PHOTO: The infamous banner to honor Mafioso Andriotis. They decided to “co-honor” him with a lovely lady, Demetra Brountzas, to try to make it easier to swallow…

In a school setting, symbolism is significant: honoring the illiterate mafioso who destroyed St.Demetrios and its school is NOT the way to make a new beginning! It is the way to repeat the same mistakes!

By Nick Stamatakis

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the photos and video from the St. Demetrios Festival in Astoria:  The Parish Council honored the (late) long-time president of the community, Nikos Andriotis, the man who exploited the parish for five decades to make a substantial personal property at the expense of many generations of Greek-Americans!! Helleniscope has exposed his many crimes – yes, CRIMES! – it’s easy to refresh your memory by just entering his name in our “search” function. I will recapitulate:

  • For five decades, the “Andriotis Mafia” (some members are still in the parish) has been exploiting the community, taking charge of the enormous cash flow at a time when this Parish was the most populous in America and held two liturgies every Sunday—not to mention countless baptisms and weddings every year and a School that had over 1200 students at its height!!
  • The picture we all have left in our memory of Andriotis is of him sitting at the basement table (after each service) with a massive pile of cash in front of him: Nobody else was allowed to count the money except the “Mafia Don” Andriotis!
  • He was the definition of a “Conflict of Interest,” as he was a partner at ALMA Realty and a big shareholder of ALMA Bank. One huge example is the building in Wantagh donated to the St.Demetrios School by Dr. Tamvakis, which was sold a few years later, after it was renovated by ALMA Realty, in a rising real estate market, for about the same price as when it was donated!! And this is only one case!
  • For those who prefer to go back and see Andriotis’ achievements, please link to this historic article (January 2020): “The Unholy Alliance in the GOA to Keep the Failing Status Quo.” It gathered over 10,000 views. It says it all.
  • In the end, Andriotis died having made ALL his money from his connection to the Parish (he was an illiterate coffee shop owner before that), and he did not have the decency to bequeath anything to the parish or the School- it went ALL to his extended family as he left no children of his own!! Don Corleone must have left something to his local church or other institutions! John Gotti, the most famous mafioso in recent memory in New York, was beloved in his Queens neighborhood for his many donations! Not Nikos Andriotis… If you ask the locals in Astoria, they spit on him – even after his death! A product of an extreme provincialism that characterizes many other immigrants, he came directly from his island to New York (without spending time in Athens). He carried with him all the complexes and vices of a provincial bully… He could never overcome his inferiority complex…
  • In the end, he will be remembered as the “PURELY EVIL” parish leader who denied registration to the School for the children of a political opponent in the PARISH COUNCIL – both grade A students.  One is now a student at an Ivy League College (Cornell)!!

After all this, seeing the big banner (our main photo) in remembrance of Andriotis and hearing the P.C. President, Mrs. Kelly Manetas, praise the mafioso who destroyed the Astoria parish is despicable. She should be ashamed of herself!! Please watch the video towards the end.

Mrs. Manetas says that Andriotis left “enough resources” to the “community… If she means the $1 million “donation” to St. Ekaterini School, let’s make clear that: 1) The actual number is less than $1 million and was not a personal donation but funds from ALMA. 2) It was a small portion of the money Andriotis misappropriated over the years. Consider his mishandling of the Tamvakis building, where he must have pocketed at least half a million out of this one single case.  How many cases he mishandled over the 45 years at the helm? 3) The enormous damage he caused over time is impossible to calculate. It is not only financial, it’s pre-eminently moral…

Finally, honoring Andriotis is the equivalent of Ancient Greeks honoring Ephialtes, the traitor of Thermopylae, whose name became synonymous with treason.  Is this how the community will look forward and move to the future?

But since Mrs. Manetas spoke about the future of the school, let me reiterate here the basic foundations for making the Saint Demetrios School worthy of his name and tradition, based on articles I wrote in the past:

  • It has to become a Panorthodox school. Just a mile away in Sunnyside, there is a populous Romanian community with many kids and a priest (Fr. Marius) who spent years in Cyprus and speaks Greek well.  I wrote about it many times 3-4 years ago.  Did anyone approach them? No!! Nikos Andriotis used to chase away Albanians and other Orthodox people, telling them: “This Church is Greek!”  This September, a Panorthodox High School will start operating in Brooklyn, which was initiated primarily by Russian-Americans, and will use a Greek school building in Bay Ridge! Does this tell you anything?
  • It has to aim at excellence. The first thing the School has to do is hire a few good math and science teachers. Only by promoting excellence will the School have a chance.
  • It has to incorporate new technological methods. The school got a computer room in 2021, just two years before Andriotis died – and he had been in charge since 1977…
  • It has to promote family values and Orthodoxy.  I noted three years ago that the parochial schools in NYC see rising enrollment as parents want to take their kids away from public schools where they do not have control over what they are exposed to – mainly, they are over-sexualized (familiarized with homosexuality and acceptance of transgenderism). In general, the proportion of children enrolled in private, parochial, and charter schools has risen to 13% nationally! I suggested this was a big opportunity for St.Demetrios and our schools. To take advantage of this opportunity, the Archbishop himself has to abandon his pro-LGBTQ agenda. He has to come out and support our traditional family values instead of supporting the Fordhamite pro-LGBTQ “Theologians,” Papanicolaou, and Demacopoulos. 
  • EXAMPLE: If you are a parent of school children, would you ever enroll your children at a school that a) Does not promote excellence and b) Is part of a Church that openly promotes acceptance of LDBTQ+ identities? The answer is NO.

Some or all of the above are likely the reason why Kelly Manetas has enrolled one of her children in a Catholic parochial school!! I have explained these common-sense ideas to current and older parish council members, and I am available to help with anything they need. But they have to take their job seriously! In a school setting, symbolism is significant: honoring the illiterate mafioso who destroyed St.Demetrios and its school is NOT the way to make a new beginning! It is the way to repeat the same mistakes!

PS. Mrs Manetas recently showed great ability and intellect in raising money for herself in a very successful – but inappropriate – “gofundme” event. Let’s see if she will use the same skills and abilities to help the school.  Let me give her a hint: the best sign of a good leader is to select the right professionals to take advice from (meaning: avoid the bunch of incompetent people that the Archbishop has surrounded himself with, especially those in the Education Office – they are the reason he has failed).

May 22, 2024, n.stamatakis@aol.com   www.helleniscope.com

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

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I agree St. Demetrios needs a true leader. We were close with one but the culture needs to change to let one succeed. Since mid 2022 it has been a revolving door and Kelly Manetas is just another failure. I do not expect much since someone like Ms. Manetas has demonstrated her incompetency with her personal finances regardless of hardship or not. Preying on individuals with a gofund me and then volunteering to lead a church community and school is repulsive behavior. Her judgement and leadership is questionable. Her selection of school board representation is comical. It’s a copycat of a DOE committee with no sense of what a traditional classic school should entail. I disagree with the author Catholic schools are on a decline. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese announced an additional 12 closings this year for fall 2024 due to low enrollment and poor finances. They have closed over 35 of their schools within the boroughs since Fall 2020.

    St. Demetrios needs a dynamic school board, a better parish council president that doesn’t hold a tin cup with a blind fold, funding, and free up assets for cash flow.

  2. Ο Νικος Ανδριωτης δωρησε 1 εκατ $ στο σχολειο της Αγιας Αικατερινης για ανακαινιση και 2 εκατ $ στην Νισυρο για ανακαινιση και λειτουργια των ιαματικων πηγων στο νησι.
    Επιβλεποντας την ανεγερση του Πολιτιστικου Κεντρου της Αρχιεπισκοπης γλιστρησε και τραυματιστηκε στο κεφαλι και χρειαστηκε πολυημερη νοσηλεια.
    Εχει γραψει το βιβλιο Η ΠΟΡΕΙΑ ΜΟΥ ΧΩΡΙΣ ΡΑΣΟ που διατιθεται απο το γραφειο της Κοινοτητας για20$ με τα εσοδα να πηγαινουν για ενισχυση του Σχολειου.

    • Λεωνιδα σου αρέσει ο σανός όπως φαίνεται. Το πόσα έδωσε στη Νισυρο δεν μας ενδιαφέρει εκτός για να υπογραμμίσουμε ότι όπως κάθε κομπλεξικός ομογενής που υποφέρει από επαρχιωτισμό ήθελε να του στήσουν άγαλμα στο χωριό του. Και για να συζητήσουμε εάν τα λεφτά που δώρισε ήταν νόμιμα. ΔΕΝ ΗΤΑΝ. Αλλά ήταν προϊόν διαφθοράς δηλαδή κλοπής. Το ακριβές ποσό που δώρισε στο σχολείο της Αγ. Αικατερίνη ήταν κάτω από 700,000 με επιταγή της ΑΛΜΑ. Όπως έγραψα μόνο από την πώληση της δωρεάς Ταμβακη τσέπωσε πάνω κάτω μισό εκατομμύριο. Όσο για το βιβλίο του η κοινότητα θα μπορούσε να το χρησιμοποιήσει για χαρτί τουαλέτας και θα ήταν κερδισμένη. Παλιότερα έκανα ανάλυση του βιβλίου και καλύτερα θα ήταν να μην την ξανά δημοσιεύσω γιατί δείχνει όλο τον εγωιστικό και ρηχό χαρακτήρα και όλη την αμορφωσιά ενός … πρώην καφετζή. Όταν κάποια στιγμή αναλάβουν ικανοί – εάν προλάβουν – την διοίκηση της κοινότητας το πρώτο που πρέπει να κάνουν είναι να βγάλουν από το σχολείο την επιγραφή «Nick Andtiotis Hall”, επειδή είναι προσβολή στην κοινότητα και την Ομογένεια να τιμά εναν κοινό κλέφτη, εκβιαστή και μαφιόζο. Κάποιοι φαίνεται ότι αισθάνονται για τον Ανδριώτη τον ίδιο μαζοχισμό που νοιωθουν οι πορνες για τον νταβατζή τους.

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