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General News

Petros Galatoulas, 66, Is Mourned

NEW YORK – Long-time president of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Petros Galatoulas, passed away on Saturday, May 21, at the age of 66.

According to information available to The National Herald, the well-known expatriate was facing a number of health issues, having been repeatedly admitted to the hospital, but unfortunately, the most recent hospitalization was even more serious and proved fatal.

Petros Galatoulas was born in 1955 in Agios Galas, Chios, and immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. His father was a priest, Fr. George Galatoulas, and his mother was Presbytera Despina. He is survived by his wife is Sofia Galatoula and their three children, George, Despina, and Anna.

Federation of Hellenic Societies President Petros Galatoulas, Sen. Michael Gianaris, Nassau County DA and honoree Madeline Singas, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Queens Borough Pres. Melinda Katz, and NYC Councilmember Costa Constantinides. Photo by Costas Bej
FILE- Federation of Hellenic Societies President Petros Galatoulas, Sen. Michael Gianaris, Nassau County DA and honoree Madeline Singas, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Queens Borough Pres. Melinda Katz, and NYC Councilmember Costa Constantinides. Photo by Kostas Bej

His name was inextricably linked with the Greek-American community in New York through his beloved Federation. Galatoulas served as president for two consecutive terms, from 2014 to 2018, but he also served for years on its Board in various positions. In addition, he served as president of the Chian associations ‘Agiogalousion’ and ‘Kavo Melanios’, as well as vice president of the Chian Federation.

On the one hand, he served effectively as one of the principal organizers of cultural events and especially the annual Greek Parade on 5th Avenue, and he was active in mobilizations for Greek national issues. On the other hand, he also received criticism, being one of the central figures in the internal controversy that has plagued the Federation for more than a year.

The news of the death of Petros Galatoulas spread very quickly in the Community, with his companions and longtime friends expressing their grief for his loss.

Left to right: Nikolas Mpardis, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Nancy Papaioannou, Federation of Hellenic Societies President Petros Galatoulas, Consul General of Cyprus Vasilios Philippou, Elias Tsekerides, and Vasilios Petratos. Photo by Costas Bej
Left to right: Nikolas Bardis, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Nancy Papaioannou, Federation of Hellenic Societies President Petros Galatoulas, Consul General of Cyprus Vasilios Philippou, Elias Tsekerides, and Vasilios Petratos. Photo by Kostas Bej

Georgios Georgopoulos, the president of the Federation who emerged from last year’s disputed election, spoke to him for the final time last Tuesday, when the former president of the Federation himself contacted him. It was a discussion described by Georgopoulos as emotionally charged. “I had the good fortune and the misfortune to speak to him on Tuesday morning until Wednesday around midnight,” said Georgopoulos, who added that, “I realized that he was not well, as he spoke about a word every minute, he felt aggrieved that people rushed to condemn him and throw mud at him while he gave his soul for the Federation. He started crying, and I told him to focus on his health, but he seemed not to hear me. Since then I was not been able to speak to him again.”

Georgopoulos reiterated that Galatoulas “left us aggrieved. He was a ‘machine’ working for the good of the Federation. Whoever works also makes mistakes. He made human mistakes, they were not criminal or anything. Some of the mistakes [were in the context of actions] that were useful. They worked.”

The National Herald expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Petros Galatoulas, who left his mark on the Greek-American community.

Federation of Hellenic Societies former president Petros Galatoulas and longtime treasure Athanasios Aronis. (Photo TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos)
Federation of Hellenic Societies former president Petros Galatoulas and longtime treasure Athanasios Aronis. (Photo TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos)
Representatives of community organizations vote for the new board of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York on June 8. Outgoing Federation president Elias Tsekerides, 2nd from L and leading vote-getter Petros Galatoulas, 3rd from L are seen above.
Representatives of community organizations vote for the new board of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York on June 8. Outgoing Federation president Elias Tsekerides, 2nd from L and leading vote-getter Petros Galatoulas, 3rd from L are seen above. (Photo by TNH/File)
FILE - Deropoli dancers from Athens. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
FILE – Deropoli dancers from Athens. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

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