AMALIADA, Greece – The Paneliakos Society held its 2nd Annual Diaspora Convention in Amaliada, Greece with the participation of many members of the association from various countries, including representatives of homeland organizations, on Saturday, July 29 in the garden of the Tatanis house.
The meeting – which was accompanied by a rich artistic program, with the music of great Greek composers and a theatrical narrative performance – was organized by the municipality of Iliada with the collaboration of the Paneliakos Federation of America and Canada.
The Mayor of Ilidos (Amaliada) Christos Christodoulopoulos, welcoming the Greeks of the diaspora, referred to their long-standing contribution to the region and to the strong ties they maintain with their own homeland, focusing, among other things, on the recent donations made to the local hospital, an ultrasound machine purchased for the hospital of Amaliada.
A corresponding donation, as The National Herald reported, was a defibrillator for the needs of the Simopoulos Health Center, in the municipal section of Pinias.
Deputy Regional Governor of Ilia Georgios Georgiopoulos and Ilias MP Kounakos, in their greetings, referred to the need to broaden the cooperation and contacts between the region and the Diaspora, while Koutsoukos also raised the issue of granting voting rights to Greeks abroad.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy Dionysis Kalamatianos.
Also among the speakers were:
· Yiota Patlias, General Secretary of the New York Paneliakos Society, congratulating the President of the Paneliakos Federation of America and Canada, Antonis Papadopoulos.
· The President of the Paneliakos Society of Boston, Vassilis Kafkas, who noted that the Diaspora has supported every effort for the development of the many capabilities of Ilia. Kafkas has disagreed with the term emigrants, noting that “we are immigrants.” Finally, he conveyed a greeting to the Honorary President of the Association, Kostas Koutroubis.
· Vice President of the New York Paneliakos Society, George Avramopoulos, on behalf of the President of the Society Sotiris Konstantakopoulos.
· The President of the Australian Paneliakos Federation Andreas Khardas.
The choice of the venue that hosted the event was not accidental. Petros Tatanis, the founder (April 2, 1915) and first publisher of the National Herald, originally came from Amaliada, always maintaining close and intimate ties with his birthplace and the wider region.
“The venue we chose for the event is symbolic,” Christodoulopoulos said in his speech. He added that “this is the garden of the historic home of Petros Tatanis’ family, the first publisher and founder of the great Greek-American newspaper the National Herald.”
Since 2012, the Tatanis House has been transformed into a Press Museum of the Hellenes Abroad, after projects to preserve and restore the structure.
Present at this year’s meeting were also Fr. Damaskinos Petrakos, the former member of Parliament for Ilia Dionysia-Theodora Avgerinopoulou, the chairman of the Ilia Chamber of Commerce Kostas Nikoloutsos, the head of the minority in the city council of Pyrgos Giannis Argyropoulos, the deputy mayor of Lechaina Andreas Migkos, Chairman of the Coastal Port Facility and editor of Patris newspaper Leonidas Varouxis, and President KAE Koroivos Amaliadas Christos Lagos, among others.