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The Dodecanese Federation hosted a reception and book presentation following the services at St. Catherine and St. George Church in Astoria. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
ASTORIA – The Federation of Dodecanese Societies of America held a memorial service and ‘Artoklasia’ following the Divine Liturgy at St. Catherine and St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Astoria on October 23. The services were presided over by Fr. Anargyros Stavropoulos, assisted by Fr. George Kasapoglu. The memorial service commemorated those of the Dodecanese who gave their lives in the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Konstantinou spoke movingly about the contribution of the Dodecanese to the Revolution, noting the key role they played in the struggle for freedom and also the terrible toll they suffered, mentioning the Kasos massacre specifically. He added that the Dodecanese continued the struggle with the same determination and zeal until the 1947 unification with Greece. It is significant for all to recognize that the Dodecanese are always at the forefront of the defense of Greece’s sovereignty, Konstantinou said.
He also noted the continuing Turkish provocations in the Aegean, and said that if necessary, Greeks would defend their country as their ancestors did from Thrace to Crete and from Kastellorizo to the Eptanisa. Konstantinou congratulated all those present, adding that they should all be proud to be Hellenes, and that it is something to protect and to pass on to our children as their heritage and legacy. He concluded by exclaiming, “long live Greece!”
A reception and book presentation followed in the church hall with author Manolis Cassotis speaking about the book The Dodecanese during the War of Independence of 1821 by Manolis Makris which Cassotis and Demosthenes Triantafillou translated from Greek to English. Copies of the book were available for purchase at the event.
Cassotis highlighted the various chapters of the book which offers insights into the history leading up to the Revolution and the major events on the islands of Kasos, Kos, and Rhodes, among others.
Triantafillou noted that he sponsored the book in memory of his late wife Barbara and that it is dedicated to her. May her memory be eternal. He added that the translation took about a year to complete and that although maintaining and promoting the Greek language is still the top priority, the translation of the book into English was necessary in order for younger generations who perhaps do not know Greek very well to learn about and understand the contributions of the Dodecanese to the Revolution of 1821.
Federation of Dodecanese Societies President Maria Marangos gave the welcoming remarks, thanking all those present for attending and especially Consul General Konstantinou and Dr. Eirini Grapsia, Acting Coordinator of Education for the Consulate General of Greece in New York, as well as all the representatives of the various Dodecanese Societies. Marangos noted that following the pandemic, the need for unity is even greater than ever to make up for the time lost. She added that the book showcases events, historical figures, and details that cannot be found in other history books, and thanked Cassotis and Triantafillou for their efforts.
Marangos then introduced Dr. Grapsia who pointed out that the Dodecanese did not hesitate to join the struggle for freedom for Greece and gave material support and their lives to throw off the yoke of Ottoman oppression and to win their freedom along with all the benefits of liberty, including the preservation of the Hellenic culture, values, and the Orthodox faith. She noted that Emmanuel Xanthos, one of the founders of the Filiki Eteria, was from Patmos and many from the Dodecanese diaspora, supported the cause and traveled to mainland Greece and islands such as Hydra and Spetses to join the fight for freedom.
Pan-Laconian Federation President Theodore Pavlakos was among those in attendance and mentioned the University of Connecticut’s Hellenic Studies Center Paideia and the conference held October 14-16. He encouraged everyone to visit the Center which includes the Spartan Museum, noting that the Center’s director, Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon President Ilias Tomazos is from Rhodes.
Among those present were Kassian Benevolent Society of America President Antonis Perselis, Kalymnos Society President Evdokia Kampouris, Kos Society President Manolis Stamatis, Pan-Rhodian Society of America Apollon Vice President and New York Chapter President Nikos Kartalis, Dodecanese Federation Secretary Adamantia Mari, Dodecanese Federation board member and Patmos Representative Vasilis Konstantas, Dodecanese Federation Assistant Treasurer Anastasia Fygetaki, and Pan-Rhodian of New York Vice President Kalliopi Ziangos.
ASTORIA – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris launched his 2023 Community Survey, creating another way for western Queens neighbors to engage with his office and take their priorities to state government.
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