AHEPA Supreme President John Galanis speaks to TNH about the Convention

BOSTON— The AHEPA 94th Supreme Convention is successfully underway at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV until Saturday, July 30. About 1,500 Greek-Americans, including the Sons of Pericles, Daughters of Penelope, and Maids of Athena, will participate in the meetings and festivities.
In a telephone interview with the outgoing Supreme President John Galanis from the Convention in las Vegas, he said that “everything goes well here, the turnout is good and we are having a very good and productive Convention.”
Galanis told TNH that he is not going to seek reelection for a second term and said that Andreas Zachariadis will succeed him in the Presidency.
Galanis will inform the participants at the Convention “about the activities of this past year, the Cyprus issue, and the visit to Greece, Cyprus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, and Israel.”
He emphasized the importance and the appreciation that AHEPA enjoys everywhere within the United States and abroad. He said that “in my trips within the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus people speak with great appreciation and love for AHEPA. I have to tell you that they are treating me very well not because it is me, but because of the excellent work my predecessors and AHEPA have done.”
Galanis noted, “One of the important issues is to fulfill our promise of collecting $1million for the construction of St. Nicholas Church in New York,” and he added “we should be there in a big way.”
He also said that “AHEPA is doing very well. We are going to initiate one hundred new members in New York at the Manhattan chapter. We are speaking about the young generation, young professionals. The same thing will happen in Chicago also.” He continued, “People have the desire to get involved in the Greek issues.” He observed, that “the New England area is strong, also Texas, Florida, the South, but the Midwest needs some strengthening. AHEPA mirrors in a way the Greek Community.”
Speaking about Greece and AHEPA, Galanis said “In Greece, and generally in Europe, there is a thirst and interest about our Organization, we have fifty chapters in Greece. I was attending a book signing ceremony in Greece and people from Peloponnese approached me, asking me how we can also organize an AHEPA chapter in Peloponnese.”
Asked about the right to vote in Greece by the Hellenes of the Diaspora that was discussed with State officials during his visit to Greece in May, Galanis said that “we met with the president of the Greek Parliament who told me the issue was in discussion (at that time) but there were some issues as to how and where the vote would be done. I also remember that Prime Minister Tsipras mentioned that the issue was important. My message to them was do it because it is going to be good for Greece.” When we told Galanis that it was not included in the law that was passed last week he said, “From what I understand, they postponed it because there are some issues that have to be dealt with.”