BROOKLYN – The Three Hierarchs community in Brooklyn celebrated its 90th anniversary and honored Parish Council President John Eugenis and the former presidents, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Gus Vellios and Vasilis Theodosakis, as well as Harry Lambrakis, Demetrios Bouroutis, Konstantinos Savaros, Joanna Vassalas, and George Anniss, on February 16, at the dinner-dance held in the community’s Rosehall.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Leroy Adams presented an honorary plaque to Fr. Eugene Pappas, presiding priest of the community, and congratulated the Church on the great spiritual, social and charitable work it has done for decades.
In a congratulatory message, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America said, “If one considers how much trouble and labor, how many problems, how many difficulties and how much effort has been made over the years for your holy community to be preserved and to progress and prosper, then you will understand that you have God as your assistant and supporter all these years.
“You have succeeded in a miracle, passing through continual Symplegades [Clashing Rocks] of time and staying unscathed and continuing your work. I congratulate you and praise you because you have been God’s assistants and associates who care for the word and teaching His teaching to your children and grandchildren and keep the flame of the Greek Orthodox civilization lit and proudly alive.”
Fr. Pappas told The National Herald that 90 years ago our ancestors struggled to leave their mark in Brooklyn with dignity, vision, and courage.
“These immigrants were enriched with wisdom inherited from the glorious ancient Greek civilization. Success was in their blood, mind, and soul.” he said.
Parish Council President John Eugenis thanked the faithful for the love and support of the parish, and congratulated the former presidents for their great contribution.
“For the past 90 years, the Three Hierarchs community has given its dynamic presence to Brooklyn and will continue to do so for many years thanks to the dedication and faith of its members. It serves every Orthodox Christian, regardless of nationality, and generously offers its services to all those in need. We give gravity to our youth who are our present and future. We must give a good example to our young people to continue with this work with the same zeal and keep our religion, language, customs and traditions,” he said.
The honorees spoke to TNH, warmly thanking the council for the award and referred to the work they had done as presidents.
Bouroutis, a member since 1980 and president in 2006-2007, pointed out that one of the biggest achievements of the council was when in 1985 the $700,000 loan for the construction of the building was paid off. “During my term of office, we also carried out many repairs for the church, costing $240,000,” he said.
Theodosakis, a member of the community since 1935 and president from 1968 to 1971, said that at that time there were many Greeks here. “Today, the neighborhood has changed. Others moved to New Jersey, others to Staten Island and elsewhere. Those who have stayed always try to do good for the church,” he added.
Lambrakis, a member of the church since 1977 and president for 13 years, expressed his pride that his children attend the Three Hierarchs Day School. “As a family and as a community we do our best to preserve our Greek heritage,” he said.
George Anniss said that the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the historic holy church is celebrated with joy and pride and expressed his optimism that the parish with the help of God will continue its progress and prosperity.
Gus Vellios said that for five generations his family has been a member of the Three Hierarchs and wished for the younger generation to be close to the church so that the teaching of the values of Hellenism and Orthodoxy can continue.
Haritini Pandis thanked all the volunteers and sponsors who contributed to the celebration’s success and said that all the proceeds would be spent on building an elevator in the church.
AHEPA Supreme Vice President Jimmy Kokotas served as the master of ceremonies for the event while Yianni Papastefanou and his Orchestra provided the entertainment.