Order of AHEPA Supreme President George G. Horiates has been spreading the message to communities worldwide on the need to become more civically engaged and AHEPA’s role to “Defend Hellenism”.
With the current state of affairs in the Eastern Med, AHEPA has stepped to the plate in re-energizing Hellenes and philhellenes worldwide in a membership drive and using that membership for advocacy of Hellenic issues now. This new sense of urgency has had the Supreme President on a busy travel schedule all the while shuttling back and forth to DC.
We finally just caught up with the Supreme President on this final weekend of October. Cosmos Philly traveled with the Supreme President, from the AHEPA District 6 Fall conference at Saint Basil’s in Garrison, New York, through to the AHEPA OXI Day convocation at Liberty State Park in Jersey City and then onto the Philadelphia IOCC Banquet where the AHEPA Supreme President was honored and was its guest speaker.
On October 27, 2019, in the morning, the entire AHEPA District 6 family of New York welcomed Supreme President George G. Horiates at their annual fall conference. The conference at Saint Basil’s was AHEPA’s testament to its unending support of the Archdiocese’s academy for youth. AHEPA District 6 Governor Lou Katsos, Supreme Governor Tom Duchas, Daughters of Penelope Grand Lodge Vice President Kathy Bizoukas and Zone Governor Kathy Matrakas welcomed the Supreme President and all four orders – AHEPA, the Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena were present and offered remarks. Supreme President Horiates spoke to the members present on recent developments and on the membership drive. Before he left, a video was made with the entire family in mass stating “Join the AHEPA Family”!
Leaving New York, the Supreme President went to visit the AHEPA District 5 family of New Jersey and Delaware at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. He was greeted by AHEPA 5 District Governor Steve Marmarou, his lodge, Supreme Treasurer Savas Tsivicos, Daughters of Penelope Grand Secretary Georgette Boulageris and Daughters District Governor Antoinette Zachariades. The AHEPA OXI Day commemoration chairs were Hellenic and Cyprus Affairs Chair Zenon Christodoulou and PDG Asteris Fanikos.
This well-attended program featured presentations on OXI Day by Asteris Fanikos and a Pontian Genocide panel presentation by Sons of Pericles Supreme President Paul Pavlakos. The highlight was a presentation by Thea Halo, author of Not Even My Name, on the memoirs of her mother during the years of the Genocide. With a pending bill recognizing the Genocide and Turkey’s atrocities in the US Congress, the Supreme President again delivered the message of AHEPA’s vital role in defending Hellenism.
Finally, following a visit to AHEPA Chester/Delco in Concordville, Pennsylvania, on Sunday the Philadelphia Chapter of IOCC had its annual banquet. This year IOCC honored AHEPA Supreme President George Horiates at the banquet. District 4 (Pennsylvania if you are keeping track) and District 5 had many AHEPA family members in the crowd, including Executive Director of AHEPA Global Headquarters Basil Mossaides. AHEPA presented a check as Grand Sponsor to the IOCC. AHEPA, in addition to its many programs, has always been proud of its partnership with the IOCC, particularly with hospital medical equipment in Greece.
The Supreme President spoke to the crowd on OXI Day and its significance. Weaving history with pointed messages like only this AHEPA Supreme President can, he noted the first victory for the allies in World War II was by Greece. “Many in the past have underestimated Hellenes and philhellenes. They continue to do so. AHEPA will continue to set the path for the Greek Diaspora as we have done for almost a century. We will never be underestimated, join us.”