NEW YORK – Thirty-seven Greek-Americans and Philhellenes were initiated into the historic Delphi #25 Chapter of the Order of AHEPA at Gallagher’s Steakhouse in Manhattan on January 23, making the chapter the largest in the AHEPA global domain, according to an AHEPA news release. This remarkable achievement is the result of a dynamic three year revitalization under the new administration and the leadership of its current President Louis Katsos, who also serves as Lt. Governor of the AHEPA Empire State District Six.
The Delphi Chapter #25 was founded in New York City in 1923 and is one of the most storied chapters in the history of the international fraternal organization with many esteemed past and current members including the late Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), President of the United States of America.
Among those in attendance, AHEPA Supreme Vice President Jimmy Kokotas acknowledged the Chapter’s many accolades and announced the position attained by Delphi Chapter #25. Past Supreme President and Member of the Board of Trustees, Andrew C. Zachariades was also in attendance and was beaming with pride as he has always been a staunch supporter of all the Chapter’s many events and initiatives. District Six Governor Demi Pamboukes spoke of the Chapter’s many endeavors in espousing and promoting Hellenism (Chapter President Katsos, also serves as Vice Chairman of the National AHEPA Hellenic Cultural Committee) and also expounded on some of AHEPA’s Scholarship programs and its AHEPA Journey to Greece educational and cultural program for youth.
Also present at the well-attended event were many other current and past members of AHEPA’s hierarchy and several Presidents from other local chapters as well as the Director of Hellenism of Chapter HJ-1 from Athens, Greece Takis Karamoutsos.
During the event it was further announced that the Sons of Pericles (SOP) New Renaissance Chapter #5 (which was originally founded in 1930 and is part of the Manhattan AHEPA Delphi Chapter # 25 family) was reactivated with 12 new members in attendance. The Chapter was reactivated on November 13, 2018 with the help of SOP Supreme Secretary Paul Pavlakos and Past SOP Supreme President Andreas Christou (both current members of Delphi #25).
All the new Initiates, Delphi #25 and Sons of Pericles #5, were surrounded by banners and placards presenting the historic figures of Delphi #25 and the Hellenic and American values of the organization, which were reflected in the oath they took, the Greek and American national anthems, and the invocation offered by Very Rev. Archimandrite Vasilios Bassakyros, Presiding Priest at the St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan.
The Initiation Oath was administered by the Supreme Vice President Kokotas who also hails from New York City. At the appointed time, the new Initiates were escorted to the front of the room, they were then asked to place their left hands on the shoulders of their fellow recruits and to raise their right hands and were administered the oath of The Order of AHEPA.
The Annual Delphi Chapter Vasilopita cutting event is dedicated to the memory of the late James A. Poll (1920-2013), who had served The Order in many capacities most notably Past Supreme Secretary, Past Chairman of AHEPA’s Saint Basil Academy (in its 97+ year history, the AHEPA family has donated more than $1.75 million to the Saint Basil Academy for the construction and ongoing maintenance of its facilities) as well as Past President of Delphi Chapter #25. Dean Poll, son of James Poll and a member of Delphi #25, is the owner of Gallagher’s Steakhouse in Manhattan and hosted the event.