The Ahepan Fall 2019 - 5

DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE GRAND PRESIDENT VASILIA (CELIA) KACHMARSKI

An Honor, Privilege Decades in the Making
The delegates of the 97th Supreme Convention bestowed me with the honor and privilege of being the
first Canadian elected to serve as Daughters of Penelope Grand President on July 6, 2019, in Chicago.
The AHEPA family, an organization for which I have served for 51 years, is an extension of our family. My mother, Cleo Girgulis, served as the first Grand Vice President of Canada. My sister, Christina
Andrews, served as Canadian President, and my sister, Ann Andrews, served as District Governor. My
father, an active Ahepan, had no time to serve the Order as he was serving in his restaurant, as many
of our forebears did.
I can honestly say I love the AHEPA family, having been brought up in it as many of us were. I remember the formal installations, the parties, the laughter, and the work my parents did to get recognition
for the organization. In Saskatoon, where I was raised, the AHEPA chapter purchased the first AHEPA
building in Canada in 1946. Quite an accomplishment! Past Supreme President George Phillies started
the chapter by accident as he was passing through Saskatoon on his way to Edmonton to establish
a chapter there. Many from the Greek community met him at the train station during the stopover,
persuaded him to stay overnight, thus starting a chapter in Saskatoon. Of course, all that happened
long before my birth, but history is prelude to the present and the future.
The Daughters of Penelope taught me so much about commitment, hard work, giving back and paying forward. Anything is possible when we work together. Thus, this year's theme is: Together we are
Stronger. Together we Thrive.
Our Founder, Alexandra Apostolides, had a vision that is still clear today; a vision that joined women
who would dedicate themselves to cultivate our mission of philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, Hellenism and personal excellence. We will strive to advance her vision through motivating,
celebrating, educating and connecting with sisters and women who can join us in our mission.
I congratulate Supreme President George Horiates, Maids of Athena Grand President Theodora
Ronstadt, Sons of Pericles Supreme President Paul Pavlakos, and their lodges. As an AHEPA family
we will challenge each other, we will support each other, and we will pledge to work together to make
the AHEPA family stronger and to move us all forward.
Front Row (l-r): Grand Governor
Zone II Charrie Regopoulos,
Grand Secretary Georgette
Boulegeris, Grand President Celia
Kachmarski, Grand Vice President
Kathy Bizoukas, and Grand
Treasurer Marianthi Treppiedi.
Back Row (l-r): Grand Governor
Zone III Gretchen Holtsinger,
Grand Governor Zone IV Beverly
Kennedy, Grand Governor Zone V
Margaret Dritsas, Grand Governor
Zone I Kathy Matrakas, and
Grand MOA Advisor Kathy Leles.

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The Ahepan Fall 2019

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