Officers and Board Members
The Pontian Greek Society of Chicago aims to provide material that informs the Greek-American community and the wider American public about our history and culture. This site offers information on the lectures, the educational workshops, and the cultural events organized by our Society, along with oral stories and reference material that document the experience of our ancestors during the first genocide of the 20th century.
The Pontian Greeks are descendants of the Hellenic people who colonized the Pontus — the northeast region of Asia Minor on the Black Sea (in modern day Turkey) — in the 8th Century BC. They prospered in this area and established trade routes, developed mining industries, and produced scholars and leaders. The Greek Orthodox civilization of Pontus came to an end in 1923 when the Greeks of Asia Minor were forcibly removed from their homeland in the aftermath of the genocide.
The Society in Chicago was founded in November 1977 by several Pontian Greeks who immigrated to the United States from Greece and countries of the former Soviet Union. They were determined to preserve the rich heritage that was passed down to them from their parents and grandparents, who were expelled from their homeland on the southern region of the Black Sea, known as the Pontus, between 1914 and 1923.
Today, the children and grandchildren of the founding members continue to support the Society's goals to research and share the history of their people, to preserve their unique Greek dialect, and to perpetuate the great civilization that developed over 3000 years in the Pontus.
The Society organizes lectures and educational programs, hosts annual dinner dances, and participates in public events held by the Greek community of the Chicago land area. In recent years, several members of the Society have also been active in gathering and re-printing historical documentation concerning the Pontian Greek genocide.
- Collect, preserve, and make use of historical documentation highlighting the Pontian Greek experience in Asia Minor and the Diaspora.
- Organize lectures and conferences devoted to illuminating the history of our people and the fate of the Greeks of the Diaspora today.
- Prepare and distribute educational materials for secondary schools and colleges and provide speakers to educational and civic organizations on Pontian Greek and Asia Minor history.
- Support the annual Day of Remembrance of the Pontian Greek Genocide and work to obtain proclamations, resolutions, and recognition of the genocide of Pontian Greeks from government entities.
- Host social events, such as dinner dances, to renew and preserve our historical traditions and practices.
- Offer support and participate in events held by the Greek community in the USA and Canada.
- Sponsor philanthopic endeavors through monetary donations to those in need.
The founders of the Society, originally named Xeniteas Pontian Society of Chicago, built a strong social and cultural organization to preserve and pass on their Orthodox faith and Greek traditions through education, dance, and music programs. The founders also believed in reaching out to the larger Greek and non-Greek communities to foster harmonious relations.
Kostas Adamidis*, George Andronikidis, Fotis Kaltourmidis*, John Makridis, George Mavridis*, Savvas Melidis*, Stathis Pollatsidis, Kostantinos Varnasidis*