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VIDEO

The 75th Anniversary of Dodecanese Unification Celebrated on March 12 in Astoria (Vids & Pics)

March 13, 2023

ASTORIA – The Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Astoria beginning with the Divine Liturgy, Artoklasia, and Doxology followed by a reception with refreshments and a cultural program in the community’s Petros G. Patrides Hall.

The event included traditional music and dances from the Dodecanese with performers in traditional costume from the islands.

Following the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Anargyros Stavropoulos, Dean of the Cathedral, congratulated the Federation for celebrating this significant anniversary with the St. Demetrios community, noting that throughout history the Dodecanese maintained their nationality and religion, Orthodoxy, and they finally were unified with the motherland Greece on March 7, 1948.

Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou gave his remarks following the Doxology, noting that Greece is still in shock over the recent train tragedy in Tempi and called for a moment of silence in honor of the victims who lost their lives and to pray for those still hospitalized. He then pointed out how the Dodecanese participated from 1821 and on, fighting fo Greece, and mentioned Lieutenant Alexandros Diakos, a native of the island of Chalki, who was the first Greek officer to fall on the field of battle during the Second World War. Konstantinou noted that we will never stop fighting for our rights and then congratulated the Federation and wished everyone a good Lent and Easter. Consul of Greece in New York Dimitris Papageorgiou also attended the church services.

During the reception and cultural program which followed, Anthoula Katsimatides served as the MC, welcoming everyone and inviting Fr. Stavropoulos to give the opening prayer. The National Anthems of the U.S. and Greece were sung by Georgia Smaliou.

Federation of Dodecanese Societies President Maria Marangos in her remarks noted that she was very moved that, after three years of COVID, everyone gathered together once again to celebrate the Unification of the Dodecanese. She noted that on the day of the anniversary of Unification, March 7, she sent a message to all the members and received within minutes a poem celebrating the Dodecanese in reply from the new President of the Kasos Society Maria Zoulis, demonstrating that there are people who are trying to maintain the language, culture and traditions passed down from our ancestors. Marangos said that when are children are here, they are our future, and encouraged unity so that after three years the Dodecanese can return to greatness.

Secretary General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy Prof. John Chrysoulakis shared his greetings via video, noting that although it was taking place during a dark time, due to the train tragedy, the 75th anniversary of Unification is a significant historic event for the islands and for Greece and was doubly special for him since he is from Kos. He wished everyone all the best for the celebration and congratulated the Federation for organizing the event, adding that unifying the people of the Dodecanese living in the U.S. is a worthy effort along with preserving the culture and traditions of the islands and passing them down to the younger generations.

Demosthenis Triantafillou at the podium during the Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA’s event celebrating 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York Vice President Kalliopi Ziangos presented a moving tribute to the memory of her late friend Irene Constantinidis who passed away in 2021. Ziangos began with a moment of silence for Irene and for all those who recently passed away. She noted that her friend loved summers in the Dodecanese and especially on her favorite island Nisyros, her parents’ birthplace. “I hope we can all keep Irene’s love for our islands and our culture forever because that is what she lived for and what we need, more people to lead with her example,” Ziangos said, adding that the dances this year were dedicated to Irene, may her memory be eternal.

Demosthenes Triantafillou (Nisyros), former president of the Dodecanese Federation, began his remarks by saying that Greece and the Dodecanese never die and reminded everyone that the history of the Dodecanese has worldwide influence. He added that Greece is not defined by its geography because Greece is the land of ideas, ideals, good intentions, virtue, and ethos.

The Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Dr. Eirini Grapsia, Acting Coordinator of Education for the Consulate General of Greece in New York, praised the Dodecanesians for putting young people into leadership positions on their boards, noting that this is the future of the Greek community. She also encouraged parents to speak only in Greek to their children.

Vasilis Michaelides recited a poem in honor of the islands as members of the Dodecanese Youth took to the stage, dressed in the traditional costume of each island and then performed traditional dances accompanied by the talented musicians Anastasios Sifounios and Athanasios Kavounidis.

The dance groups of Kasos and Kalymnos also performed in traditional costume, highlighting the distinctive culture of the islands.

Federation General Secretary Adamantia Mari recited the Dodecanese Hymn and later thanked all those for attending, including the former presidents of the Federation, Demosthenes Triantafillou, Theologos Tiliakos, and George Andriotis.

The Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Also among those present were St. Demetrios Parish Council President Stephan Thomatos, Fr. Nicolaos Paros, the members of Dodecanese Federation Board including First Vice President and Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York President Nikos Kartalis, Second Vice President and Tilos President Andreas Goustos as well as the presidents and representatives of the Dodecanese Societies including Kasos President Maria Zoulis, Kos Society of New York Hippocrates President Manolis Stamatis, Nisyros President Stavros Plangetis, Symi President Merkouris Moshovis, Kalymnos President Yiannis Smalios, Pan-Rhodian Society Apollon New York Treasurer Thalia Tzorzis-Vlepakis as well as Dodecanese Youth President Sotiria Zouroudi (Symi). Former Amorgos president Nikos Gavalas also attended.

The Dodecanese Federation Board:

Christofis Koronaios – Honorary President

Maria Marangos – President

Nikos Kartalis – First Vice President

Andreas Goustas – Second Vice President

Adamantia Mari – General Secretary

Zoe Pilios – Assistant Secretary

Evdokia Kampouris – Treasurer

Anastasia Fygetaki – Assistant Treasurer

Members:

Sotiria Zouroudi

Katerina Tsavari

Vasilis Konstantas

Anna Ellen

Nikos Diakos

George Mastromanolis

Manolis Stamatis

Stavros Plangetis

John Sakellis

Manolis Papazoglou

Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA President Maria Marangos, center, with Vice President Nikos Kartalis and General Secretary Adamantia Mari. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
The talented musicians Athanasios Kavounidis and Anastasios Sifounios performing at the Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA’s event celebrating 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
The Federation of Dodecanese Societies USA celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Unification of the islands with motherland Greece on March 12. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

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