NORWICH, CT – This year, the day-long meeting, a joint Conference of the Order of AHEPA and the Daughters of Penelope (DOP) was held at the facilities of the AHEPA Chapter 117 in Norwich, CT, the Rose of New England on October 15. In commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Order of AHEPA in July 1922, the program for the day included a celebration of the Order’s longevity and accomplishments. AHEPA, with humble origins in Atlanta, Georgia, now has over 400 Chapters in this country and abroad, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, Greece and other European countries. Hellenism was and remains at the core of its identity.
The keynote speaker for the occasion was Antonis H. Diamataris, Advisor to the
Publishers of The National Herald. His topic was the Role of AHEPA in the Future of the Greek-American Diaspora. He expressed his admiration for AHEPA and its original scope as a defender of the rights of newly arrived Greek immigrants. However, he emphasized that the passage of time over ten decades demands that, now, AHEPA’s role in the Greek-American diaspora must attain a larger presence and influence. No other organization, fraternal, civic, or regional, has the staying power of AHEPA and its geographic breadth and organizational skills. The time has come for its leadership, given a longer term in office, to undertake long-term planning and bold projects, as, for example, full-fledged schools in this country with educational programs beyond the teaching of the Greek language.
Mr. Diamataris graciously answered many questions from the audience and was thanked profusely for taking the time to visit Norwich and for his thoughtful views on the future of AHEPA. Everyone lifted a glass of champagne to toast AHEPA’s 100th anniversary and wished continued success to AHEPA as a force for good in the Greek-American diaspora.
In attendance for the District 7 AHEPA Family Conference: Basile Panoutsopoulos Constantine Panayotakis, DOP PGP Anna-Helene Grossomanides, Gregory Simones, John Fakis, AHEPA District 7 Governor Dr. Vagos Hadjimichael, Dr. John Grossomanides PSP, DOP Grand Vice President Marianthi Treppiedi, Manny Cosmas, DOP Grand Governor Zone I Marianne Boutsioulis, D7 Governor Elisa Marotta, Gregory Stamos, Yiannis Apostolakis, Alex Boutsioulis, George Scarveles, and Christina Smith.