In a sign of a gradual return to “normal” amid the coronavirus pandemic, the leading worldwide Hellenic heritage service association, the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA), will host its 99th Annual Supreme Convention July 25-31, 2021, in Athens, Greece.
Thousands of members of AHEPA and its affiliate organizations, the Daughters of Penelope, the Sons of Pericles and the Maids of Athena, are expected to attend.
The historic Hotel Grande Bretagne will be the convention headquarters hotel. More than 2,000 participants of Greek heritage and Philhellenes from around the world, including government, religious, and private sector leaders, have already registered to attend the annual gathering.
The highlight of the convention will be the AHEPA Grand Banquet, Wed. July 28 at the Divani Caravel Hotel. Honorees confirmed to attend include Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece and President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades.
AHEPA also will honor dignitaries at events during the week, including: President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou on July 27 at the Presidential Palace; U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt on July 29 at the King George Hotel, and numerous heads of Greek Ministries.
The convention will hold its Opening Ceremony on July 25 at the King George Hotel. Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis and Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II will participate.
“After much separation, we are excited we will be reconnecting in person, in Athens, to celebrate Greece’s Bicentennial in a safe manner and adhering to public health protocols,” Supreme President George G. Horiates said.
“It sends a clear message that Greece is open and AHEPA held true to its commitment to support Greece, its tourism industry, and most importantly, its people. We thank the Greek government, American embassy, and tourism sector for making this momentous event possible. We will also launch our countdown to a ‘Century of Service,’ commemorating the centennial of our founding in 2022. What better venue in the world from where to do it than in Athens, the birthplace of the ancient Hellenic ideals that inspired our founders nearly one-hundred years ago and drives our mission today.”