CRANSTON, RI – The Rhode Island Senate honoured the historic 100-year anniversary of continuous publication of Ethnikos Kyrix-National Herald with a special resolution which passed unanimously by the members of Senate. The resolution was introduced by the Greek-American Senator Leonidas Raptakis during the celebration of Greek Independence Day at the Rhode Island State House, on March 25th. Accepting on the newspaper’s behalf New England correspondent Theodore Kalmoukos.
Holding copies of Herald articles in his hands, Raptakis read the resolution to the Senate Body: “WHEREAS, Ethnikos Kyrix is a 100-year-old newspaper and the only daily Greek newspaper in North America. It was founded on April 2, 1915, by Greek businessman Petros Tatanis. The company was run for its first eighty-two years by a succession of talented and distinguished publishers including Babis Marketos, Eugene Rossides, who also served the United States as the Undersecretary of the United States Treasury Department, and Antonis H. Diamataris; and
“WHEREAS, Ethnikos Kyrix relocated from Manhattan to Long Island City where it opened new headquarters. The Newspaper also has offices in Boston, Athens, and Nicosia. In 1984, it obtained its own state of the art, high-speed presses; and
WHEREAS, the need for an English language edition became obvious by 1997, and thus was launched its weekly edition of The National Herald. The National Herald was an immediate success and quickly attained considerable circulation numbers. Since then, the National Herald has successively initiated home delivery in New York and surrounding states, expanded its delivery reach into New England, launched its own website, and relocated to its new and modern location on Long Island; and
“WHEREAS, the National Herald has and continues to serve as an important link to the Hellenic American community of Rhode Island. It closely covers current events, education issues, the cultural scene, and has helped to forge a deep bond between the people of Rhode Island and Greece; now, therefore be it
“RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Ethnikos Kyrix, and the 18-year success of the The National Herald, its English language weekly edition; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Antonis H. Diamataris, Editor and Publisher of the National Herald.”
Consul General of Greece in Boston Ifigenia Kanara said that “I am honored to have the opportunity to address this Assembly for a second time and truly privileged to represent my country not only on the anniversary of its independence but during a time when my nation finds itself at yet another critical juncture in its long history.
On behalf of the Greek Government and the Greek People, I extend our deepest appreciation for the support and friendship the United States has shown to the Hellenic Community.
“You are all well aware, my country is struggling to surmount a financial crisis which threatens to unhinge the stability of Europe and the security of the principles that were so hardly won nearly 2 centuries ago. 2014 rendered an ever more debilitating blow to the Greek people.
“This past year was the seventh successive year of recession for the Greek economy. Unemployment continues to increase and the threat of poverty is a real concern for over 1/3 of Greek citizens.
“Most importantly Greece is and always will be committed to its allies and the fundamental principles of the western world. We shall always honor our commitments and seek resolution through discussion.”
Rhode Island’s General officers Secretary of State Nelli Gorbea and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin took part in the ceremony welcoming the many guests who came to the State House to enjoy the event which featured poems, readings and songs celebrating Greek history and the nation’s commitment to democracy and freedom. This year’s emcee was Dr. Evangelos Giannopoulos, Vice President of the St Spyridon Parish Council. The Keynote Speaker was Yianni Kourakis sports reporter from WPRI TV-12.
Speaking of the Greek Independence day celebration, Raptakis said that “this event is always a wonderful expression of our strong Greek community in Rhode Island and the strong connection between this state, known for its commitment to independence, and the nation which was the birthplace of democracy.” He also said “I want to thank Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and all of the general officers for once again coming together in the State House to take part in this special celebration.”
Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston and Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence also took part in the celebration. Also on hand were former AHEPA Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides and former State Representative Myrna George. All four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation sent greetings as well.
As part of the main program in the Governor’s State Room, Rev. George Economou of St. Spyridon Orthodox of Newport RI, delivered both the invocation and the benediction and the audience joined together to sing the American and Greek national anthems. Father Andrew George of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Cranston and Father Phillip Zymaris of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Pawtucket also took part in the festivities and children from the three parishes made a presentation.
The President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of New England, Vasilios Kafkas also gave greetings in the Governors State Room and at the reception that followed at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Pawtucket, RI.