History of Our Parish - Growth In The Church Community PDF Print
History of Our Parish
Celebrating the First Divine Liturgy
Building the First Church
Growth In The Church Community
World War II Involvement and Post War Growth
Building the Hellenic Center
Building the Present Church on South Grande Avenue
Growth in the New Church, Tragedy, and Recovery
The 80s and 90s
Conclusion
List of Chanters, Choir Director, Organists, and Sunday School Directors
List of Parish Council Presidents
List of Parish Priests
Closing Remarks
All Pages

During the days of the latter 20’s and early 30’s, Poughkeepsie saw new business firms owned by Greek proprietors. These new proprietors were also members of the Kimisis community. Some were: K & M Banana Wholesalers (Anthony Kalliche and Louis Maroulis), Peters Sweet Shop (operated by Peter Labrinos) and French Pastry Shop (Stelios Frangk and John Christakos). The business firms were now a solid part of the greater Poughkeepsie community as illustrated by the fact that Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the U.S. President, often did holiday shopping at Kustas & Chamberas for specialty tobacco & candy gift boxes. She also was a regular customer at the French Pastry Shop for specialties she required for various occasions at the President’s home in Hyde Park, NY. In fact she was on a first name basis with Mr. Frangk. Some other well known businesses were: John Christakos’ Daily Treat, Jim Marker and Harry Kavour of The Chili House, Gus Bliziotis’ Liberty Restaurant, Nicholas Boloukas’ Candy Kitchen, Tom Pappas’ Texas Lunch & Bakery and E. Krimezis & D. Andreakos’ White Tile Lunch. All of these businesses enthusiastically provided financial help for their Church.

First Orchestra of Parishioners playing at the Church Hall on Academy Street (1930)French Pastry Shop on Main Street in Poughkeepsie (Owner was Stelios Frangk)

Over the years, the Greek Business Men's Club had helped to develop the new Church Community in addition to their own commercial enterprises. Now that a church was built, the Men’s Business Club ended their organization in 1926. The church now became the center of their combined efforts.

This was a period of growth for the community. Greek language classes were organized and taught beginning in 1930, with a School Board initially led by Louis G. Kustas. Another group was organized as the Pan Arcadian Society since many church members were from the region of Greece known as Arcadia. The Hellenic Society was organized with Louis Maroulis as President. Their aim was to make known the ideals and heritage of Greece. Others also organized the Hermes Society for youth activities in the community and another group began by celebrating St. George’s Day, for all those whose name was George. There were about 25 Georges in the community at these annual spring celebrations, which lasted until 1955.

All of the church related groups held their events with the idea of raising funds to complete the payment of the Church. This was finally accomplished in 1936, the same year that Reverend Vasilios Vryniotis came to the Parish. They were completely debt free! In 1938 the Proodos Society purchased a house next to the Church as a parish house to accommodate the Chanter and the Parish Priest. Proodos assumed the responsibility of paying for the mortgage of $18,000.00.

April 30, 1939 Church Hall at Academy Street. Georges Celebration for their nameday.HBH (Hebe) Organization Picture taken May 1950.  Organization started in 1942.

On November 11, 1938 the young ladies of the community formed a Maids of Athens group that was associated with the Ahepa family. They were known as the Maids of Athens, Hebe Chapter #15. As years passed, they did not keep their affiliation with the Ahepa organization but retained the name of Hebe, later to be well known in the church and Poughkeepsie social life as the HBH sorority. They engaged in many various social, charitable and fund raising events for the Church and the Poughkeepsie area.

In 1939 the Board obtained the services of Sofronios Afentakis and his son. They were well known as excellent iconographers throughout the Greek Church In the United States, having decorated over 40 churches at that time. They remained here for three months during the summer of 1939. They completed the large icons on the Iconostasion (icon screen), 12 small icons over the icon s creen, 14 large wall icons on either side of the nave, a ceiling icon of Christ, the 4 Evangelists and a wall icon of the Holy Trinity in the choir loft. Once the icons were completed, a Gala dinner was held in the hall with appropriate speeches. Mr. Stelios Frangk supplied 100 roasted chickens for the participants and the Proodos Society took care of the other delicious items at all the tables.

1939 ChoirCollege Hill Park ('First Hellenic Center') Family Picnics, Sunday School Picnics and other events took place here in the 1930s and 1940s.

It was during the late 1930’s and 1940’s that the Greek Language School and the Sunday School classes held their memorable annual picnics on College Hill Park in the City of Poughkeepsie at the open stone pavilion that resembled the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece.