But the unnecessary mix of “Priests with Evzones” will raise serious questions regarding the Archbishop’s sincere national allegiances. If His Eminence is so eager to associate himself with the “Evzones,” a premier national symbol, what stops him from putting a Greek and an American Flag outside Saint Nicholas?… Also, the railroad disaster at Tempi will likely put a damper on the celebrations and should preclude the participation in the parade of any member of the corrupt political elites of Greece.

By Nick Stamatakis

Philip Christopher was all smiles yesterday as the 2023 Greek Prade preparations got into high gear, and all chips started falling into place:

Photo: George Logothetis and his wife Nitzia

  • It was announced that George Logothetis of the Libra Group would be the Grand Marshal and lead the parade along with John Catsimatides and Ernie Anastos, ABC radio owner, and producer, respectively.  George Logothetis will also be the keynote speaker at the Hilton Gala. I encourage you to link here and read George Logothetis’s bio. He truly is the best example of “Hellenic Cosmopolitanism”: born in a shipping family in England and married to Nitzia, also born into a Greek shipping family (Empiricos), owner of many international businesses, with solid support to the motherland during times of crisis and keeping alive the ties with Hellenes of Greece and the Diaspora by offering very substantial internship program in his companies.  He invested over $500 million in Greece in the years after the financial crisis and supported the country in every way he could.  A true Hellene – he was the right choice!! Congratulations to Philip Christopher for suggesting him!
  • The finances of the parade seem to be getting in order. Yes, there are currently many more “pledges than checks,” but we are on the right track.  Yiannis Stroumbakis, Dimitris Gonias, and others delivered good news on the Pierre breakfast and the Hilton Gala.
  • The Greek Consulate of NY will have a reception for the Greek Independence on Thursday, March 23, while the White House reception will be held on March 29.
  • A Radiothon at Hellas-FM will aim at raising funds for the Parade (April 3, 5-9 pm).
  • There will be a Panomogeniaki meeting in Brooklyn and a meeting in New Jersey, which is an excellent idea for obvious reasons…
  • All other events seemed to be on track… Next Thursday is an important deadline for all organizations to register their participation! 

PHOTO: Peter Gerazounis of “Korais” addresses the meeting… Next Thursday, he will give a presentation regarding the Massacre of Chios at 7 pm, 30′ before the Panomogeniaki starts.

BUT – there were undoubtedly some questions raised:

  • Fr. Evagoras Constantinides announced that all preparations were in place for the arrival of the Evzones and that the Archbishop planned to receive them at 11 am in St. Nicholas Church and walk with them to Bowling Green.  We wondered for months why the Archbishop was so eager to get involved and associate himself with such a national symbol as the “Evzones”. It is unsuitable for the Church leaders to get mixed with national symbols. Last night it was Mr. Asher Matathias, a Greek Jew, who pointed out the problem (amidst his many rumblings): “The Church should stay out of this; ethnicity and religion do not mix well, and it would prevent many Greeks of other religious affiliations to participate,” said Mr.Matathias.  But the issue goes deeper.  Two years ago, a HANC (Hellenic American National Council) Committee, led by its president V.Mataragas, visited Mr. Elpidophoros and received a promise that a Greek and an American Flag would be placed outside Saint Nicholas – just like they had been in the old church.  This promise of the Archbishop never materialized. If Mr.Elpidophoros is so eager to “parade” in the streets of downtown Manhattan with the premier national symbol of the Evzones on the way to Bowling Green for the raising of the Flags ceremony, what is prohibiting him from installing two flags outside Saint Nicholas? We are anxiously awaiting his response. 
  • The Consul Mr. Papageorgiou at the end of his various announcements referred to the grave mourning in Greece in the aftermath of the rail disaster at Tempi.  Former President George Georgopoulos picked up the point and suggested a minute’s silence at all events related to the parade. Then yours truly spoke briefly and referred to several calls by community members questioning any excessive “celebrations” during this unbelievable tragedy.  I also pointed out the fact that this tragedy was the result of the diachronic failures of the corrupt political leadership of Greece. Philip Christopher reassured us that this parade is focused on celebrating Greek Independence and will have the right tone.  I must remind everyone that just 5-6 years ago, this same Federation of NY decided to ban Greek politicians from participating in our parade, protesting their treasonous stance on the issue of the “Name of Macedonia.” We have an equally valid reason to issue a similar statement today: “No Greek Politicians Are Allowed In Our Parade!!” It’s the least we can do… (Frankly, it would be better than organizing a demonstration outside the Greek Consulate at 79th Street, as some suggested to me…)
  • I also saw some signs of preferential treatment and self-serving attitudes by some Parade Chairs. Example: One of the first things Philip Christopher said upon getting the Parade Chairmanship was that “we have a great guy, Gus Lambropoulos, who organizes popular events at Athens Square, and we should ask for his help”…  Did Nomiki Kastana, who is parade co-chair, and head of the Cultural Committee EVER pick up the phone to invite Lambropoulos to take part? No, she did not… Similar is the situation with Lambropoulos’ wife, Maria Markou: She has been asking for the longest time to be “Keynote Speaker” at Bowling Green – to no avail.  Helleniscope has suggested that this ceremony and this particular post (keynote speaker) be reserved for promoting younger leaders of our community – and not be assigned to the same person every year as we Greeks tend to do… Our goal should be to have new faces in all posts of the Parade every year and NOT the same “Galatoulases” forever… Will we ever learn?

PHOTO: Peter Gerazounis and Yiannis Stroumbakis, two younger leaders ready to help the Federation of New York.

March 17, 2023, n.stamatakis@aol.com www.helleniscope.com

DISCLAIMER: The views and statements expressed in this article constitute constitutionally protected opinions of this author.


  1. Peter Gerazounis is an outstanding Leader, who has brought honor and great dignity to the Panchiaki Korais Society. They would be very well-served with the addition of the great Attorney, M. Markou as well!

  2. A float with Greek engineers on board, a float with theater people, etc. -a Flotilla of our best and brightest Greeks should be showcased for all to admire!

  3. well, agsin we see what trumps Holy Lent, this is not the period of time for festivities and the beaking of the fast or is it? Is the bending of the rules to suit a secular objective not against the teaching of the Church? Which is mofe impotant, being Greek or being an Eastern Ortodox Christian?

    • The two can coexist and are inseparable in many ways. Without the Greek philosophy of Stoicism, there would be no Christianity – I have no doubt. As Greeks, we have maintained certain attitudes towards “deity” that have survived Christianity. We personalize and humanize our God – and without this notion, the “God-Man” (Θεάνθρωπος) Jesus Christ would not be conceivable. As we all know, we even curse our Gods, a practice that comes from Ancient times (“Νη τον Δίαν”). Can someone translate this swearing for me? Cursing Zeus and today’s cursing Christ or the Virgin Mary (very common in Greek slang) is a common practice among the Greeks, one that is absent from Other (Eastern European and Russian) Orthodox. At the same time, no other Orthodox have deeper, more profound faith in God than the Greeks. The explanation that I like to give for this deep faith is related to the thousands of years of history in navigation. Without true faith in God, you cannot deal with the Sea. And we Greeks are men of the Sea, before everything else…

  4. Nick, once again you make a stupid, ignorant and ridiculous statement -that without stoicism Christianity would not exist. Christianity exists because of Christ -period. Do you actually believe that Christ would not have come into the world if stoicism did not exist. Jesus was not a stoic but rather the Jewish messiah of the Old Testament. Please read the epistle to the Colossians the clearly speaks of the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ.

    Additionally, I do not find Greece to be a particularly Christian country. The majority of my family in Greece is at best agnostic. It is a fact the few Greeks regularly attend church. Abortion is extremely high in Greece and we all know Mr. Tsipras attitude toward Christianity. When cursing God becomes a sign of faith Greeks are in bad shape.

    • Helleniscope will soon initiate a discussion about stoicism and the origins of Christianity and people like you will be, hopefully, enlightened. Helleniscope is about “truth through knowledge” and not about blind faith. We can accept the deity of Jesus but we can also find the truth of how many ideas Jesus and the Apostles incorporated in their teachings from the pre-existing Greek philosophy. Calling my ideas stupid shows that you belong to the “ideology” camp and not to the “truth”camp. Communists would call all dissenters stupid… if you keep down that road you will soon be banned from our comment section.

      Maybe you want to discuss how Byzantine Emperor Justinian and his “Christians” destroyed the Parthenon in their religious fervor? Did you notice that the central theme in our Greek Parades this year is the return of the Parthenon marbles? Let me take it a step further and remind you and other ignoramuses that the medieval Catholics proceeded to the same prosecutions in the West with “auto-da-fe” and in the East with the Crusades… Were they “Christians”?

      Hellenism, as opposed to Judaism, was never about world dominance but about peaceful coexistence. And that’s why genuine Christianity is HELLENIC in essence. It was, in many ways, the product of Hellenic cosmopolitanism and the Greek Language and philosophy. Without Greek language and philosophy, THERE WOULD BE NO CHRISTIANITY – PERIOD. You can burn all you want in your fanaticism, BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE THE TRUTH. Those who hi-jacked Christianity are not the true Christians.

      Finally, did you notice that the Archdiocese does not want to teach Ancient Greek Mythology in the Greek Schools that they control? Why do you think that is?

      Finally, “cursing their Gods” was not a sign of lack of Faith EVER. But it certainly was a “humanizing” approach to their Gods. And this humanizing approach survived to today. Faith in its primordial form is rooted in the most basic human instincts and as such is necessary for the development of any relationship with God. I repeat, in this primordial sense, there is nobody on Earth more faithful than the Greeks…

  5. Well said Nick,
    & shame on Archdiocese not allowing teachings of Greek mythology to kids – what a feckless bunch!

    To deny storytellers like Aesop? Ancient Greeks used myths about “gods” to help them understand things around them;
    like the forces of nature — they had fire gods like Apollo, sea gods like Poseidon,
    sky gods, monsters, warriors, human heroes of great power as Hercules or legends on romantic adventures…

    Ancient Greece laid foundations for many studies – philosophy, mathematics & numerology by Pythagoras, astrology, medicine, art, biology, engineering,etc

  6. Sir G is RIGHT! Let’s celebrate our EXCELLENCE (ARETE)
    Let’s celebrate the highly quoted Greek Philosophers-Let’s teach these sophisms to our Young!
    Stop with the koulourakia, “yiayia” greekism and focus on high-minded hellenism! At least on this one glorious day let’s celebrate what we brought forth- teachable moments –all can learn!

  7. Have highly versed intellectuals as commentators sprouting philosophy, from the ancient Athenian Playwright, Aeschylus.

  8. The basic teaching of Christ: “don’t do to others what you don’t….. was said by kleovoulos the
    So my friend… Nick is right and find out who is the stupid.

  9. typo: “spouting” not “sprouting”– though the great Greek Philosophers did indeed plant the seeds of their wisdom throughout civilized’ people in all the world’s continents! “Everything in Moderation”– Cleobulus the Rodian…


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