members of the Webster Ahepa chapter. Sister Pappas organized the local Daughters of Penelope chapter, and served as President.

The Thirtieth Supreme Convention

August 17 to 23, 1952 - Washington, D.C.

The 30th Supreme Convention was held in Washington, D.C during the week of August 17-23, 1952, and the following served as convention officers: Stephen S. Scopas, Chairman; George Nick George, Vice Chairman; Nicholas J. Chirekos, Secretary.

Supreme Lodge delegates were Peter L. Bell, Anthony Aroney, Constantine P. Verinis, James G. Dikeou, Louis J. Dukas, Socrates V. Sekles, John A. Kiamos, Tom A. Ralles, Stanley Galanos.

Mother Lodge delegates were George A. Polos, James Campbell, Nicholas D. Chotas, James Vlass, Spiros J. Stamos.

Retiring Supreme President delegate: John G. Thevos.

District Governor Delegates: T. J. Kalomeres, John T. Manos, Andrew D. Vozeolas, Thomas D. Cook, William C. Economides, Gus Nichols, Peter Nichols, William P. Tsaffaras, Nicholas Scontras, John G. Doukas, George Nick George, Eli D. Miller, Sam Skafidas, Kopie G. George, Elias S. Sutter, Jim Theo, George Poulos, Thomas Corontzos, George Morris, Andrew C. Angelson, Andrew J. Sardell, Jack C. Tsapralis, Nicholas Kerhoulas.

Page 385

In addition, there were 412 Chapter delegates in attendance.

Mandates of the convention were:

(1) Set the National Advisory Board of the Sons of Pericles at seven members, with the Ahepa Supreme Vice President to automatically be the Chairman;

(2) To establish a National Ahepa Education week each year the last week of January;

(3) Continued the National athletic program as set up in previous years, with Chapter, District and National tournaments and competition;

(4) Requested that the official Ahepa fez be worn at all Ahepa functions;

(5) Asked that Chapters sponsor annual social functions with all proceeds to be donated to the orphanage and school at St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, N.Y.;

(6) That the Cyprus Committee continue its work to achieve annexation of Cyprus to Greece

(7) Set certain regulations for the elections of District and Supreme Convention delegates;

(8) Put the National Scholarship Fund under the control of five elected Trustees, one of whom to be the Supreme President;

(9) Selected Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the site of the 1954 convention (Houston, Texas had been selected as the site of the 1953 convention by the 1951 Minneapolis convention, where the Constitution was changed to allow convention sites to be selected two years in advance, instead of the previous one year);

(10) Elected a new Ahepa Displaced Persons Committee consisting of Harris J. Booras, John G. Thevos, and C.G. Paris;

(11) That an Excursion to Greece be held in 1953, to arrive in Greece prior to Easter Week;

(12) Gave the Supreme Lodge the right to lease the Alburquerque Sanatorium land for up to 30 years.

The new Supreme Lodge elected by the Washington convention was:

Peter L. Bell, Supreme President; Stephen S. Scopas, Supreme Vice President; Constantine P. Verinis, Supreme Secretary; Stephen L. Berdalis, Supreme Treasurer; Louis J. Dukas, Supreme Counsellor; Speros A. Versis, Supreme Governor; Peter Kourmoules, Supreme Governor; Speros J. Zepatos, Supreme Governor; Chris D. Tsipuras, Supreme Governor for Canada.

President Harry S. Truman sent the following message to the convention:

Meeting in the nation's capital has special significance for our Order, which is deeply devoted to increasing the friendship between the people of Greece and of the United States. I doubt if this friendship has ever been at a higher level than it is today. With our help the people of Greece have made great forward strides in recovering from the ravages of war, and have withstood the attempts of communist imperialism to destroy Greece itself.

This friendship is symbolized in Korea where Greek and American soldiers are fighting side by side in defense of the highest principles of justice and freedom.

We must never forget that we owe the concept of democracy -- even the world itself -- to the ancient Greeks. Love of freedom lives on in the soul of the Greek people. It is perpetuated in the political institutions the Greece of antiquity gave to the entire modern world. You have my best wishes for a most successful and enjoyable convention

- HARRY TRUMAN

Page 386

The Cleveland, Ohio #36, Atlanta, Georgia #1, and Lynn, Massachusetts #50 AHEPA chapters, took first, second and third place honors in the 1951-1952 national membership drive … The 13th Ahepa Excursion to Greece left New York on March 29, 1952 on the Nea Hellas steamship, under the command of Past Supreme Vice President Charles Davis Kotsilibas, and was well received upon its arrival and during its stay in Greece … U.S. Senator George Smathers of Florida becomes a member of the Miami Ahepa chapter … Brother Dean J. Lewis of Newport, R.I., is re-elected to a second term as Mayor of Newport, by an overwhelming majority … District Governor Eli D. Miller of South Bend, Indiana is appointed national director of public relations of the Order ... AHEPA plans its first National Handicap Bowling tournament, to be held in Chicago in April, 1953 ... Past Supreme President Harris J. Booras organizes the "Knights of Thermopylae" for the purpose of erecting a monument at Thermopylae commemorating the stand of Leonidas and 300 Spartans in 480 B.C. against the invading forces of Emperor Xerxes of Persia. Membership in the organization was limited to 300 persons

James Megellas of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, appointed acting Postmaster of his city … Benton Harbor, Michigan Ahepans and Daughters help raise funds to pay off the mortgage on the Benton Harbor Greek Orthodox Church … Empire District #6 (New York) donates new school uniforms to the grammar school student orphans at St. Basil's Academy … Toledo, Ohio, Ahepa, Daughters, and Maids chapters donated $10,000 to the new Toledo Greek Orthodox Church community building costs.

The Ahepa Supreme Lodge visits with President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House in March, 1953. Those attending were: Peter L. Bell, Stephen S. Scopas, Constantine P. Verinis, Stephen L. Berdalis, Louis J. Dukas, Speros A. Versis, Peter Kourmoules, Speros J. Zepatos, Christ D. Tsipuras …

At the January 20, 1953 Inaugural Parade for President Eisenhower, the fraternity sponsored an Ahepa Float, and the motto on the float was: "Ahepa Promoting Citizenship." The project was initiated by Brother George Papanicolas of Washington, D.C., and was paid for with contributions from members of the Order. On the float during the 2 1/2 hour parade were: Mrs. Bertha Michos, Miss Marion Chaconas, Miss Connie Chaconas, Miss Angie Juvelis, Mrs. Helen Roumel, Miss Alice Chakmakian, Mrs. Madia Commings, Eddie Ballas, Robert Mandris, John N. Deoudes, Lucas Michos, John G. Deoudes, and Emmanuel Karas

The Tulsa, Oklahoma Ahepa Chapter #13 honored John A. Peurifoy, American Ambassador to Greece, with a banquet at Tulsa on Nov. 17, 1952 … Brother Charles N. Collatos of Boston was appointed Massachusetts Labor Relations Commissioner by Governor Paul A. Dever. He previously served as the Governor's secretary during terms in office … The 1953 Ahepa Excursion to Greece departed from New York on March 14, on the Nea Hellas, with Supreme President Bell as Commander, and Michael Loris (America's champion war bond salesman) as Vice Commander, Mrs. Helen Karagianis as Daughters Commander, and Miss Sophie Regas as Daughters vice commander.

Page 387

 

Insert Photo

AHEPA School

The Ahepa School at St. Basil's Academy, Garrison, New York

 

Insert Photo

AHEPA Hospital

The Ahepa Hospital in Salonika, Greece

 

Insert Photo

AHEPA Health Center

The Ahepa Health Center at Thebes, Greece

 

Page 388

Brother Manuel J. Carnakis of the Bakersfield, California chapter is elected Mayor of Bakersfield. He served as City Councilman for four terms, and at 41 years of age, was the city's youngest Mayor to serve in office.

General James A. Van Fleet serves as Grand Marshall of the New York City Greek Independence Day Parade, an annual custom. The Ahepa and Daughters of Penelope had striking floats in the parade … Mayor Roy Hofheinz of Houston, Texas, becomes a member of the Houston Ahepa chapter, and the Mayor's wife, Mrs. Irene Hofheinz, joins the Houston Daughters of Penelope chapter. Mrs. Hofheinz was the daughter of James Cafcalas, deceased, a charter member and first president of Houston Ahepa Chapter No. 29. He also served as Governor of District #16 … Supreme Governor Speros A. Versis headed a group of Ahepans who laid a wreath at the Tomb of George Washington at Mt. Vernon on Feb. 22nd … Huntington, W. Va. Ahepan Nick Houvouras is elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, at age 76. He previously served in the House of Delegates of the State of West Virginia … John Liaskos of Hammond, Indiana, brought 25 Greek war orphans to the United States, found homes for 13 of them in the Chicago area, and kept 12 to raise as his family. He was a bachelor ... The Sons of Pericles hold their first post-war National Basketball Tournament on April 24, 1953 in Cleveland … Denver, Colo. Chapter #145 is given special recognition by the American Red Cross for setting records in the annual Red Cross fund campaigns for the past five years.

The Thirty-First Supreme Convention

August 16 to 22, 1953 - Houston, Texas

The 31st Supreme Convention was held in Houston, Texas during the week of August 16-22, 1953, and the convention officers elected were:

George E. Johnson, Chairman; Leo Ypsilanti, Vice Chairman; Dean Macris, Secretary. Supreme Lodge delegates were: Peter L. Bell, Stephen S. Scopas, Constantine P. Verinis, Stephen L. Berdalis, Louis J. Dukas, Peter Kourmoules, Speros J. Zepatos, Speros A. Versis, Chris D. Tsipuras. Mother Lodge delegates: James Campbell, Spiros J. Stamos, George A. Polos, James Vlass.

District Governor delegates: J. Stamos, George N. Peter Pahno, Nick Mack, John P. Angelson, William Seras, Milton Marikakis, Peter G. Giftos, Anthony Don Bullion, William P. Tsaffaras, Christos Costarakis, John G. Martin, Eli D. Miller, William D. Belroy, James Demos, William C. Karnaze, George Pakis, P. C. Dakis, Thomas Corontzos, George Spiropoulos, James N. Kangles.

In addition, there were 348 Chapter delegates in attendance.

Action was taken by the convention on the following:

(1) The Ionian Islands earthquake had recently taken place in Greece, with widespread suffering, and the convention immediately raised $20,252.00 for aid and relief to the people of the islands, with a drive to begin immediately among the chapters to raise additional funds, as well as food and clothing to be sent to the islands;

(2) San Francisco, California was selected as the site of the 1955 convention;

Page 389

(3) Established a Supreme Board of Trustees of seven members, two of whom were to be the Supreme President and the Supreme Treasurer, with the responsibility of managing and directing all national projects of the Ahepa, such as the Ahepa Sanatorium, the National Home Fund, the Florida Property, and future national projects, with authority to buy, sell, transfer, rent, lease, mortgage all real and personal property designated as belonging to a national project or projects, with the respective funds to be kept in a separate account under their jurisdiction. In addition, the Trustees were given the administration of the Ahepa Scholarship Loan Fund, with future grants to he only on a loan basis, to be repaid after graduation;

(4) Elected the following to the Supreme Board of Trustees: Chris Athas, five years; Charles Davis Kotsilibas, four years; Speros A. Versis, three years; Sam Nakos, two years; Anthony Aroney, one year;

(5) Elected Harris J. Booras, Louis J. Dukas, and George A. Polos to the Displaced Persons Committee

(6) That an immediate drive be started to raise funds for a Boys' Dormitory at St. Basil's Academy, Garrison, N.Y. to be designated as The Ahepa Dormitory;

(7) Increased the delegate representation at Supreme Conventions from chapters, based on chapter membership;

(8) Raised the annual Per Capita Tax for each member from $5.00 to $6.00;

(9) Named the 25th District of the Ahepa Domain for the Australian Jurisdiction;

(10) The Ahepa Displaced Persons Committee was renamed as the Ahepa Refugee Committee;

(11) Stated that Sons of Pericles would be automatically graduated from the Junior Order upon reaching 21 years of age, but that those Sons of Pericles who also joined the Ahepa upon reaching 21 years of age, could remain as members of the Sons until they have completed their 23rd birthday;

(12) Authorized a 1954 Excursion to Greece.

The new Supreme Board of Trustees elected their officers as follows: Chris Athas, Chairman; Charles D. Kotsilihas, Vice Chairman; Speros A. V ersis, Secretary; and remaining members were Sam Nakos, Anthony Aroney, Supreme President Leo J. Lamberson, Supreme Treasurer John A. Kiamos.

The new Supreme Lodge elected for fiscal year 1953-54 was: Leo J. Lamberson, Supreme President; Stephen S. Scopas, Supreme Vice President; for the office of Supreme Secretary there was a tie vote, and with the consent of the convention, each candidate agreed to serve six months in office, therefore Peter Kourmoules was Supreme Secretary for the first six months of the fiscal year, and George Nick George was Supreme Secretary for the last six months; John A. Kiamos, Supreme Treasurer; John T. Laskaris, Supreme Counsellor; James P. Mazarakos, Supreme Governor; Andrew C. Angelson, Supreme Governor; James Millas, Supreme Governor; Chris Tsipuras, Suprem~ Governor for Canada.

Andrew Fasseas of Chicago, Illinois the new Assistant Director of Revenue for the State of Illinois, was given a testimonial dinner by Ahepa Chapter #203 on May 17, 1953. Governor Stratton of Illinois and many state and city officials attended the affair to honor Brother Fasseas ... George Pahno of Norfolk, Va. #122 was elected a life member of the chapter for his 26 years of active service as an officer of the chapter. He served one year as Chapter President, and 25 years as Chapter Secretary.

Page 390

Governor J. Caleb Boggs of Delaware was initiated into membership in Wilmington, Delaware Chapter #95 ... Past Supreme Vice President George E. Johnson is elected President of the California State Restaurant Association, which had 35,000 member restaurants in the state. Brother George was also state treasurer of the California State Democratic Committee ... Lt. George J. Dimtsios of Nashua, N.H. is honored by Nashua, N.H. chapter at a dinner upon his graduation from West Point Military Academy.

Past Supreme President Dean Alfange authored a few lines which he entitled "My Creed" which received widespread use and was quoted many times in publications over the succeeding years:

My Creed

I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done. All this is what it means to be an American.

DEAN ALFANGE, Past Supreme President.

Christ Poulos of Grand Island, Nebraska enters West Point U.S. Military Academy, and was nominated by U.S. Representative A. L. Miller of Nebraska … Cadet John Leventis of Muskegon, Michigan, was in his third year at West Point. … The Daughters of Penelope donated $7,000 to St. Basil's Academy, Garrison, N.Y., the new proceeds from their Christmas Seal Drive … The office of the Ahepa Refugee Relief Committee was at 16 Beaver St., New York City, and offered assistance to all who wished to bring relatives and others from Greece, under the new laws … King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece visit the United States and the Hyde Park estate of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, where they laid a wreath at the President's grave, and visited the Ahepa Bust of the late President. Poughkeepsie, New York. Ahepa and Daughters chapters held special ceremonies for the visiting couple ... Steven J. Tsalikis of South Bend, Indiana, chapter becomes supervisor of the State Clemency Bureau and starts new prison reforms in Indiana.

The new U.S. Refugee Relief Act of 1953 included special non quota immigrant visas to 214,000 special non-quota immigrants, among which were visas for 15,000 Greek refugees who were residing in Greece on the date the act became law, and for 2,000 visas to Greeks who are relatives of citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Page 391

Christ Poulos of Grand Island, Nebraska enters West Point U.S. Military Academy, and was nominated by U.S. Representative A. L. Miller of Nebraska … Cadet John Leventis of Muskegon, Michigan, was in his third year at West Point. … The Daughters of Penelope donated $7,000 to St. Basil's Academy, Garrison, N.Y., the new proceeds from their Christmas Seal Drive … The office of the Ahepa Refugee Relief Committee was at 16 Beaver St., New York City, and offered assistance to all who wished to bring relatives and others from Greece, under the new laws … King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece visit the United States and the Hyde Park estate of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, where they laid a wreath at the President's grave, and visited the Ahepa Bust of the late President. Poughkeepsie, New York. Ahepa and Daughters chapters held special ceremonies for the visiting couple ... Steven J. Tsalikis of South Bend, Indiana, chapter becomes supervisor of the State Clemency Bureau and starts new prison reforms in Indiana.

The new U.S. Refugee Relief Act of 1953 included special non quota immigrant visas to 214,000 special non-quota immigrants, among which were visas for 15,000 Greek refugees who were residing in Greece on the date the act became law, and for 2,000 visas to Greeks who are relatives of citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Page 391

 

Insert Photo

1953 AHEPA Float

1953 - Ahepa Float at President Eisenhower’s Inaugural Parade in Washington, D. C. January 20, 1953.

 

Insert Photo

1953 WHITE HOUSE VISIT

With President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House are: Peter Kourmoules, Stephen S. Scopas, Peter L. Bell, Speros Zepatos, C. P. Verinis, Speros Versis, Stephen L. Berdalis, Louis J. Dukas.

 

Page 392

The Act defined a refugee as any person in a country or area which is neither Communist nor Communist-dominated, who, because of persecution or fear of persecution, natural calamity or military operations, is out of his place of usual abode and unable to return to it, who has not been firmly resettled, and who is in urgent need of assistance for the essentials of life or for transportation. The Act also allowed an additional 4,000 special non-quota immigrant visas to eligible orphans under ten years of age who have been adopted abroad or who are to be adopted in the United States by citizens of the United States and their spouses.

Brother Phelps, former Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and Governor of American Samoa, and member of #42, New York City, was honored with a testimonial dinner at the National Democratic Club in New York … Theodore P. Pappelis, Rochester, Minnesota brought to the U.S. in 1950 under the Ahepa Displaced Persons committee program, joins the U.S. Army … The Ahepa Refugee Relief Committee is recognized on January 27, 1954 by the Administrator's office of the State Department as a Voluntary Agency under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 … New York Ahepans and Daughters welcome Stamatoula Roumanis at the New York airport, the first Greek to arrive in the U.S. under the 1953 refugee act … King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece receive the Ahepa Supreme Lodge at a special audience in New York City, just prior to the royal couple's return to Greece … Christopher S. Lardis of Warren, Ohio is commissioned Ensign in the 1953 graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis … Peter N. Mantzoros is appointed Ahepa director of Public Relations … George Mesologites, Baltimore, is elected president of the Restaurant Association of Maryland. He served as President of Baltimore #30 for two years.

Visit with Eisenhower

President Dwight D. Eisenhower again received the Supreme Lodge at the White House in Washington on March 20, 1954, and those attending were: Leo J. Lamberson, Stephen S. Scopas, George Nick George, John A. Kiamos, John T. Laskaris, James P. Mazarakos, Andrew C. Angelson, James Millas, Chris D. Tsipuras, and Executive Secretary V. I. Chebithes.

In September, 1953, Past Supreme President V. I. Chebithes was appointed Executive Secretary at the Ahepa Headquarters, succeeding Brother Arthur H. Lalos. Brother Lalos had served the fraternity most efficiently and faithfully as its Executive Secretary for nine years. He had previously served as the Sons of Pericles Executive Secretary at the Headquarters.

The 11th National Biennial Banquet honoring the Congress of the United States was held in Washington at the Mayflower Hotel on March 22, 1954. Principal speaker was U.S. Senator Everett M. Dirkson of Illinois, a member of the Ahepa, and other speakers included Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, and Senator Dwight P. Griswold of Nebraska. Chairman was James G. Dikeou, and toastmaster was Past Supreme President John G. Thevos … Brother Thevos inaugurated an Ahepa Radio Program over Station WWRL of New York City in early 1954, the program being an educational project of Empire District #6, New York State. The subject of his talk was "The Ahepa"

Page 393

The 1954 Ahepa Excursion to Greece departed on April 1st, with Past Supreme President Van A. Nomikos as commander, and on the committee were Supreme President Leo J. Lamberson, Mother Lodge Member Spiros J. Stamos, Sam S. Nakos, and Jean Kossarides of the Bergen Knights chapter.

The Excursion committee raised more than $4,000 on board ship, which was donated to the Queen's Fund, the Patriarchate Fund, and the Agricultural School for the Blind in Greece.

An Ahepa Greek Independence Day banquet was held in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria, with Spyros P. Skouras as toastmaster; speakers were Columbia University President Dr. Grayson Kirk, U.S. Representative Franklin Roosevelt, son of the late President, and General James Van Fleet … George Boosalis of the St. Paul, Minnesota Chapter conducted a campaign in his town of residence, Owatonna, Minnesota, to aid his native Greek village of Niata. A total of $3,700 was raised by him from his fellow citizens, and sent to the village to rebuild the church and school, which had been destroyed in World War II. The Greek village school, when rebuilt, was renamed "Owatonna" in honor of the American town which responded to Brother Boosalis' appeals … Mayor Kristen Kristensen of Yonkers, N.Y. is inducted into the Yonkers chapter.

U.S. Representative A. L. Miller of Nebraska is initiated into Grand Island, Nebraska Chapter #167, and his secretary, Kirnon Karabatos, also joins the chapter on the same evening … U.S. Representative Norris Cotton of New Hampshire is initiated into the Manchester, N.H. chapter … Governor C. J. Rogers of Wyoming joins the Ahepa Chapter in Cheyenne, Who … Chris Athas of Salt Lake City sparked a drive which raised $100,000 in food, flour and clothing for Ionian Islands Relief. The drive was among the Greek, Protestant, Catholic, Mormon and Jewish people of the state of Utah, and when shipped, consisted of eight train carloads, of more than 180 tons … Gus Leonida of Hutchinson, Kansas, member of the Wichita, Kansas Ahepa chapter, was tendered a "Citation Luncheon" on March 23, 1954 by the Chamber of Commerce of Hutchinson for his civic contributions to the city over the years … The Supreme Lodge starts a drive to raise funds for the new Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.

The Thirty-Second Supreme Convention

August 15 to 21, 1954 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The 32nd Supreme Convention was held in Pittsburgh, Penna. during the week of August 15-21, and the convention officers were: Peter T. Kourides, Chairman; George J. Margoles, Vice Chairman; Sam Nakis, Secretary.

Supreme Lodge Delegates were: Leo J. Lamberson, Stephen S. Scopas, George Nick George, John A. Kiamos, John T. Laskaris, James P. Mazarakos, Andrew C. Angelson, James Millas, Chris Tsipuras.

District Governor Delegates were: Ernest E. Dematatis, Peter Kouchalakos, Ted G. Boudoures, George P. Pattis, Arthur P. Faipeas, Theo. N. Tsangaris, William C. Karnaze, A. G. Ekonomou, Dr. N. S. Nicholas, Kirnon A. Doukas, George L. Mihos, Const. Lentgis, James G. Baltekos, Stratis Doukas, James A. Panagos, Michael Colias, E. G. Matsoukas, G.W. Arvanitis, S. C. Andreadis, William D. Belroy, George Miller, Louis Cheroutes, Peter Vafiadis, John Melonas, James Kangles.

In addition there were 356 Chapter delegates in attendance.

Page 394

The convention passed upon the following matters:

(1) Appointed Peter Clentzos again as National Director of Athletics;

(2) That the project for St. Basil's Academy be named the Ahepa Hall for Boys, on a site acceptable to the Ahepa at a cost not to exceed $500,000;

(3) Selected New York City as the site of the 1956 Supreme Convention;

(4) That Ahepa petition the United Nations to vote in favor of incorporation and unification of Cyprus with Greece;

(5) That Ahepa go on record favoring the repeal of the Immigration and Nationality Act as creating inequities and containing undesirable discriminatory provisions;

(6) That Ahepa go on record as endorsing the coordinated movement of the National Service Organization to combat juvenile delinquency and offer Ahepa's services in this movement;

(7) That Ahepa undertake to conduct a general drive through the chapters and membership in the United States and Canada to raise funds for the purpose of rendering relief to the earthquake sufferers and victims of Thessaly, Greece, and that a special committee be appointed by the Supreme Lodge for this purpose;

(8) That the incoming Supreme Lodge study the proposal to organize a fraternal insurance plan within the Order of Ahepa and submit a detailed report with their recommendations to the next convention;

(9) Gave the members of the Supreme Board of Trustees a full vote at each Supreme Convention;

(10) Past Supreme Treasurer James J. Starr presented an official Olympic torch, which was used at the Olympic Games in 1948 in London, England, to the Ahepa Athletic Department for use in future Ahepa Olympiads;

(11) That plans for a 1955 Excursion to Greece be left to the decisions of the Supreme Lodge.

The newly-elected Supreme Lodge was: Stephen S. Scopas, Supreme President; Constantine P. Verinis, Supreme Vice President; Constantine Gatsos, Supreme Secretary; Socrates V. Sekles, Supreme Treasurer; George Papanicolas, Supreme Counsellor; Louis G. Manesiotis, Supreme Governor; George J. Pappas, Sr., Supreme Governor; Gust Rakus, Supreme Governor; Nick Kogos, Supreme Governor for Canada.

The Ahepa Refugee Relief Committee elected was: Past Supreme Presidents Leo. J. Lamberson and Van A. Nomikos, Louis J. Dukas, Supreme President Stephen S. Scopas and Supreme Treasurer Socrates V. Sekles. Anthony Aroney was the new member elected to the Supreme Board of Trustees.

Governor Frank J. Lausche of Ohio becomes a member of the Cleveland, Ohio chapter … Lee Gliarmis, member of Wilson, N.C. chapter, was selected "Man of the Year" by the Wilson Junior Chamber of Commerce, the first time the award had been given to one not a member of the Junior Chamber … The Portsmouth and Dover New Hampshire chapters celebrated their 25th anniversaries by initiating Senator Robert W. Upton of New Hampshire into the fraternity …

Page 395

Middletown, Ohio chapter presents its 8th Ahepa May festival … Sons Past Supreme President James Skufakiss (James Scofield) graduates as the No. 1 man in his journalism class at the University of Illinois … Baltimore, Md. Ahepa joins with the Variety Club in honoring Spyros P. Skouras as one of America's most outstanding "Successful Men in Business," with a banquet … Angelo Cotsidas of the Worcester, Mass. chapter was cited for his many benefactions, which included $15,000 to the Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Mass., $35,000 to his church in Worcester, and $1,000 annually to Filiates Hospital in Epirus, and $1,000 annually to his native village, Plesion, Greece.

After the 1954 convention, Ahepa rallied in the cause of Justice for Cyprus and a National Advisory Board of the Justice for Cyprus Committee was formed, composed of more than 150 Members of Congress and State Governors. Some of the more prominent Senators on the Board were Frank A. Barrett, J. Glenn Beall, Homer Capehart, Dennis Chavez, Barry Goldwater, Harley W. Kilgore, Thomas H. Kuchel, Mike Mansfield, with 21 State Governors and Representatives Addonizio, Aspinall, Ayres, Clarence Brown, John D. Dingell, Thomas Dodd, Dorn, Fino, Forand, Friedel, Hayes, Hebert, Hruska, Judd, McCormack, O'Neill, Philbin, Rodino, Roosevelt, Sikes, Sullivan, Yates, Yorty, and many others. The ultimate goal was unification of Cyprus with Greece ... U.S. Representative Thomas Martin of Iowa becomes a member of Cedar Rapids, lowa, chapter … Steven E. Perakos of New Britain, Conn. chapter becomes City prosecutor. The Sioux City, lowa, chapter float wins first prize in the city centennial parade.

The new Supreme Board of Trustees start fundraising for the Ahepa Scholarship Trust and Loan Fund. Officers and Trustees of the Fund were: Chris E. Athas, Chairman; Charles D. Kotsilibas, Vice Chairman; Speros A. Versis, Secretary; Sam Nakos, Anthony Aroney, Supreme President Scopas, and Supreme Treasurer Socrates V. Sekles. Persons eligible for the Loan Fund for scholastic work were members in good standing of the Ahepa, Daughters of Penelopes, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena, and also non-members who have been endorsed for such scholastic loans by a Chapter of the Ahepa. The loans were to bear 4% interest after graduation, and were repayable to the Trust by payments of 10% one year after graduation, and 40% four years after graduation. The first two contributors to the Loan fund were Past Supreme President Van A. Nomikos with $1,000 and George Harold Pappas, Atlanta, Ga., with $500. (This loan fund continued for almost 12 years, when it was reorganized by the 1966 convention, and reverted thereafter to an outright Scholarship grant fund, instead of a loan.)

U.S. Senator Irving M. Ives of New York becomes an Ahepan in New York Chapter #25 … U.S. Representative Porty Hardy, Jr. of Virginia joins the Norfolk, Va. Ahepa chapter … James J. Starr of Hartford is appointed by Governor John Lodge of Connecticut as chairman of a state committee to assist in carrying out the provisions of the Refugee Relief Act. He was a Past Supreme Treasurer and Past Supreme Governor of Ahepa.

Page 396

The King of Greece awarded the Cross of the Order of Phoenix to Supreme Trustee Chris E. Athas of Salt Lake City, and the Cross of the Commander of the Order of Phoenix to President David O. McKay of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church), for their efforts in sending tons of food, clothing and supplies to Greece after the close of World War II … U.S. Representative Charles P. Nelson of Maine, was initiated into the Lewiston, Maine Ahepa Chapter ... Governor Joseph B. Johnson of Vermont was initiated into Vermont Chapter #244 … Nashua, N.H. Chapter #35 purchased its first Ahepa Home, a 3 story building … Charles N. Collatos of the Boston chapter was elected Massachusetts State Department Commander of the American Legion. He was also Commissioner of Labor Relations for Massachusetts at the time … Brother Andrew D. Vozeolas of Washington, D.C. was appointed national Executive Secretary at the Washington Ahepa Headquarters on January 1, 1955, succeeding Past Supreme President V. I. Chebithes, who served for one year. Brother Vozeolas was an attorney, and a Past District Governor of District #3.

Visit with President Eisenhower

The Supreme Lodge visited President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House on March 7, 1955, and those attending were: Stephen S. Scopas, Constantine P. Verinis, Constantine Gatsos, Socrates V. Sekles, Gregory M. Pahules, George J. Pappas, Sr., Louis G. Manesiotis, Gust Rakus, Nick Kogos. Gregory M. Pahules was elected as Supreme Counsellor by the Supreme Lodge upon the death of Brother George Papanicolas, who was elected Supreme Counsellor at the Pittsburgh convention.

The Weirton, W. Va. chapter initiated twelve college students into the Ahepa on one evening, all sponsored by Past Supreme Counsellor George E. Loucas. The event took place on Dec. 28, 1954 … The campaign for funds for the renamed "Ahepa School for Boys" at St. Basil's Academy continued … Christy Hanas of the New Haven, Conn. chapter was sworn in as the new Commissioner of Welfare for the State of Connecticut by Governor Abraham Ribicoff … In six months, Hermes Chapter #186 of New York City doubled its membership from 92 to 186 members … Alderman Robert S. Bremer of Chicago joins Chicago #94 … Dr. George C. Mitchell of the Grand Island, Nebr. chapter was confirmed by the Senate on Jan. 24, 1955 as a Foreign Service officer, vice consul of career, and secretary in the U.S. diplomatic service … Supreme President Scopas headed the 1955 Excursion to Greece, with Mother Lodge member Spiros Stamos as vice commander and Supreme Treasurer Sekles and Grand President of the Daughters Adeline Geo-Karis also serving on the committee. The Excursion departed from New York in two ships, the SS Queen Frederica and the SS Olympia, with more than 1,700 on board both ships.

Page 397

 

Insert Photo

1955 WHITE HOUSE VISIT

With President Dwight D. Eisenhower: Andrew Vozeolas, Socrates V. Sekles, George J. Pappas, Stephen S. Scopas, Louis G. Manesiotis, C. P. Verinis, George Papanicolas, Constantine Gatsos, Nick Kogos, Gust Rakus.

 

Insert Photo

1955 - Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent

Canadian Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent receives the Ahepa Supreme Lodge in Ottawa, Canada

 

Insert Photo

1959 - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Ahepa ceremony on Memorial Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Page 398

Commander Steven N. Anastasion, USN, of New Haven, Conn., was serving as Chief of the Nuclear Division of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project training school at Sandia Base, Albuquerque. He graduated from Annapolis in 1942 … Peter George, and John Issaris of Glens Falls, N.Y. chapter built a school in their village of Aghios Petros, on the island of Andros, and also brought electricity to the village … Nick Jamson and George Kotsiopoulos of the Grand Island, Nebraska chapter, were chosen to serve as chairman by the Red Cross for Red Cross Drives in Hall County, and Buffalo County.

Another tragic earthquake struck Greece, this time the city of Volos, on April 27, 1955. This was the third earthquake within almost months, the other two being in the Ionian Islands, and Thessaly. Ahepa immediately started a "Greek Earthquake Committee" to raise funds and supplies to be sent to the sufferers. The Volos earthquake made 35,000 people homeless and damaged or destroyed 90% of all the homes and buildings in the city. The Ahepa Excursionists were in Greece at the time, and Supreme President Scopas and his committee visited Volos after the earthquake … Brother I. A. Lougaris of Reno, Nevada chapter was given a "Citation for Distinguished Service" in a combined ceremony of the American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the Marine Corps League, for his many years of effort in behalf of veterans … Peter J. Kalamarides of the Anchorage, Alaska chapter was elected a member of the Alaska Territorial Legislature. An attorney, he had previously served as Chief of Police of Anchorage … Municipal Court Judge Brock joins Ahepa Chapter No. 319, in Brooklyn … U.S. Representative Francis Dorn of New York was initiated into Ahepa Chapter #41, Brooklyn ... Mayor Charles C. Dail of San Diego is initiated into the San Diego Ahepa Chapter … Governor Leo A. Hoegh of Iowa became a member of the Des Moines, lowa Ahepa chapter … Canton, Ohio Chapter #59 purchases an Ahepa Home.  

Harry Agganis

 

Harry Agganis

HARRY AGGANIS

 

The entire sports world was shocked, and more so the Greek-American communities of the United States, at the news of the death of Harry Agganis, the "Golden Greek", on June 27, 1955 at age 26. Just when he had entered the threshold of becoming one of the greatest stars of professional baseball, a sudden illness and death overtook him. Bob Coyne of the "Boston Daily Record" wrote this obituary of Harry Agganis:

A mark was left in the sporting world and in the hearts of all sports lovers throughout the world ... and it was a good one, few better ... and in these parts none better. This mark will live eternally there will be no great concern now for slumps, injuries, or the wear and tear that becomes a famous athlete. There will be no concern as to who might next fill his locker space, nor will his fame fade as it has with other greats before their death. Harry Agganis was a vital force to the Greek Youth of America and his future was potent. This youngster made the grade, first as a halfback and then as a signal caller. His untiring efforts resulted in Lynn Classical High being invited to the Miami Orange Bowl for the Christmas Nite Kiwanis Schoolboy Classic.

Page 399

The results of this great team during "The Harry Agganis Era" resulted in his being named to the All-Scholastic Team. In baseball, the sandlotters welcomed the competitive spirit of the "Golden Greek," for in 1947, he played in the Hearst Newspaper Baseball tournament in the Hearst United States All-Star Game at New York. Not to be forgotten during his Lynn Classical High days he was placed on the first All-American school baseball team. Eighty-five colleges were looking forward to placing this remarkable Greek athlete on their teams. Harry was greatly devoted to his mother, and with an unswerving eye on Fenway Park, the home field of the Boston Red Sox, it was Harry's choice to attend Boston University. Lynn Classical High and Boston University welcomed the feats of the fabulous Greek, for at these schools Harry was given the opportunity to prove to all that he was prepared to enter big-time sports.

Harry was definitely a choice for pro-football, but the Boston Red Sox had their eye on the great sportsman. Their offer and the fact that Harry loved the great game of baseball, motivated his choice in joining the Red Sox, who were soon to learn that this boy just couldn't be stopped, not even with death in sight. Harry Agganis, the "Golden Greek" died on Monday, June 27, 1955, at the age of 26 in Sancta Maria Hospital of a "massive pulmonary embolism."

This was the close of an Algerian life in its early chapters. Harry left behind his widowed mother, four brothers, two sisters and the thousands upon thousands of friends that he made while making great strides in the sports world. A desolate hut Spartan mother, widow Georgia Agganis, her heart a block of concrete, requested rather than flowers -- that a scholarship fund he established at Lynn Classical High in the name of her adored son to be awarded to anyone who best exemplified the untiring efforts of her "baby" Harry.

Yes, Mother Agganis, since that is your wish, we feel certain that it will he fulfilled in spite of the beautiful flowers that crowded the bier of your son, for the Hellenes of America will want to perpetuate his great mark and name. A Note to Harry: Remember that baseball you had promised your young nephew Michael … your mother saw to it that the ball was delivered and by the hand of the great Harry Agganis; for as you laid in your last resting place, your mother placed the ball in your still hand and little Michael with tears in his eyes welcomed the opportunity to take and display the hall that Uncle Harry gave him with the same amount of pride that all the Greeks throughout America have in telling of your exploits.

Bob Coyne went on to reminisce about some of Harry Agganis' sports achievements:

I'll remember Harry in 1952, Boston University had a so-so team that year, Miami was a four touchdown favorite -- Harry put on a one-man show and B.U. won … I'll remember the Senior Bowl Game in Mobile, Alabama competing with the nation's top grid players -- Harry was voted the outstanding player -- and how Red Grange said Harry was the greatest player he had seen that year

Page 400

… I'll remember that Harry was the only athlete ever to be elected Boston University Athlete of the Year twice! ... I'll remember 1951 the year Harry was awarded the Lowe Trophy … I'll remember how he carried his great competitive spirit into pro baseball and how only last season he hit .375 in Yankee Stadium … I'll remember how Harry idolized his kid followers from West Lynn, and how he lived that they might follow his fine example … But most of all I'll remember Harry, who from gentle people and a humble home became the loved and honored idol of American sport fans. For me he shall be forever young, a ringing challenge to faltering youth, a white flame in a darkened world.

- BOB COYNE, Boston Daily Record

Shortly after the death of Harry Agganis, the Order of Ahepa instituted the "HARRY AGGANIS AWARD" given annually by the fraternity to the outstanding American athlete of Greek descent.

 

Harry Agganis - Legend & Legacy (Courtesy: Agganis Foundation )

 

 

Harry Agganis - The Golden Greek in bronze - Arnold LaMontagne’s bronze statue of standout Boston University athlete, Red Sox first baseman, and community hero Harry Agganis, the “Golden Greek,” statue is outside Boston University’s Harry Agganis Sports and Entertainment Arena, which opened 2005

Harry Agganis - "The Golden Greek in Bronze""

Arnold LaMontagne’s bronze statue of standout Boston University athlete, Red Sox first baseman, and community hero Harry Agganis, the “Golden Greek,” statue is outside Boston University’s Harry Agganis Sports and Entertainment Arena, which opened 2005.

 

William Pappas of Mason City, Iowa, is County Attorney … U.S. Representative Richard E. Poff, member of Lynchburg, Virginia. chapter … Governor Leo A. Hoegh of Iowa, member of Des Moines chapter … Missouri State Senator William Orr Sawyers, a member of St. Joseph, Mo. chapter … Manuel Carnakis of the Bakersfield, California chapter is Mayor of Bakersfield ... Governor William Stratton of Illinois a member of the Kankakee, Ill. chapter … Mayor Arthur N. Harriman of New Bedford, Mass. a member of the New Bedford chapter. Governor Christian A. Herter of Massachusetts is initiated into the Boston, Mass. chapter … U.S. Representative Clifford Davis joins the Memphis, Tenn. chapter … U.S. Representatives Herbert Warburton and J. Caleb Boggs are members of the Wilmington, Del. Chapter … Los Angeles County Sheriff Eugene W. Biscailus and Los Angeles City Councilman Don A. Allen join the Los Angeles, California chapter … U.S. Senator William Knowland, and Oakland City Councilmen Peter M. Tripp and Sam J. Vlahos are members of the Oakland, California chapter. Governor Edmund C. Muskie of Maine, and U.S. Representative Charles P. Nelson become members of the Lewiston, Maine chapter. U.S. Senator Thomas E. Martin joins the Cedar Rapids, Iowa chapter … Peter Myers of the Detroit chapter is City Commissioner of Dearborn, Michigan.

The Thirty-Third Supreme Convention

August 14 to 20, 1955 - San Francisco, California

The 33rd Supreme Convention was held in San Francisco, California during the week of August 14-20, 1955, and the convention officers were: George J. Margoles, Chairman; John M. Manos, Vice Chairman; Stephen C. Andreades, Secretary.

Supreme Lodge delegates were: Stephen S. Scopas, Constantine P. Verinis, Constantine Gatsos, Socrates V. Sekles, Gregory M. Pahules, Louise G. Manesiotis, George J. Pappas, Sr., Gust Rakus, Nick Kogos.

Mother Lodge delegates: George A. Polos, Nicholas D. Chotas, Spiros J. Stamos, James Campbell, John Angelopoulos.

Page 401

Supreme Board of Trustees delegates; Chris E. Athas, Charles D. Kotsilibas, Speros A. Versis, Sam Nakos, Anthony Aroney.

District Governor delegates were: George N. Blanos, Peter Kouchalakos, John G. Plumides, William Zacharellis, George J. Stathakis, Dennis J. Livadas, Constantine P. Pappas, Dr. Nicholas H. Despotopulos, George Brickates, Spyro T. Nicholas, Peter G. Giovas, S. James Senes, Sam Karakostas, George Karaidos, William G. Nicas, James G. Petheriotes, Louis S. Cheroutes, Pete Vafiades, John C. Bockas, George J. Shanis, Spiro J. Tentes, William Karanson, Constantine Lentgis, James G. Baltekos.

In addition, there were 370 Chapters delegates in attendance.

The convention took action on the following:

(1) Favored the adoption of Senate Bill No. 1206 for a new immigration and nationality law, that all unused immigration quotas be pooled;

(2) To extend the present expiration date of the Refugee Relief Act to Dec. 31, 1960 and raise the age limit of orphans from 10 years to 16 years of age;

(3) To continue and complete the drive for the Ahepa School for Boys at St. Basil's Academy;

(4) Expressed best wishes to Brother George Christopher on his candidacy for the office of Mayor of San Francisco;

(5) That the Pledge of Allegiance and Salute to the Flag of the United States be incorporated into the Ahepa Ritual for the opening of meetings;

(6) That an award known as the "Harry Agganis Memorial Award" be established and the first recipient thereof be Alex Aronis of the U.S. Naval Academy;

(7) Selected St. Louis, Mo. as the site of the 1957 convention.

The new Supreme Lodge elected was: Stephen S. Scopas, Supreme President; Constantine P. Verinis, Supreme Vice President; Gregory M. Pahules, Supreme Secretary; George A. Bezaitis, Supreme Treasurer; Ernest E. Dematatis, Supreme Counsellor; Louis G. Manesiotis, Supreme Governor; Anthony C. Lingon, Supreme Governor; James Frangos, Supreme Governor; Nick Kogos, Supreme Governor for Canada.

The Supreme Board of Trustees was: Chris E. Athas, Charles D. Kotsilibas, Speros A. Versis, Sam S. Nakos, and Anthony Aroney. The Ahepa Refugee Relief Committee was: Leo J. Lamberson, Chairman, Andrew Brockles, Sr., Vice Chairman; John M. Manos, Secretary.

The Northeastern United States had a record-shattering rainfall and floods while the San Francisco convention was going on, and Ahepa immediately started a program of relief for the flood victims of the area … Canton, Ohio chapter entered a float in the city's Sesquicentennial parade … Nick Rillakis of McCleary, Washington, was praised by the local newspaper for spearheading the city drive for a new hospital … Dr. Michael G. Mulinos of New York Delphi #25 discovers a new antibiotic against severe pulmonary tuberculosis and infections, Seromycin … New York State Supreme Court Justice Joseph A. Cox joins New York Delphi #25 … Paul C. Cacavas and Alexander B. Aron is graduate from U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Anti-Greek riots break out in Istanbul on September 6, 1955 and Ahepa makes forceful protests to the U.S. Department of State and international agencies.

Page 402

Mayor Robert F. Wagner of New York issues a proclamation naming October 23, 1955 as a day of prayer "by all the citizens of the City of New York and extend the sympathy of our citizens of all denominations to our brethren of the Eastern Orthodox faith whose religious institutions have been wantonly attacked." The Turkish mob destroyed an estimated $300,000,000 of property owned by Greek residents of Istanbul, desecrated Greek cemeteries and also desecrated the tombs of the Holy Patriarch. An editorial of Oct. 19, 1955 stated:

Now that the full story of what happened in Istanbul on the night of September 6 is coming out, the mind revolts at the evidence of man's capacity to act like a devil. Turkish censorship tried at first to smother the story, and later to spread the idea that Greek reports were shamelessly exaggerated. But now that first-hand evidence is available from Noel Barber of the London Daily Mail, Senator Capehart and the Rev. Raymond F. Maxwell of the World Council of Churches, there can be no doubt that a planned and concerted attack by Moslem mobs on that one night destroyed or gutted more than 60 of the 80 Orthodox Churches in Istanbul, sacked and pillaged Greek property valued into the hundreds of millions, and even tore up the Christian cemeteries, smashing headstones and rolling the corpses into the gutters.

Far worse were the atrocities inflicted on human beings, ranging from the Orthodox clergy who were killed or maimed or manhandled to little girls in a children's home who were victims of the bestial passions of the mob. The Turkish government has promised to pay reparations, and that there will be no repetition of the police inactivity which encouraged the mobsters.

But as recently as October 4 Religious News Service reported that the Ecumenical Patriarch was virtually cut off from the outside world by a military guard stationed to keep the Turkish Youth Organization from fulfilling its pledge to destroy the patriarchate building. History has been a violent, brutal and often vicious thing in the Balkans and around the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

'Modern' Turkey showed, in that single night, that it is still Turkey of the Armenian massacres.

George Christopher of the San Francisco Chapter is elected Mayor of San Francisco by a landslide vote of more than two to one .... John Brademas of the South Bend, Indiana chapter is appointed by 1952 Democratic presidential nominee Adlai E. Stevenson as a research member of his staff for the 1956 campaign and had served as legislative assistant to Senator Pat McNamara of Michigan, and administrative assistant to Representative Thomas L. Ashley of Ohio .... John C. Anggelis, President of the Lexington, Kentucky chapter is elected to represent Fayette County as state senator in the Kentucky legislature.  

Page 403

 

Insert Photo

1956 - Greek Orphans

Greek orphans brought from Greece to the United States for adoption under the Ahepa Refugee Relief Program.

 

Insert Photo

1956 - Greek Orphans

Greek orphans brought from Greece to the United States for adoption under the Ahepa Refugee Relief Program.

 

Insert Photo

1956 - Greek Orphans

Greek orphans brought from Greece to the United States for adoption under the Ahepa Refugee Relief Program.

 

Page 404

The Ahepa Fraternal Benefit Society is incorporated in December, 1955 and begins operations, offering a wide variety of insurance to members of Ahepa. Despite hopeful and ambitious plans, the insurance program lasted only for about two years, failing to sell sufficient insurance to maintain the program, and it was soon abolished, and the policies in force turned over to commercial insurance companies. It was a voluntary insurance program for the membership. Perhaps if this same program had been put into effect at least 25 or 30 years earlier, when the fraternity was in its first years of operation it would have succeeded, since the fraternity would have been identified with an insurance program, and enrolling new members into the insurance program would have been much simpler.

The Gold Room of the Congress Hotel in Chicago on Nov. 27, 1955 was jammed with 3,700 people who attended to hear U.S. Senator Homer E. Capehart of Indiana, an eyewitness of the results of the Turkish rioting mobs who pillaged and destroyed Greek businesses, homes and churches in Istanbul on September 6th. Ahepa cooperated with other Chicago organizations in staging the meeting. Senator Capehart arrived in Istanbul on official Senate business only a few hours after the rioting had ceased, and he reported that some $300 million in damages was done by rioters in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey, aimed primarily at Greek Nationals. He stated that some 4,000 Greek businesses were destroyed, 2,000 homes leveled, 78 out of 84 Greek Orthodox churches were ransacked, and tombstones in cemeteries were destroyed and bodies desecrated. Capehart also reported that the Turkish government or police took no official action until the damage had been done.

Andrew Jarvis of the Portsmouth, N.H. chapter had spent years striving to aid the Blind in Greece, and through his generosity, a dormitory was erected to house the students at the School for the Blind in Athens, Greece. Brother Jarvis was a Councilman in Portsmouth, and in 1954 was administrator of the Interstate Bridge Authority of New Hampshire. The dormitory was his gift to the School for the Blind, in memory of his parents .... Jersey City, N.J. chapter sponsors a Child Sight Saving program in the community .... James G. Argyros, member of the Elizabeth, N.J. chapter, is elected Mayor of Roselle, New Jersey .... New York chapters sponsor a Christmas party for 130 underprivileged children .... Clinton, Mass. member Steven C. Christy appointed Director of Adult Civic Education for the city of Leominster, Mass .... Past Supreme Treasurer John A. Kiamos elected president of the New York Florists' Club, the largest organization in the flower industry in the country ... Dean Adinamis of Chicago #94 elected president of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce

Supreme Governor Nick Kogos, of Vancouver, Canada, builds a replica of the Parthenon on his estate, which becomes a tourist attraction. It took Brother Nick 20 years and 3 trips to Greece to construct the marble model (one-third scale) of the Parthenon.

 

1956 - Supreme Governor Nick Kogos, of Vancouver, Canada, builds a replica of the Parthenon on his estate

Nick Kogos' Parthenon

Courtesy: Vancouver Sun - Monday July 16, 1956

 

1956 - Supreme Governor Nick Kogos, of Vancouver, Canada, builds a replica of the Parthenon on his estate

Nick Kogos' Parthenon

Courtesy: Calgary Herald - April 10, 1979

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania #34 acted as sponsors for 105 aliens for American citizenship. U.S. Senator Herman Welker of Idaho becomes a member of the Boise, Idaho Ahepa chapter … The January - February, 1956 issue of The Ahepan pays tribute to the Past Supreme Presidents of the Junior Order of Ahepa, the Sons of Pericles, who were at the time: William A. Vasiliou, 1926-27; Gus Poulos, 1927-28; George Helis, 1928-30; Stephen S. Scopas, 1930-32; Constantine P. Verinis, 1932-34; Charles Geanopoulos, 1934-36; Christ J. Petrow, 1936-39; Nicholas L. Strike, 1939-41; George Lydotes, 1941-42; (War Years, 1942-46); Nicholas J. Melas, 1947-48; Arthur Lagadinos, 1948-50; George J. Pipentacos, 1950-52; James S. Scofield, 1952-53; Nick Theodore, 1953-54; Arthur Gonos, 1954-55; Nick C. Demeris, 1955-56.

Page 405

Six of the above were later to serve on the Ahepa Supreme Lodge, and two became Ahepa Supreme Presidents.

On March 9, 1956, the British Government ordered the arrest and exile of Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus, and this action brought down protests from throughout the world, including the United States. U.S.Senator Herbert H. Lehman of New York introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for the principle of self-determination for the people of Cyprus. Twenty-three Senators co-sponsored the Lehman Resolution, including Wayne Morse, Dennis Chauvez, Hubert H. Humphrey, Estes Kefauver, John F. Kennedy, Warren Magnuson, Mike Mansfield, Paul Douglas, Joseph O'Mahoney, William Langer, John O. Pastore, and others.

The Resolution stated that:

The British Government should be urged by our government to see the wisdom of seeking to maintain its influence in this area by the exercise of leadership in the cause of freedom rather than by the use of force for the sake of repression; Free World security considerations and the legitimate security interests of Britain should be given due weight but should not be used as an excuse for the frustration of the legitimate aspirations of the people of Cyprus; The people of Cyprus should be consulted concerning their future status consistent with that principle of self-determination to which the United States has historically subscribed.

The Justice for Cyprus Committee had long been seeking self-determination for Cyprus, and asked government leaders to seek an amicable and just solution to the Cyprus problem. LIFE magazine had this to say about the situation:

The Cypriots, 80% of whom are ethnically Greek, ask their British rulers for a promise of self-determination at some definite date, with an ultimate view to enosis (reunion) with Greece. Their leader is the bland and capable "ethnarch," Archbishop Makarios. Their opponents are the Turkish minority on the island, the government of nearby Turkey, and the British, to whom Cyprus is chiefly important as the site of their huge new eastern Mediterranean air and naval base. British diplomacy gave Makarios a big boost by at first refusing to discuss self-determination or enosis at all. This led to a wave of underground terrorism and open resistance on Cyprus which has so far cost 13 British dead, hundreds wounded on both sides and scores jailed under martial law. The British have even threatened to break all British precedent by jamming Cyprus' radio reception. Their negotiators meanwhile have engaged in slow, dithering retreat before Makarios' demands, each step of which has been too little and too late to win them any credit for either sincerity or imagination.

Page 406

The principle of self-determination is Wilsonian. The moral basis of foreign policy is an Eisenhower-Dulles specialty. What then has the U.S. done about Cyprus? It has backed the British at all critical points in the negotiations, and otherwise stood aloof, not wanting to alienate Turkey. As a result, the U.S. shares the opprobrium of British policy in Greece today. To appreciate Greek feelings, suppose Chinese Communist MiGs shot down several U.S. passenger planes over the China Sea -- and the Indian government addressed identical notes to Red China and the U.S. urging both sides to cut out this rowdyism. We would regard such a note as a vulgar impertinence. That is how the Greeks felt last fall when, after Turkish mobs had burned and pillaged the Greek section of Istanbul, Secretary Dulles sent identical notes of reproof to Greece and Turkey. When Greeks hear U.S. foreign policy described as "moral," they want to throw up .... Said the Eden-Eisenhower Declaration of Washington last week, "We uphold the basic right of peoples to governments of their own choice." The time has come to implement this Anglo-American principle on Cyprus. A principled foreign policy is the hardest kind to achieve, but the kind whose solutions last the longest.

The Hollywood, Los Angeles, and Pasadena chapters hold a benefit dinner for the Ahepa Hall for Boys, with actress Zsa Zsa Gabor as the featured attraction, who was named as the actress who most resembles Greek goddesses of ancient Greece … By January 1956, the drive for the Ahepa Hall for Boys had reached almost $92,000, and the largest single contribution from a chapter was $1,560 from the Portland, Oregon chapter, and the largest individual donation was $1,000 from Supreme Trustee Charles D. Kotsilibas of Worcester, Mass.

Ahepa purchases a new Ahepa building in Washington, D.C. (the first building was sold two years earlier) at 1422 K Street, N.W., immediately adjacent to its first building, for $225,000. This is the present Ahepa Building.

Miami chapter President Thomas N. Balikes appointed Assistant State Attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court. He was 29 years old at the time of appointment … The 12th Ahepa National Biennial Banquet was held in Washington at the Sheraton Park Hotel on March 19th. General chairman was Nicholas P. Brous, and Past Supreme President Harris J. Booras was toastmaster. Principal speakers were radio commentator Cedric Foster, Governor G. Mennen Williams of Michigan, a member of Ahepa, U.S. Senator Herbert H. Lehman of New York, and Senator Watkins of Utah … The Seattle chapter hosts a luncheon for 60 university students and faculty of Greek descent.

… Sioux City, Iowa Sertoma Club American Way banquet honors Judge George M. Paradise of the Sioux City Ahepa chapter as the city's outstanding foreign-born citizen … Past Supreme President John G. Thevos appointed Administrative Director of the Department of Law and Public Safety of New Jersey … Heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano was principal speaker at the Washington, D.C. area Ahepa-Sons Sports Night, sponsored by Ahepa chapters #31 and #236, and the Washington, D.C. Sons of Pericles chapter. He related that when he fought his 8th professional fight in Washington, Ahepan Peter Gianaris predicted to him that he would win the heavyweight championship some day … James P. Cokinos of the Beaumont, Texas Ahepa chapter is elected Mayor of Beaumont.

Page 407

The 1956 Excursion to Greece sailed on April 10th on the SS Queen Frederica. Co-Commanders were Past Supreme Vice President George E. Johnson and A.T. Tsoumas, with Grand President Tula Zotaley leading the Daughters of Penelope contingent. The Excursionists collected $3, 163 on board ship which was donated to the Queen's fund in Greece for use in charitable causes

… Governor Averell Harriman of New York joins the Ahepa … C. Charles Chekas of the Waterbury, Connecticut chapter is appointed chairman of the Waterbury Safety Council. … Past President Peter G. Perakos of the New Britain, Connecticut chapter received the Press Club's "Man of the Year" award as a great civic leader. The Club's 1955 award was given to Connecticut Governor Ribicoff … Chicago Chapter #94 becomes a member of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, the first known Ahepa chapter to become affiliated with a business organization … Mayor George Christopher of San Francisco is honored by Chicago Ahepans at a dinner at the Congress Hotel, under the sponsorship of Ahepa District #13 … U.S. Representative Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. of Massachusetts joins the Brookline, Massachusetts Ahepa chapter … U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee becomes a member of the Ahepa.

 

Previous Chapter Eight - The Years 1945 - 1951
Next Chapter Ten - The Years 1956 - 1962

© 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.

Citation

Leber, George J. History of the Order of AHEPA 1922 - 1972. Washigton DC, Order of AHEPA, 1972.