AHEPA Hermes Chapter No. 186 of Astoria visited the Heritage Museum of Epirus in Astoria on March 15. Left to right: Michael Giakoumelos, Peter Argyropoulos, Constantine Theodosiou, Peter Giakoumis, John Koumpouras, George Rigas, and Ignazio Terranova. Photo: Courtesy of AHEPA
ASTORIA – AHEPA Hermes Chapter No. 186 of Astoria was invited by the Heritage Museum of Epirus in Astoria on March 15 to a tour of the Museum and the new exhibition on display for a limited time. The Chapter Brothers were given a tour of the museum’s permanent exhibit of Greek costumes from the region of Epirus in the northwestern part of Greece, all of which were donated to the Museum by various members of the host association, the Society of Epirotes Anagenesis Ladies Auxiliary Souliotissai. Hermes Chapter Secretary and Curator of the Museum Peter S. Giakoumis led the tour and gave a presentation on the temporary exhibition, Epirus and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Having done over seven and a half years of research and publishing a book on the subject, Giakoumis has a unique view of the accomplishments of the Greek army and the role of the Americanized Greeks that returned to Greece to fight in 1912.
Those men succeeded in liberating and unifying Epirus, and the main city of Ioannina as well as the bulk of the region, basically doubling the size of the Greek Kingdom at the time. The presentation incorporated three museum quality reproduction military uniforms, two directly from Greece, and one from the United States. Original antique pieces were also on display from Giakoumis’ personal collection that relate directly to the Balkan Wars and the men that fought, including military medals, original photographs, currency, and flags that are associated with the time period.
The tour was remarkable and all the brothers enjoyed the way it was presented. Giakoumis shared facts and background details about the items on display and brought the history and courage of those men to life. Hermes Chapter President Peter Argyropoulos said: “Brother Pete Giakoumis used the uniforms in such a way that it brought that history to life for me, I had a chance to understand it in a different way than when you read it in a book, well done!”
The Chapter thanked Giakoumis for a great job and hopes to see more of his work in and out of the museum. Bravo and may the memory of those veterans be eternal!
The Heritage Museum of Epirus is located at 25-14 Broadway in Astoria, NY. The special exhibition ‘Epirus & The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913: The Unification of Epirus and the Hellenic Kingdom’ which includes uniforms and original antiques displayed for the first time outside of Greece is on view through Wednesday, May 31. Please call to make an appointment: 718-274-3753. More information is available via email: [email protected].
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