Sons of Pericles
Eleven young greeks, with a spirit which equalled that of their ancestors, conceived the idea of and organized the Sons of Pericles. Together with the aid of some Ahepans from the Manchester, N.H. Chapter, these young men were the first members of the Order and are known collectively as:
The Mother Lodge of the Sons of Pericles.
The first chapter named itself the “Queen City Chapter”. Its first officers were installed on February 3, 1926. Within a year, the first national convention was held in Lowell, Mass., with 14 chapters in the fraternity. In 1928, in Detroit, the Sons were recognized as the Junior Order of AHEPA. In 1932 at the Convention in Akron, Ohio, the order expanded its jurisdiction into Montreal, Canada.
In 1938, an excursion to Greece gave the Sons the inspiration for the first of many national projects. A visit to Missolonghi inspired the dedication of a monument to the heroes of the war of Greek Independence. After approval of both Houses of Congress, the monument was presented as an expression of goodwill from America to Greece. The first national basketball tournament was held in 1940 with Pittsburgh, Pa. Chapter 112 taking top honors. The first Camp-Olympic was held and run by Ahepans that summer. After a respite during the war years (1942-1946), a new Supreme Lodge was elected. In 1949, Supreme Governor Stergios Milonas met with a fatal accident, and a scholarship was established in his memory.
In 1971, the Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena undertook the same national project for the first time, raising over $30,000 for Multiple Sclerosis. Also, the National newsletter, Eleftheri Zoi, came into Prominence.
In 1982 , the Sons and Maids, in continued cooperation, held the first Biannual Youth Salute. The first honoree was Senator Paul Sarbanes, with Sargent Shriver (1984), Ike Pappas (1986), and George Gekas (1988) to follow. In 1990, Chris Economides, Jr. was awarded the honor. In 2001, the Youth Salute was revived with honoree Christos Cotsakos, who was chairman and CEO of E*Trade at the time.
In 1985 the Sons of Pericles raised $10,000 to bring the Greek Special Olympics team to the International Games in Utah. The Periclean was revived as the Sons Newsletter to better serve the membership. In 1989, the Sons of Pericles reached 2,248 members, the highest total since World War II.
Wall of Honor
In 1988, in an effort to honor those who have helped the Order and under the leadership of Supreme President George W. Ioannidis, the Sons of Pericles started a Wall of Honor. Every year, the Supreme Lodge is allowed to induct a group of inductees, called a “class.” The distinction of being the first honoree was given to Chris Economides, Jr., who was chairman of the National Board at the time of his induction. He was followed by: Nicholas Figetakis, Peter Gourides, and Nicholas L. Strike.
They were followed by: Congressman George W. Gekas (1989), George Cokinos (1990), Gus Cherevas (1991), Constantine Gekas (1992), Basil N. Mossaidis (1993), Nicholas Karacostas (1996), George J. Dariotis (1997), James A. Lolis (1997), Steno “AJ” Augustine (1998), John Prokos (1998), James W. Gounaris (1999), Michael Katsimatides (1999), James S. Scofield (2000), Nick C. Demeris (2000), Bill Marianes (2001), Steve Kafkis (2001), Andrew G. Kaffes (2002), John Katsimatides (2002), George Kaloudis (2002).
Sons of Pericles in Canada
In Canada, we are divided into 3 large Districts. They are numbered in the order in which they were organized. Here is a breakdown of all the Districts and their accomplishments.
District#23 comprises the Maritime Provinces, Quebec, and Ontario. Chapters that exists, in order of the year they were organized are:
Montreal: Olympic Chapter CJ1, Toronto: Phoebus Chapter CJ4, Ottawa: Maple Leaf Chapter CJ6, Hamilton: Troy Chapter CJ7, London: Daemon & Pythias Chapter CJ8, Windsor: Dyonisus Chapter CJ11, Toronto: Cyclops Chapter CJ13, Kingston: Chapter CJ14, Belleville: Minautor Chapter CJ15. All the above Chapter are active except for Toronto Phoebus CJ4, and Kingston CJ14.
District #23 is a large District and the membership has reflected that. At the peak, District #23 had 200 paid Sons of Pericles members. Their Chapters are the most active by far and continue the tradition of philanthropy and community service that has seen them capture many awards, both within their District and especially Nationally. This District has also seen their share of leaders. Plenty of past Sons have gone on to be successful business leaders within their community, but also rose in the ranks within the Sons. Bill Maginas from London, help the positions of Supreme Governor and Supreme Vice President of the Sons of Pericles from 1996-1998. George Vassilas held the positions of Sons Supreme Secretary and Sons Supreme Vice President from 1994-1996. George also has the distinction of being the first Canadian to serve in the office of Supreme President of the Sons of Pericles from 1996-1997. The Sons of Pericles are different from the AHEPA when it comes to their National Lodges. Their National Lodge encompasses North America.
District #23 hosts numerous events every year. In Toronto, there is the Mid-Winter Frolic that has raised thousands for local and national charities. In Ottawa, there exists a football tournament, and in Montreal there is a Ball Hockey Tournament. All of these events plus the enthusiasm exhibited by the membership makes the Sons of Pericles an attractive avenue for young Greeks.
District #24 is comprised of the central Canadian Provinces. They are numbered in the order in which they were organized. Here is a breakdown of all the Districts and their accomplishments.
Edmonton: Aurora Borealis Chapter CJ2, Saskatoon: Progressive Chapter CJ3, Calgary: Marathon Chapter CJ9, Winnipeg: Chapter CJ10, Regina: Chapter CJ 12, Saskatoon: Chapter CJ 16. All above Chapters are active.
District#24 is by far the largest District when it comes to travel time between Chapters. However, that is an obstacle that never gets in the way when it comes to raising money or attending an event. There have always been Ski Trips to Banff, as well as Ball Hockey Tournaments in Winnipeg to warm up the membership and to put fun in the good work that they are doing. The list of past Sons National Lodge members is staggering, but also not surprising given the talent pool in the west. Jim Saclamacis served as Supreme Governor from 1992-1993 and Supreme Secretary from 1993-1994. Nick Vasilakos served as Supreme Governor 1993-1994. Dennis Nicolopoulos served as Supreme Governor 1994-1995, Chris Tambakis served as Supreme Governor 1990 – 1992 and Supreme Vice President from 1992-1993.
District #26 is comprised of the Province of British Columbia. The one Chapter is in Vancouver. Lions Gate Chapter CJ5. Although it has never benefited from having more Sons Chapters in the District, the Vancouver Sons have attended the Banff Ski Trip on numerous occasions.