West Deptford, NJ – This past Saturday evening marked a special night for the Brotherhood of Demati. The Brothered hosted a “Dinner Dance” event at Adelphia restaurant to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their founding. The Demati Brotherhood association refers to a fraternity established as a “Holy Brotherhood” in 1914, from the first Demation immigrants to America.

At the outset, the goal was to work for a few years and upon saving a decent amount of money, to return to their village, Demati, in Greece. Demati is a beautiful mountain village in east Zagori, in the Epirus region. The Brotherhood’s purpose was to help and to rebuild their region which was destroyed by Turkish domination over the centuries.

In 1927, through different fundraising efforts, they were able to build a towering, spacious boarding school and to finance the construction of a well in the central square of the village.

In 1974, because of a new wave of Greek immigrants into the United States, the association increased its membership and became more active. It was this year that they reevaluated the organization and changed their name to “Fraternity Association of Philadelphia”. The implemented changes supported a broader district of the now Greek-American community.

It’s important to mention that nowadays the purpose of the brotherhood is to help support members in need. The Brotherhood offers economic and emotional support to members suffering because of an illness, or a bad economic condition. In addition, their philanthropic efforts through charitable projects and scholarships are offered to Greek schools in the region of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Litsa Angelis, president of the Demati Brotherhood began the evening with a speech welcoming all the members of the fraternity. She then thanked them for honoring this event with their presence. In addition, she added, that their support all these years, sustained the organization, during all these years.

Anastasia Tsinetakis, president of Cretan Society of Greater Philadelphia, addressed the attendees about the legacy of the organization and it’s individuals. Awards were then handed out to Greek-American veterans and key figures in the organizations for years of service. The Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley, Stathis Karandonis, described the evening as memorable and said that a great sense of pride in the Greek community shined this evening.

By Eleni Sako