NEW YORK – Petros Sarantakis is a noted author from Kerasia. He has written numerous books about various regions in Greece such as Messenia, the Argolid and Florina in the north, as well as four about his native Arcadia highlighting its churches and monasteries, and he is very excited about his latest about the history of Arcadian immigration to America.
Two years ago the Pan-Arcadian Federation of America commissioned him to research and write about the Arcadian diaspora in America as part of its Arcadian History Project, but Sarantakis, who recently traveled around the United States for two months, will not only write not only about the immigrants’ experiences. He will also catalogue and spotlight their contributions both in America and back in Arcadia.
The project was presented to Greek-American leaders of the New York Metropolitan Area at a recent event held at the Greek Press Office under the auspices of Amb. George Iliopoulos, the Consul General of Greece. Also present was the newly elected president Kostas Kapogenis.
In 2011, then-Federation President Evangelos Potakis, appointed Demetrios Filios, his immediate successor as president, as chairman of the project. Filios works with several co-chairs at the national level. Past president George Sourounis, is in charge of coordinating the collection of historical material and Dr. Peter Evangelou, who has also served as president, is in charge of fundraising.
Filios told The National Herald the book is written in Greek and English and that volume one is finished. It focuses on the contributions of the diaspora to Arcadia and Greece. Aris Michopoulos of Hellenic College/Holy Cross and John Siolas of St. John’s University are part of the group now collecting material for volume 2, which presents the history of the immigrants, including their achievements and their contributions to America.
Sarantakis also highlights the successes of the Federation and challenges of the 21st century.
The bi-lingual book, which will be produced in paper and on DVD, is being underwritten by the Federation and individual sponsors. They have raised $75,000 and are halfway to their goal, and it is hoped that it will be published in 2015.
The Federation is proud of its endeavor, which few community groups have matched. Greek-Americans from Epirus are now working a similar project, and Cretans produced a book to mark the 100th anniversary of the reunion of their island with Greece.