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Culture > Associations > USA. New York. Kythira Association of New York

8573: Culture > Associations

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 21.11.2005

USA. New York. Kythira Association of New York

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK
 

President:Tina Dapontes Damiris

Vice President: Joe Ponte

Treasurer: Kathy Patakis-Schenker

Secretary: Anna Stratigos-Formont

The Secretary - Anna Stratigos-Formont,
can be contacted via email here

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Historical Background

The Kythira Association of New York was formed in 1919 with Stefanos Fatseas as its first president. He owned the Rockasy Restaurant at 42nd Street (P. Panaretos, 2001).

Committee of the Grand Mask & Civic Ball, c.1919.

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Photograph: Kytherian Celebration and Dinner, Hotel Empire, New York, Sept 29. 1946

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Photograph: At the Ship-A-Hoy, just before leaving to atten the Kythira Ball at Riverside Plaza. 1940

In 2001 there were approximately 500 members.

They gather to cut the Vasilopita at a picnic by the sea. They hold a yearly dance and have artoclasia on September 24th each year. They participate in the March 25 parade on 5th Avenue, carrying along the Kytherian labarum. They donated the icon of Panaghia Myrtidiotisa and placed it in a beautiful throne in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York.

Their descendants are well-educated and have become medical doctors, attorneys, successful financiers and business persons.

The U.S. ambassador to Greece is a member of New York's Kytherian Society in that his parents were from the village of Kalamos.

There is a provision in the Society's constitution to provide assistance to the sick and the poor of Kytherian descent. The Society pays for doctors' bills, funeral expenses and even transportation of deceased bodies for burial in Kythera.

Background History

History of Migration


From the geocities site:

http://us.geocities.com/raissis/genea4.html

The early American migration pattern is in sharp contrast with the Australian experience; here early Greek settlement tended more to collective enterprise rather than the cumulative effect of individual adventures; eg. 1,400 Greeks founded the communal settlement of New Smyrna in the colony of Florida as early as 1768. Nevertheless, there was still only a small number of Greeks in the USA until the world wide depression of the 1890's turned the trickle of Greek migration into a flood. Between 1890 and 1900, 16,000 Greeks entered the country, a mere 1,400 of whom settled in New York which, even so, had only previously been home to no more than about 100. However, by 1893 there were sufficient numbers to support the establishment of New York's first Greek fraternal organization, the Brotherhood of Athena.

Like other immigrants, the Greeks came to North America to find a better life; they emigrated because of economic necessity, the lack of opportunity in their homeland, or to escape the repression of local governmental officials. Their aim was to make money and return to their homeland and, as a result, until 1910 almost all Greek immigrants were primarily male. But despite their original intentions most did not return and instead remained in the United States and raised families.

Between 1900 and 1915 close to 25% of all Greek males between the ages of 15 and 45 departed for America. By 1913 20,000 of them had chosen to settle in New York, amongst whom was the small Kytherian community which formed the Kytherian Brotherhood of New York in 1917. Twenty four other regional groups had formed Greek fraternal organizations in New York by 1911 which precluded achieving the dominance which the Kytherians achieved in Sydney.

With continuing mass migration and the influx of Asia Minor refugees, nearly 400,000 Greeks had arrived in the USA by 1924. Most entered the food catering trades but unlike Australia a greater proportion also moved into other fields such as construction, taxi cabs, dock laboring and the fur and hotel industries. A steady stream continued in the ensuing decades and by the outbreak of WW2 over 53,000 Greek-Americans were recorded in New York city alone, of whom over 50% were Greek born. By the late 1940's New York had overtaken Chicago as the home to the largest Greek American community in North America.

Strong family ties, fervent Greek nationalism, hard work and upward mobility have been the dominant traits of the Greek immigrant of New York city. Beginning with little capital, thousands entered the American middle class with amazing rapidity. As in Australia, they generally did not make a life career of working for wages but sought to own their own independent businesses as soon as possible.

Today New York city is home to at least 500,000 Greek-Americans, is the headquarters of the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America, has two Greek language daily papers and a plethora of weekly and monthly publications, and is home to hundreds of Greek fraternal, professional, educational, social and religious groups. For a more detailed history of the Greek-American community of New York visit the

"Vryonis Centre" http://www.glavx.org/

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