NEW YORK – The Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the unification of the islands with the motherland Greece on March 7 with an online event this year due to the pandemic.
The video of the event is available on YouTube:
Among the speakers, Nikos Kartalis of Rhodes, First Vice President of the Federation and President of the Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York No. 3 gave the welcoming remarks.
Federation of Dodecanese Societies President Maria Marangos (Kalymnos) offered her greetings and thanked all those present for attending the event and commemorating the 73rd anniversary of Dodecanese unification.
Georgia Smalios (Kalymnos) performed the Star-Spangled Banner at the event, Markos Pavlakis (Kalymnos) the Greek National Anthem, and Elena Toumara-Kambouri (Karpathos) the Dodecanese Anthem.
Archimandrite Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Dean of St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, offered his congratulations and best wishes.
The General Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad Ioannis Chrysoulakis and Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras also shared their remarks on the occasion.
Ilias Tomazos, head of the Modern Greek Studies program at the University of Connecticut, President of the Hellenic Society Paideia, and President of the Pan-Rhodian Society of America, also offered remarks commemorating the occasion along with his granddaughter, Maria-Ignatia. He noted that in spite of about 600 years of oppression, the Dodecanese islanders maintained the Hellenic language, Orthodox Christian faith, and the traditions and customs of our culture.
Dodecanesian Youth President Sotiria Zouroudi (Symi), President of the National Dodecanesian Council Manolis Cassotis (Karpathos), Vice President of the Kasos Association Nikos Papageorgiou, Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York Vice President Kalliopi Ziangos (Rhodes, Nisyros), Patmos Association of New York “Xanthos o Filikos” President Dimitroula Konstantas-Goustas, former Patmos Association President Vasilis Konstantas, Symi Association Secretary Katerina Zouroudi, Kos Society of New York Hippocrates President Manolis Stamatis, and Leros Association of New York Vice President Takis Rizos also shared their remarks on the historic unification.
The event included poems and performances of traditional music from the islands, as well as a dance performed in traditional costume by youngsters with roots from Leros. Vasilis Michaelides recited a poem in honor of the day.
Demosthenes Triantafillou presented on the history of the unification of the Dodecanese and on Halki-native Alexandros Diakos who was the first officer to be killed on the Albanian front in World War II. Triantafillou later shared his own memories as a young child in Nisyros at the end of the war.
The Federation Board and its members warmly thanked all those who participated, including Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, Manolis Cassotis, Ilias Tomazos, Demosthenes Triantafillou, Elizabeth Elli Kostalia, Thanasis Tzouvelis, and Doros Evangelidis, as well as the political leadership of the Dodecanese and Hellenes Abroad: Member of the Hellenic Parliament for the Dodecanese Region Mika Iatridi, Member of Parliament Mano Konsolas, Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Vice Minister and Member of Parliament Nektarios Santorinios, Member of Parliament Vasilis A. Ypsilantis, and General Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad Ioannis Chrysoulakis.
Maria Marangos – President
Nikos Kartalis – First Vice President
Andreas Goustas – Second Vice President
Adamantia Mari – Secretary
Zoe Pilios – Assistant Secretary
Evdokia Karapanou – Treasurer
Anastasia Fygetaki – Assistant Treasurer
Long live the Dodecanese! Long live Greece!