NEW YORK – As the Centennial year of The National Herald draws to a close, the newspaper continues to receive honors for its service to the Greek-American community and society at a whole. On February 25 New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill authorizing the co-naming of the street where TNH’s headquarters are located as “Εθνικος Κηρυξ – National Herald Way.”
The Mayor presented Publisher-Editor Antonis H. Diamataris with a ceremonial pen as a keepsake for the special event that filled the rotunda of the ornate Surrogate Courthouse near City Hall with friends and families of 41 individuals who were similarly honored – TNH was the only institution so honored.
Among the honorees was the late Demetrios Kastanas, the Greek-American broadcasting pioneer. His wife Nomiki Kastanas, present with his George Kastanas and daughter Matina Siderakis, was invited to speak about the life and achievements of the larger-than-live TV personality.
The ceremony’s most touching moments were related to the honorees, police officers, firemen, and soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in the service of their community and country.
“Εθνικος Κηρυξ – National Herald Way” will located on 30th Street between 37th and 38th avenues in Long Island City. A special ceremony is being planned around the date of the newspaper’s 101st anniversary on April 2.
The official press release issued by Van Bramer’s office follows;
“Today is a historic moment for the Greek- and Cypriot-American community in our City as we officially rename 30th Street between 37th and 38th Avenue in Astoria “Εθνικός Κήρυξ – National Herald Way”,” said New York Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I’m proud to sponsor this significant commemoration honoring the contributions the National Herald has made to my home neighborhood of Astoria–and to make “Εθνικός Κήρυξ – National Herald Way” the first street in Queens named with Greek lettering. For over a century, the National Herald has been a beacon of progressive press, assisting needy families in the community, and contributing to civic and cultural achievements that make Astoria one of the greatest neighborhoods in our City. ”
“For the past 100 years, The National Herald has provided a dedicated Greek language media outlet for Greek-Americans throughout the country,” Council Member Costa Constantinides. “Its in-depth coverage of both domestic issues, as well as foreign-policy and Greece-related news, is a valuable resource for our community We’re proud to commemorate The National Herald’s dedication to our community with this street co-naming and thank Council Member Van Bramer for his strong leadership.”
“I am deeply honored and pleased that the City of New York, through the good office of Majority Leader Van Bramer, decided to recognize the contributions that the National Herald has made to the community and society at large for the past 100 years,” said Antonis H. Diamataris, Publisher of the National Herald. “I want to express my great appreciation to Majority Leader Van Bramer and Mayor de Blasio for an honor that we richly deserve given our history and our services to the city and the community.”
The National Herald – Ethnikos Kyrix was founded on April 2, 1915, as a progressive newspaper for the rapidly growing Greek immigrant population in New York. It is one of the oldest continually published dailies in the United States. The National Herald’s current publisher purchased the newspaper in 1979, long after the community’s center of gravity shifted from Manhattan to Astoria-Long Island City. Today, The National Herald directly provides jobs for more than 40 people. The newspaper owns two buildings, one of which houses the newspapers’ offices. In addition to being the main connection of Greeks and Cypriots to the lands of their birth, the National Herald provides Greek and Cypriot-Americans with valuable information.
The newspaper’s publisher has also established the National Herald – Ethnikos Kirix Foundation as a 501(c)3 organization. The foundation operates a charitable fund to assist needy families in the community. The Foundation will also support educational and other cultural endeavors.
The National Herald has helped spearhead such civic projects as the Athens Square cultural space, used by Astorians of all backgrounds. In the Greek-American community the Herald is a leading voice for the support of education, including promoting programs in public and private schools such as the St. Demetrios of Astoria.