NEW YORK – Three years ago the Panchiakos “Korais” Society of New York celebrated the 100th anniversary of its foundation and of the 1912 liberation of Chios with a series of events in Chios in New York. Their events, as The National Herald reported, were innovative, well-organized and meaningful.
The organizing committee headed by Christ Stratakis, prominent attorney and legal counsel of the society, organized a symposium to mark the anniversary. He also promised a book will be published about the double anniversary.
The editorial committee was headed by Stratakis and Athena Tsokou-Kromidas, the director of William Spyropoulos day school of St. Nicholas in Flushing and the promise was kept. On March 8 Chios on Parallel Roads – Chios liberated – Panchinaki “Korais N.Y.” was presented at the Archdiocese’s Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria.
Fr. Paul Palesty, pastor of St. Nicholas led the chanting of the hymn Ti Ypermaho which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and congratulated the Society and the editorial committee.
The book is a notable for a community society because it is a substantial work of prose with educational value not only for people with roots in Chios but for all Greek-Americans.
Stelios Neamonitis, the president of the Society also expressed his gratitude to Stratakis and Krommydas and to Elisavet Tzoumakas who also shouldered the difficult task of publishing the book.
Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, retired Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation (USA) presented a brief retrospective on how the Greeks across American created communities and societies and emphasized that their foundation was motivated by the desire of many people to preserve the traditions, language, ethos and customs of the Hellenic homeland.
He associated those endeavors with the human passion to perpetuate and preserve immortal values, principles and legacy of their nations.
Amb. Tsilas said the book is important because it helps preserve the immortal values which united Hellenes.
“The book presents the historical facts with brevity simplicity and conveys them in a way that makes you feel proud of our immortal principles, values ??and heritage,” he said.
Stratakis explained the rationale for the Society’s production of the book, which he helped sponsor, and which he called a mosaic off the achievements of Chios, Korais and the Chians.
He added that the book is a product of his love for the Society and the people of Chios he shares with Krommydas.
The book is dedicated to two groups of people, those who migrated and settled in America and those who stayed on the island for whom their common denominator is their love for Chios.
The book, which is divided into five parts, contains messages from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Metropolitan Markos of Chios.
The first part is dedicated to the Panchiakos “Korais” and other Chian societies, including St. Markella, the United Chian Societies of America and the Chian Federation.
The second part, titled “Chios – The Island of our Hearts and Minds” is dedicated to the history of the island and the third, “Chios – A Voyage Through the Ages,” highlights the spiritual life of the island.
“Chios – of Scents and Journeys” is about myrrh, mastic and the Chian’s relationship with the sea.
The last part of the book “Chinas in America – Their Stories” includes thirty families’ stories, accompanied by photos.
Krommydas said the book “is a deposit of the soul and a sample of the unlimited love for the island.”
She noted that the text goes back to 6000 BC and is a testimony to the greatness of Chian soul and records and highlights the achievements of Chians in America and pioneering “Korai” society that over the course of its first century proved to be a lover of literature and culture.