Geros Tou Morea Astoria Club Held Popular Social

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An outdoor barbecue of souvlakia and baby lambs was held on Sunday, May 7th at the Geros Tou Morea chapter of the Pan Arcadian Federation of America celebration on Sunday, May 7th. The event took place at an NYPD closed street in front of the clubhouse at 27-02 39th Ave., Astoria. With cars looking to cut into 27th St. and 39th Ave, the NYPD police presence was needed.IMG_2751 (500x272)

Lambs were barbecued for authentic Greek cuisine by Apostolos Lagos, Chairman, and his staff.  He supervises the barbecues of the summer picnics. “I enjoy helping,” he said. “I have been at the clubhouse all week preparing for this social. Mr. Demetrios Tsiavos of Broadway Meat Market on 21 St. and 21 Ave. donated his services in marinating the lambs and souvlakia. Tina Vournas is in charge of the youth group. IMG_2758 (500x355) (400x284)

Demetri Valkanas grew up down the street from the cultural center. “My father wanted us to be close to people from his village,” he said. “My father, George, who passed away suddenly a four years ago, taught me to love Greece and be fluent in the language. My grandfather, Demetri, and his three brothers fought in WWII on the Albanian front. Only my grandfather survived. My grandfather’s three brothers, Andreas, Panagiotis and George, were German prisoners of war. They were executed in Tripoli, for missing a curfew.  My father was a member of Geros Tou Morea when he immigrated in around 1957.” He is chairman of the Education Committee and Dance Group.

“One interesting aspect of ancient Greek history is the story of the Arcadians, whom during their survival with constant struggle, retained an indefatigable belief in their principles. Their historical image is one of courage, military virtue and endurance of the hardships of life. Their military strength was so great that the Spartans, despite their constant drive for expansion and military preparedness, were unable to conquer hem or expel them from their homeland….


Polybius of Megalopolis relates the character of the Arcadians to the nature of the terrain and climate of the region, by which it was influenced. Their barren land, poverty and their military prowess obliged them to emigrate or to serve as highly sought after mercenaries in the armies of the ancient world. According to the testimony of ancient authors, the Arcadian character was distinguished by competitiveness, frugality, an aversion to luxury, piety towards the gods, obedience to the laws and a sense of altruism and hospitality.”1

Author Maria Vlassopoulou Karydi proves that “the arrival of the Greeks in the form of a mass influx of migrants, which was conveniently dated initially to 2100 B.C.…may in fact never have taken place. According to the evidence of Linear B, all the Greek dialects of historical times were the result of the differentiation from Southern Greek (Arcadian-Cypriot) and Northern Greek (Doric). Ionic and Aeolian made their appearance after 1200 B.C.
In ancient history, the term Arcadia refers not to a geographical unit, but to a specific ethnic group that formed a branch of the Greek nation. In Greek mythology, especially in the myths relating to the birth of the gods, Arcadia is represented as the birthplace of many deities. The activities of mythical heroes such as Hercules, Atlas and even Prometheus are located with its borders.
Despite the theories that have been advanced on the origins of the Arcadians, on the conscience of the ancient Greek world, they were autochthonous and older than the moon. That is, they settled in their land before there was a moon. According to the ancient Greek literary sources (Herodotus, Strabo, Dionysius of Alikarnassos and Pausanias), the Arcadian colonization spread over a wide radius in the Mediterranean. The populous tribe of Arcadians, especially vital and warlike, could not be confined to its barren homeland, but was obliged constantly to seek a better life in other territories or to make its armies available or strengthen the military forces of ancient times with mercenaries.”2
The 2017 Executive Board includes: Chris N. Vournas, president; Apostolos Lagos, 1st vice president; Demetrios A. Filios, 2nd vice president; Evangelia Sarfoglou, general secretary and Demetris Boregioukos, treasurer. Founders were Tom Angelopoulos, Mike Bakopoulos and Alexander Sioris.


  1. Karydi, Maria Vlassopoulou, Athens: Ismini Karidy, 2010. Print
  2. Karydi, Arcadians.Links: Demetris Tsiavos




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