The purpose of the Society will be to form close friendships between the members to help ailing members and for the benefit of all national and philanthropic issues.
ORGANIZATIONS, PURPOSE AND DEEDS OF “ATHENA SOCIETY
February 8, 1969. Athena Society celebrates the 60th Anniversary of its founding. Sixty years full of activity, based upon the laws of man and the commandments of the Gospel.
It was in March of 1909 when a small group of immigrant fellow-countrymen from the former County of Mariou trod gloomily to the George Moriates restaurant at 18 Roosevelt Street.
Terrible and difficult years for the first immigrants. Much misery and little support. So it was onthat long-ago day when a serious problem presented itself. A fellow-countrymen passed away and there was subject of his burial. It was a big problem, even though it does not seem so today< since he was a destitute person with bo resources.
His countrymen settled the matter by taking-up a collection and this gave them the idea to organize a Society.
And so it was, that at 18 Roosevelt Street, after discussions with more fellow-countrymen, a second meeting was called and elections held. The first board of directors of Athena Society was elected compromising four members:
Panagiotes Velotas, President; Constantine Cardassis, Vice President; Christos Sarris, Secretary; George Mitsinikos, Tresurer. They drew up the Society’s first Constitution and scheduled the meetings, which were six at first and ten later, till today.
The purpose of the Society from its day of founding was to give aid and relief to needy and ill members. And with the feeling of mutual support, which has always distinguished its members, Athena Society has always been able to stretch out a helping hand to individuals or groups of people, giving material or moral aid according to the situation.
And this is confirmed by the many achievements which today crown the 60th Anniversary of the Society. It would be impossible for us to mention separately each instance of aid or mutual support that has been extended. However, let us go back quite a few years to the Balkan war. The Society still very young, nevertheless succeeded in helping both materially and morally those members who had decided to return to Greece as volunteers for the Greek Army, in order to fight for the mother country.
And later the Society aided the Greek Red Cross during the various wars. Also, help was not denied to the American Red Cross (during World War II) and contributions were made to the American aid to Greece. Repeated help was extended to impoverished families in Greece as well as to disabled war veterans.
Mainly, however, great help has been given to the former County of Mariou, by the shipping of writing material to all the schools right after World War II. Also, sums of money were sent at various intervals, to be used for works of public benefit such as the building and repair of schools and churches, as well as for the recent construction of a public road.
Help from our Society has not been confined only to overseas, but has also been extended to our adopted country and birthplace of our children.
The Greek-American School of Bronx, NY. The Academy of ST. Basil at Garrison, NY., the Greek College in Brookline, Mass., all of these institutions with Greek students, have often been the recipients of loving support from the Athena society.
Help has not been denied to individuals and families in the United States during these many years, even though they may not be members.
We will not speak further on this subject. The Society tries in every way to preserve and perpetuate its purpose.
Today, celebrating its 60th Anniversary, it invites all the descendants of the former County of Mariou (as well as those related by marriage), espsecially the youth, to become active members of the Society, carrying on its messages and preserving the lighted torch of love and mutual support for which it was founded.