ASTORIA – The 83rd Annual New York Empire State District 6 AHEPA Convention was held on June 7-9 at the Cathedral of Saint Demetrios and the Petros G. Patrides Cultural Center in Astoria. AHEPA District 6 is the largest District with the most Ahepans in the world. The Convention included Ahepans, Daughters of Penelope (DOP), and the junior orders, the Sons of Pericles (SOP), and the Maids of Athena (MOA). All the chapters and orders were invited from across all 62 Counties of the State of New York.
The convention was hosted by the historic AHEPA Hermes Chapter 186 of Astoria New York led by its President and Former District Marshal George Zouvelos, and co-hosted by the DOP Ilion Chapter 135 President Mary Stell.
Hermes was once the largest AHEPA chapter in the world (with over 400 members) including filmmaker John Cassavetes and actor Telly Savalas among its more famous members. Hermes President Zouvelos served as Emcee welcoming the voting delegates, alternates, and guests to the convention.
The convention began on June 7 with the SOP and MOA hosted social gathering at Anable Basin Sailing Grill in Long Island City.
On June 8, regular convention business commenced at the Patrides Cultural Center and included morning registration and a full breakfast sponsored by the hosting Hermes and Ilion chapters provided for all the voting chapter delegates, their alternates and guests.
Committee meetings which included those for Hellenism, scholarship, technology and budgeting, also took place. The DOP, SOP, and MOA also met to conduct regular order business and hold their respective elections; and the SOP established its first New York State District Lodge with officers.
Later in the day, the delegates voted for the new leadership of the New York Statewide District 6 Officers (Lodge). The results: Governor Ilias ‘Lou’ Katsos, Lt. Governor Dean Moskos, District Secretary Chris Pappis, District Treasurer Petros Ragoussis, District Warden George Zouvelos, and District Marshal Paul Macropoulos.
On Saturday night, after the regular business had successfully concluded, all AHEPA orders were invited to Central Lounge in Astoria for dinner, drinks, music, dancing, and cigars, hosted by AHEPA Hermes 186 Chapter, and its President George Zouvelos.
On Sunday morning, June 9, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Demetrios of Astoria, Ahepans, DOP, SOP and MOA with family and friends attended the Divine Liturgy which was followed in the church hall by the AHEPA Hermes and DOP Ilion chapters hosting a free breakfast for all those present including the parish’s laity and clergy.
Following the breakfast and speeches, everyone enjoyed a performance by the Greek American Folklore Society in traditional costume.
“I congratulate the newly elected New York State District Governor Ilias ‘Lou’ Katsos and his District Lodge, as it was my personal pleasure and honor for me, and my Hermes Chapter. No.186 of Astoria, along with the DOP Ilion Chapter 135 to host this historic 83rd Annual AHEPA and Family Convention in Astoria, the very heart and cradle of Hellenism in the United States of America. I’m also honored to be elected to the NYS District 6 Lodge as Warden, where I had previously also served two decades ago as District 6 Marshal. I thank and congratulate the outgoing Governor Demi Pamboukes and his District Lodge, as well as thanking the entire New York State AHEPA Family for their support and attendance which made the convention a tremendous success, and all the hard-work gratifying and worthwhile. I look forward to serving as District Warden statewide, as I further assist the growth of Hermes chapter, AHEPA, DOP, SOP and MOA, here and abroad, as we in tandem promote good civics, Hellenism and Hellenic ideals everywhere and to everyone. Long live Hellenism everywhere,” said Zouvelos.