Once again you hit the nail on the head. Please know that I recently received calls from very prominent Greek-Americans in our Community to expressed their similar outrage at the National Heralds, myopic, to say the least decision.
My response to these callers was simple, that notwithstanding my position as immediate Past-President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies that I am powerless to do anything about this other than to express my similar displeasure. Sadly, such misplaced platitudes as planned by our Community's sole daily paper only turns-off and tunes-out those true and valued community organizers who, as a result of this "Honoree's" actions have refused to get involved (or have stopped bothering) with the Federation. I have regrettably had the experience of approaching such similar people of quality during my term to ask them to step up their efforts to assist the Federation in all that it does and most especially allthat it can and should be doing, only to be told point-blank that so long as the "Honoree" is involved that they are steering clear of the Federation over which he maintains choke-hold due to his ample free time, resulting from his "disabilities". Regrettably his hobby and his desire to elevate himself through his gamesmanship and manipulation at theFederation has truly reduced the credibility of our Community.
In addition to the points you raised, just to give you another more immediate fact of the games that our "esteemed honoree" is playing along with his partner in the "Greek-American Organizational Purge", the present President of the Federation, (who happens to be another National Herald past Honoree), last night an "Emergency/Special" Board meeting was held at the Federation, where I remain as a duly elected Board Member. Notwithstanding the Federation possessing all my telephone numbers and email address, I was never advised of this meeting. Other members were invited last minute but with no notice of the details of the meeting's agenda, as usual. At the meeting, after discussing a few Parade issues, the President re-raised the "findings" of a committee he formed, that he initially advised was to review certain serious left-over issues from the previous administration. Please know at the end of my term, just before the elections, it came to my attention that the "Honoree" on his own and without any Board approval, executed a Contract on behalf of all the Federation, valued at over $12,000.00 to lease a copy-machine when the old copy machine's lease had not yet expired. Moreover, and for unknown reasons, he used his home address as the Federation's address on the Contract where he explicitly stated that he was acting with full authority of the Federation. Additionally, just before Mr. Tsekridies took office, I was given a letter from a paid Parade Secretary that we had retained advising that the "Honoree" had compelled her to do work for the his New Democracy Party, during hours where she was receiving pay from the Federation allegedly under his supervision as General Secretary. These and other serious issues were to be the subject of this Committee's review. However, in his unique wisdom, the President decided to white-wash these issues and used this biased committee to solicit selected "complaints" against past Federation administrations as payback for daring to uncover the "Honoree's" nefarious acts.
Accordingly, and true to any classic Stalinistic Purge, the Committee's results were preordained, whereby yours truly and other have been charged with and convicted by this of violating their duties from events that occurred nearly four years ago. Events that have been previously reviewed and cleared by the independent Auditing Committee and accepted by the General Assembly. In the meanwhile, no-one beyond the inner circle is even aware that this committee exists.
I could go on and on, but I do not wish to further preach to the choir. Sadly as we celebrate Greece's over-throw of the tyranny of the Ottoman Turk, our community at home is mired in a similar tyranny that prevents us from flowering to our full potential. Tragically, the Greek Press, for unknown reasons, seeks to praise, rather than expose such parasiticpractices.
20 Adar 5772 March 14, 2012
Ill-considered Reported Forthcoming Laudatory Edition
As is my wont, and prior to my daily trek to the synagogue for morning worship, I make a stop to glance the headlines, editorials, and op-ed pages of the New York Times, along with the highlights of the Greek National Herald and the dispatches of the Greek-American News Agency.
Please forgive my astonishment that a major article was devoted to the publisher's consternation, intensely shared by me, that the respected Greek daily, in operation for 97 years, and recently featuring the substantial accomplishments in Greek-American education of the distinguished Demosthenes Triantafillou, is poised to publish a thoroughly undeserved encomium, on March 17, for embattled long-time general-secretary Petro Galatoulas of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York!
Having experienced, at close range, his organizational machinations, while serving as Greece's representative of the New Democracy Party in the Greek-American community; actively manipulating the minutes of official meetings during which accepted resolutions, condemning anti-Semitic violence in our native land, were excised and not acted upon; for living with a stream of allegations of official and personal misconduct, including his demonstrable contempt of regulations banning smoking in close quarters (he, in the unfortunate manner of our compatriots in Greece, believes that the law applies only to others), makes him hardly a poster child to emulate!
Finally, and I trust in vain, his troubled tenure at the pinnacle of Greek communal life, reflects the paucity of people with talent and energy in our mainly immigrant enclave willing to ascend the treacherous, but necessary ladder of leadership. Thus, individuals with less probity, and more able to manipulate and game the existing system rise to positions occupying the proverbial chairs, all the way, examples of an inherent mismatch of required qualities and personal vainglory.
Let the respected, admired, even dear friend Antonis Diamataris, publisher-editor of the aforementioned National Herald reconsider his well-intentioned initiative to profile a worthy Greek-American who has rendered long and impeachable labor on behalf of us all and withdraw this applicant from consideration. Searching for a worthier substitute, one whom we can universally feel proud should be an immediate priority, the better to bury this unfortunate and untimely disclosure. Under the circumstances, it is the only right thing to do.
Sincerely, and with fraternal affection,
Prof. Asher J. Matathias
312 Longacre Avenue , Woodmere , NY 11598-2530
516-374-2958 Mobile : 369-5799 AsherJmat@Aol.com