Monday, July 26, 2010

In Memorium: Bessie V. Capiotis

Bessie V. Capiotis, a longtime member of the Daughters of Penelope, passed away on July 24, 2010. Sister Capiotis was an active member of the Reading Daughters' Chapter for many decades.

From her Obituary:
Bessie V. Capiotis, 89, died July 24, 2010, in Kutztown Manor, where she resided since December 2008.
Her husband, Constantine M. Capiotis, died May 24, 1984.

Born June 10, 1921, in Monessen, she was a daughter of the late Peter and Maria (Flora) Kontaxes.

Bessie was a member of SS Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, where she was a life member of St. Xenia Ladies Philoptochos Society and a member of The Daughters of Penelope.

She is survived by two sons, Stratton C., and his wife, Debra L. Capiotis, Oley; and Milton G., and his wife, Sharon A. Capiotis, Spring Township.

Other survivors include two sisters, Irene (Kontaxes) Fafalois, Monongahela; and Josephine (Kontaxes) Nobozny, Charleroi.

There are also eight grandchildren: Constance, Nickolas, Michael, Christina, Stephen, Peter, Katie and Elisabeth; and five great-grandchildren: Christopher, Zoey, Jacob, Auggie and Elisabeth.

Services will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, at SS Constantine & Helen GOC, 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., Reading, PA 19611. Burial will follow in Charles Evans Cemetery. A viewing will be held Tuesday, July 27, 2010, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Auman Funeral Home, 247 Penn St., Reading, and Wednesday, July 28, 2010, from 9:30 to 10 a.m. in the church. A Trisagion Service will be Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, contributions maybe made to the church at the above address in Bessie's memory. Arrangements are by Theo C. Auman Inc., Reading. Online condolences may be made at

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AHI Statement on 36th Anniversary of Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) has issued a statement on the 36th anniversary of Turkey's brutal invasion of the Republic of Cyprus on July 20, 1974.

Read the full release here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

In Memorium: Donald W. Bankes

Donald W. Bankes passed away on July 11, 2010. Brother Bankes joined the Order of AHEPA in March 1984, and was an active member of William Penn Chapter No. 61 for 20 years.

From his Obituary:
Donald W. Bankes, 88, Wyomissing, passed away peacefully on July 11, 2010, at Reading Hospital.

He was the widower of Helen (George) Bankes, who passed away in April 2004. She was the love of his life and they were married for more than 57 years.

Donald graduated from Northeast Junior High School and Reading Senior High School.

He played baseball for Hillside Playground and basketball for Progressive Clothier in the city basketball league. He was the highest scorer in the league for the 1940-1941 season.

He was a veteren of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army in Italy.

Donald worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Reading for 32 years until his retirement in 1980, lastly serving as the Manager of the Parcel Post Annex. He also worked for the Reading Railroad.

He attended SS Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. He was a devoted convert to Orthodoxy and served on the Parish Council for 24 years and was financial secretary for 23 years.

In his spare time, he loved to golf in the senior league and bowl in the church league.

He was an avid fisherman traveling to Maine many times on fishing trips with his friends from the church.

He also loved spending time with his family. In his later years, he enjoyed news programs and loved to use his computer.

Donald was a loving and devoted husband and father and is survived by his son, William P., husband of Mary, Downingtown; and his daughter, Sharon J., wife of Dean Whitman, Denver Pa.

Also survivng are his brother, Robert L., husband of Betty Bankes; and several nieces and nephews.

He was a member of the Order of AHEPA, NARFE, and was vice president of the Reading Branch of the National Association of Postal Supervisors.

Services will be held on July 15, 2010, at SS Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., Reading. A viewing will be held at the church from 10 to 11 a.m., immediately followed by the funeral service. Burial will be in Forest Hills Memorial Park, Reiffton.

Memorial contributions may be made to SS Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., Reading, PA 19611. Arrangements were by Theo C. Auman Inc., Reading (

Friday, July 9, 2010

AHEPA Applauds J.Lo for Withdrawing from Occupied Cyprus Gig

AHEPA Applauds J.Lo for Withdrawing from Occupied Cyprus Gig

WASHINGTON - The leading membership-based association for the nation's three million American citizens of Greek heritage, and countless Philhellenes, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), applauds Entertainer Jennifer Lopez for withdrawing from her planned July 24, 2010 performance at a new hotel and casino in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, announced National President Nicholas A. Karacostas.

"We sincerely thank Ms. Lopez for withdrawing from her planned performance in occupied Cyprus," Karacostas said. "Furthermore we commend her outstanding statement that recognizes the importance of not supporting any forms of human rights abuses."

He added, "We congratulate the community, including many members of the AHEPA family, for participating in an overwhelming grassroots outreach campaign that created awareness of the human rights violations committed by Turkey in occupied Cyprus. We also thank everyone who signed the AHEPA petition."

On July 1, AHEPA sent Ms. Lopez a letter requesting her to cancel her performance. In addition, AHEPA provided Ms. Lopez's publicist with supporting documentation by experts about the destruction of Cyprus' cultural and religious heritage by Turkey and the latter's violations of international law, including an April 2009 Law Library of Congress's report to Congress, background information about a July 21, 2009 U.S. Helsinki Commission briefing titled "Cyprus' Religious Cultural Heritage in Peril," and a Feb. 1, 2010 feature article in The Weekly Standard titled "Bare Ruined Choirs: Turkey's war on the cultural heritage of Cyprus"

Jennifer Lopez Out of Controversial N. Cyprus Concert

Jennifer Lopez Out of Controversial N. Cyprus Concert

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The Cyprus Action Network of America is continuing its grassroots campaign to stop Jennifer Lopez from making an illegal visit to Turkish-Occupied Cyprus.

From a CANA press release:
In recent days an overwhelming number of emails and calls have been sent in protest to the "William Morris Agency" in New York that represents Lopez in New York. There is no evidence NONE that Jennifer Lopez has withdrawn or denied that she is going to Turkish-Occupied-Cyprus. We urge all activists to keep trying to bring media attention to her illegal visit. We urge you all to continue until we or anyone else receives official confirmation of her cancelling from the right channels.

Please emphasize in your letters to Lopez that besides the fact the illegal pseudo-state is recognized by no-one but the human-rights-abusing Turkish government, we also note in Jennifer Lopez’s case the hypocrisy of her and her agent "William Morris Agency" disregarding the fact that the illegal Turkish military-occupiers are the unrepentant rapists of 800 Greek-Cypriot women.
The northern third of the island of Cyprus has been under Turkish military occupation since 1974.

Thousands have supported the CANA campaign to persuade Lopez to cancel her appearance by joining the Facebook group AGAINST JENNIFER LOPEZ PERFORMING IN OCCUPIED CYPRUS, which has attracted almost 6,000 members in just a few days.

For more on CANA's efforts to bring justice to Cyprus, visit the group's Web site by clicking here.

Friday, July 2, 2010


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of independence for the Republic of Cyprus, a special exhibit, "Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations," will open at the the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., in September.

The exhibit will feature more than 200 rare artifacts (sculptural figures, jewelry, metalwork, ceramics, and paintings) from the country's 10,000-year-old history.

Ranging from 10,000 B.C. to 1803 A.D., the approximately 220 objects presented in this exhibition are but a fraction of the artifacts discovered by Cypriot and foreign excavators, including many American archaeologists, according to International Arts & Artists.

Ranging from objects of the earliest villages to masterpieces of medieval religious art, this exhibition presents an overview of the unique culture of Cyprus to the North American public for the first time, according to IA&A.

"Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations" will run from Sept. 29, 2010, until May 1, 2011, at the Smithsonian.

'Cyprus: Crossroads of Civilizations' to Open at Smithsonian in September