Deptford, NJ – The Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley hosted it’s annual Greek Independence Day Dinner yesterday. The event was highlighted by a series of presentations. Rev’d Demetrios Constantelos Ph.D., D.D. was honored for his life long work dedicated to Hellenism and faith. Father Constantelos was awarded the first Eleftheria medal.
The evening began with the singing of the Greek and American national anthems by Stavroula Horiatis, which was followed by the invocation from his Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey. A poem, titled “O Megalos Adelfos” was read by Nikos Birbilis, a student of Hellenic College Holy Cross. Commander Konstandinos Kalkandis of the Hellenic Navy addressed the audience and spoke about the significance of Independence Day.
The honorary Grand Marshals, Phil Frangos, Supreme Vice-President of AHEPA and Joanne Saltas, Grand President of the Daughters of Penelope were also recognized and given their honorary sashes that will be worn during the parade as they march down the Parkway.
The Greek school Principals from across the metropolitan are this year’s Grand Marshals of the parade. Many of them attended the affair and were recognized for their years of service. They will lead the parade down the parkway. Also in attendance were, George Iliopoulos, Consul General of the Hellenic Republic and Neofitos Constantinou, Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus. Each of them addressed the crowd.
President of the Hellenic Federation of Philadelphia, Stathis Karandonis said the affair was again a reflection of on historic organizations efforts to bring the community together and remember our roots as Hellenes.