Cyprus Society of Greater Philadelphia "Makarios III"
President: Georghia Kurnellas
Past President: Stelios Tsinontides
Approximately 50 years ago, in 1956, the first Cypriot organization in the Greater Philadelphia area was established. The formation of the organization was prompted by the arrest and exile of Archbishop Makarios III by the British colonial authorities. This event was widely publicized and caused concern and anger among the Greek-American community as a whole.
The Greek-American community under the leadership of Gregory Lagagos and the leaders of the Philadelphia Federation of Hellenic Societies organized a protest in Philadelphia.
Following this protest, on April 4th 1956, a group of Greek Cypriots met at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Demetrios and spearheaded the organization of the Brotherhood.
The first meeting was held on May 9, 1956. The organization was named “Makarios III” and a constitution was drafted.
A History Committee was formed in 2002 by George Savvides, the President of the Cyprus Brotherhood at the time, with the task to collect available information about the founders of the organization. The committee, consisting of: Georgette Salidis, Selma Savides, Via Solomon, Pope Christie, Gus Georgiou and Euripides Christoulides was able to collect the following information about the founding members of the Organization:
George Anastasiou was born in Paralimni, Cyprus. He was a Greek School Teacher and a Patriarchal Protopsaltis. He owned and operated a grocery store.
Nicholas and Pope Christie both came from Vatili, Cyprus. Nick was a painting contractor and served as the treasurer of the Brotherhood for many years
Euripides Christodoulides was born in Angastina, Cyprus. His wife Mary was born in the United States. Euripides was an accountant and, was the first elected secretary of our Brotherhood.
Gus Harris was born in Tseri, Cyprus. His wife Irene was born in Ayia Barbara, Cyprus. Gus was a tailor. He served as a member of the board and as treasurer.
Metros Helaclides was born in Larnaca, Cyprus. His wife Koula was born in Ora, Cyprus. Metros who was an accountant served as a member of the board.
Efthymios Mavrantonis was born in Meniko, Cyprus. His wife Elli was born in Egypt. Efthymios was a real estate owner and operated a grocery store. He served as President of the Brotherhood.
Dr. Abraham Michaels was born in Kato Dri, Cyprus. His wife Clara was born in the United States. Dr. Michaels was a dentist. He was elected as the presiding officer of the first meeting. Later on, he served as president of the Brotherhood and as President of the Cyprus Federation of America.
Chris Michaels was born in Palekithron, Cyprus. His wife Stella was born in the United States. Chris owned and operated a restaurant.
Michael Nicholas was born in Akapnou, Cyprus. His wife Lillian was born in Philadelphia. Michael served in the US Army during World War II. He owned and operated a restaurant
George and Stella Oratis were both born in Ora, Cyprus. George and his son James Oratis were owners and operators of a restaurant.
James Oratis was born in Ora, Cyprus. His wife Panayiota (Pearl) was born in the United States. He owned and operated his own restaurant. James Oratis served as President of the Cyprus Federation of America. He was also the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Cyprus in Philadelphia.
John Paraskevas was born in Akapnou, Cyprus. His wife Renee was born in Philadelphia. John owned and operated a seafood restaurant.
Father Michael Sophocles and Presbytera Despina were both born in Ayia Barbara, Cyprus. Father Sophocles was a priest at St. George Greek Orthodox church in Chester Pennsylvania. He was instrumental in bringing Archibishop Makarios to his parish. Irene Harris was the daughter of father Sophocles.
Efstratios Salidis was born in Egypt. His father was born in Tseri, Cyprus. His wife Georgette was born in the USA. Efstratios was an educator and a translator for various legal firms in Philadelphia. Efstratios and Georgette served the Brotherhood as President and Secretary.
Stravros Salidis was the brother of Efstratios Salidis. He was also born in Egypt. His wife Mary was born in the USA. He was in real estate business. During World War II, Stavros was a Second Lt. in the British Army. He was also the first elected president of the Cyprus Brotherhood.
Harry Solomon was born in Vatili, Cyprus. His wife Via was born in the USA. Harry owned and operated the famous Garret Restaurant. Harry also served as the vice president of the Brotherhood. Both Harry and Via served on the board of directors.
John Solomon was born in Vatili, Cyprus. John is Harry Solomon’s nephew. John first started working with his uncle Harry. Later on, he acquired the Arrow Restaurant. John served in the National Guard with Dr. Michaels.
Chris Pantelis and his wife Neovi were both born in Vatili Cyprus. Chris was in the restaurant business and he also owned a delicatessen. His wife Neovi worked at SAKS 5th Avenue for many years
The Founding Members:
The mission of the FCAO is to preserve and promote the Hellenic Cypriot culture, heritage, principles and ideals in the United States of America through the coordination and promotion of cultural, charitable, educational, fraternal and professional activities.
Join our newsletter to receive updates in your inbox.