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Kalymnian Society ‘Prodromos’ of Campbell, OH Celebrates 100 Years

November 28, 2023

CAMPBELL, OH – The Kalymnian Socieity ‘Prodromos’ of Campbell, OH celebrated its 100th anniversary with a rich multi-day celebratory program that concluded on Saturday, November 25th, including a gala dinner-dance at the packed Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, attended by members and friends.

The official guests of the celebratory events included Bishop Paisios of Kalymnos, Leros, and Astypalaia, the Prefect of Kalymnos, Manolis Mouselis, the newly elected Mayor of Kalymnos, Ioannis Mastrokoukos, U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis of Florida, who is of Kalymnian descent, as well as representatives of other associations.

Nicholas Kalouris, president of the Pan-Kalymnian Association of America as well as the president of the Kalymnian Association in Campbell, warmly thanked, through The National Herald, the dignitaries who came from Kalymnos and honored the events with their presence. He expressed gratitude to all the guests and the members of the Board for their efforts.

He briefly presented the history of the Society, stating, “Prodromos was founded in 1923 by a small group of immigrants from Kalymnos who came to Ohio for a better life. Events like today’s help second, third, and even fourth-generation children to learn about the traditions, customs, and culture of our unique homeland.”

Also through the newspaper, Bishop Paisios thanked the Society for the invitation and congratulated them on their 100th anniversary. He mentioned, “with the permission of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and my fellow countryman, Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, we are joyously gathered here in Campbell, OH, along with our dear brothers, to celebrate their historical anniversary. It is heartening to see that Orthodoxy and Hellenism thrive even in distant America. I extend a heartfelt thanks to the association for their love and hospitality. They go above and beyond to take care of us, guide us, and show us their way of life. Among other events, on Friday, November 24th, we held a memorial service at the local cemetery for the repose of the souls of the Kalymnians here.”

From left to right: Father Stavros Dinas, Ioannis Mastrokoukos, newly elected Mayor of Kalymnos, Congressman Gus Billirakis, the Bishop of Kalymnos, Leros, and Astypalaia, Paisios, Manolis Mouselis, Prefect of Kalymnos, Nicholas Kalouris, president of Pan-Kalymnian Federation of America as well as the president of the Kalymnian Association in Campbell, OH.
(Photo: Courtesy of The Kalymnian Society ‘Prodromos’ of Campbell, OH)

Mayor Mastrokoukos, in turn, thanked Kalouris, and the members of the Board for their hospitality. He added, “it is essential for all individuals involved in politics, regardless of their position, to closely experience the lifestyle of immigrants. Despite living in a land of wealth and abundance, our compatriots’ thoughts, discussions, and reflections revolve around Kalymnos. They make tremendous efforts not only to work and raise their families but also to maintain the traditions, customs, language, and religion of our homeland.”

Prefect Mouselis highlighted that this is a historic association of expatriates that has given its utmost to its members and the particular homeland of Kalymnos. “We warmly thank them for all they have done throughout these years. Here in Campbell, OH, a small town with a big heart, the Kalymnians infuse it with vitality. They preserve traditions, customs, language, and religion because these elements unite them to survive on this distant continent. It is a proven policy over the decades,” he emphasized.

Congressman Bilirakis expressed his joy at celebrating this significant anniversary with his compatriots. “We, the Kalymnians, have our own three capitals here in America, Tarpon Springs, FL, Gary, IN, and Campbell, OH. I personally feel very proud of my origins. Kalymnos is constantly in my thoughts and soul. My office in Washington is full of sponges and photos of my island. Warm congratulations to our brothers here in Campbell, and I wish the next 100 years to be equally creative for the Society,” he said.

 

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