HPST 38th Scholarship Dinner (February 22nd, 2015) – by Andreas Matzakos

recipients_2015bIt 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

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HPST@Forty: The 40-yr Celebration – by Lena Patsidou

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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

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“Yannis Ritsos – A Poet’s Journey” – by Dr. Alex Kalamarides

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gdzz9QOQA4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STyj36mB6FE

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Christmas with HPST – by Lena Patsidou

IMG_1048Every 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

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HPST Board Visiting with UT/Austin Students – by Kostas Belivanis

ΧSnapseedίλια καλώς ορίσατε φίλοι και εδικοί μας,
κι αν είναι το σπίτι μας μικρό, πάνω στη κεφαλή μας…

Saturday November 15, 2014, Austin, Texas.

Brunch time. The freezing temperature made the (already limited) table availability for any brunch party in Austin almost impossible. The fact that the meeting was scheduled towards the end of the semester made any plan involving students to seem impossible. Despite the above conditions, 12 Greek students of The University of Texas at Austin met with three representatives of the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas!

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“Going to College?” – by Daphne Kokkinis

image1On the 8th of November, the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas hosted an event for high school and college students. The event was well attended and well received by all who came.

The panel shared their personal experiences with the audience and gave constructive advice in an effort to guide the young people as they set out for college. The event moderator, Dr. Michael Nikolaou, emphasized that one needs to select a field or career based on three key qualities: what one likes to do, what one is good at, and finally what the money earning potential is. They talked about professional areas that are just developing and will be easy to find positions in. Such areas include health, energy, and working with the environment or the internet. Continue reading

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Reading Guide for a Great Book: Giles Milton’s “Paradise Lost”

T10173568_10154751405950302_5469524353659028273_nhe Book Club meeting last Saturday had the biggest turn out yet! Many thanks should go to Karolina Ioannou for organizing the event and Alex Kalamarides for moderating a great discussion on a book that generated loads of interest and questions. In the three hours we only covered a small part of the discussion that Alex had prepared. So, here is his complete Reading Guide and questions. They will be helpful for all of us who read the book and those who did not, but are planning to read now. Enjoy! Continue reading

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Giles Milton “Paradise Lost” – by Alexandros Kalamarides

Paradise Lost  I am looking forward to being back in Houston, and seeing familiar and new faces at our Book Club on Saturday, October 25, at 3:30 p.m. at the Upper Kirby location in Houston (3015 Richmond), as we discuss Giles Milton’s account of the 1922 Catastrophe of Smyrna, “Paradise Lost”.

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The Genesis of the Hellenic Professional Society of Texas – by George C. Blytas

One could say that during the 60’s “all the action” was in California, and particularly in the Bay Area, which means San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, an area and a decade that people are still talking about four decades later. By the same token, the 70′ s were a decade in which Texas, and especially Houston, became the center of international attention, particularly after the oil crisis of 1972, which saw the price of oil go up ten-fold in a period of few weeks. Houston, already the center of space exploration and technology, in the 70’s became an important center for the internationally critical energy industry; and since then, it has also become a major hub for the medical industry.  As a result of those developments, in the 70’s the Greek- American community of Houston witnessed  the arrival of a significant number of scientists and other professionals who were first generation Greeks. One of the families that arrived in Houston in the early 70’s was my family: my wife Cora Ann, my son Constantine, and myself. Continue reading

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Greek Maritime Community of Metropolitan Houston – by George Argyros

The continuing growth of the city has been accompanied by a parallel growth in the volume of shipping. The opening of the Houston Ship Channel in 1914, bringing deep sea ships to the port of Houston, gradually attracted Greek mariners to settle here.

Since the post war period, a steady and lawful migration of skilled seafarers and shore-based personnel arrived. And more maritime personnel are anticipated with the official opening of the enlarged Panama Canal next year, which is expected to significantly increase port traffic. Continue reading

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