Having been in your shoes as a recipient of a Scholarship from the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas almost twenty-nine years ago, I feel it is useful to share with you some thoughts from mine and my generation’s experiences over the last few decades. To that end, I have three messages for you.
Firstly, focus on what you do best so as to enjoy and master it, but also challenge yourselves with confronting your weaknesses because they are necessary for your maturity as persons, and as a source of goal-setting and fulfillment. Continue reading
Where would you see a bar sharing space with an in-house tailor? Or a former prison with windows overlooking a beautiful skyline? Or the hotel where President Kennedy had his last meal before heading to Dallas in November of 1963? We saw all these places in downtown Houston! We also heard wonderful anecdotes about our hometown by a knowledgeable guide who lead us through the downtown streets in a beautiful November day. Continue reading
As my nine years on the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas Board comes to a close, it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as president, corresponding secretary and counselor. I have learned so much from our dynamic members: Maro & Petro Yuanidis, Anna Mavromatis, Costas Caracostis, Lena Patsidou, George & Margo Kalfoglou and the list goes on and on. Our Society is one of the great treasures of Houston. Not only do we organize events that promote Greek culture to the community, but we welcome the many Greek professionals relocating to our city from the U.S and abroad. Continue reading
It was a glorious evening to behold when we awarded nine scholarship awards to high school and graduate students. We are accustomed to many memorable past scholarship dinners, but this year’s event did not fail to inspire and impress us. Here are some of the highlights that make it one of a kind. Continue reading
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, the Society celebrated its forty-year anniversary. The Board decided to mark this occasion with a casual celebration, to allow old friends and new members to mingle, share stories and get to know each other better. Present were more than a hundred guests, including five of the HPST founders: George Blytas, George Kalfoglou, John Vogiatzis, Gus Michalopoulos and Pericles Ktonas. Mr. George Papanikolaou, the General Consul of Greece to Houston, also honored us with his presence. Continue reading
As those of you at the event must have sensed – and as I discovered when doing my research on the poet a few months ago – Ritsos is a very unusual presence in the “Pantheon” of poets from Modern Greece. Compared with all the other figures we’ve focused on over the years (Palamas, Varnalis, Elytis, Seferis, Cavafy, Kavvadias, Karyotakis, Sikelianos, Kazantzakis, etc.), he is by far the one that most closely fits the definition “artistic genius”: the breadth and depth of his work is simply amazing, and as such it will continue to be a newly discovered treasure trove for decades to come.
I think it was fortunate that we were able to explore and honor this poet at this time juncture. His work, thinking, and outlook to life are especially relevant to the uncertain times that Greece is going through, as they form a kaleidoscopic counterpoint – an extra dimension as we explain in the presentation – to the vagaries, everyday pettiness and doses of despair generated by the present circumstances of Greece.
So, I hope you can enjoy the presentation time and again, and be transported to the magnanimous soul of Ritsos:
Every year, when I start decorating my home for the holidays, the first ornament I always put up is the Christmas Carols ornament from the 1994 HPST party! And then, there are more: other ornaments, coffee mugs, a book with carols, a book with Christmas traditions and memories, all favors from the HPST Christmas celebrations. What great memories of pleasant evenings, caroling, good food and holiday spirit! Anna Mavromatis established this tradition by putting together the book with the Christmas carols first for the 1992 party. You will recognize these objects in the posted pictures… I have seen them in prominent places in other Greek homes in Houston, as well! Feel free to post your own images, if you like! Continue reading