The Sons of Pericles were started in 1926 by a group of Manchester, N.H. AHEPANS. The founder was Dr. Alexander Cambadhis. He helped the fledging new youth group with their dealings with other organizations as well as with the Order of AHEPA. His goal and the goal of the Sons of Pericles is to promote Hellenism to the youth and to keep the fire of our Motherland burning for generations to come. Together with the aid of some members of the Order of AHEPA from the Manchester, NH, Chapter, these young men were the first members of the Order and are known collectively as The Mother Lodge of the Sons of Pericles.
The first chapter named itself the Queen City Chapter #1. Its first officers were installed on February 3, 1926. Within a year, the first National Convention was held in Lowell, MA with 14 Chapters in the fraternity. In 1928, in Detroit, MI, the Sons were officially recognized as the Junior Order of AHEPA. In 1932 at the National Convention in Akron, OH, the Order expanded its jurisdiction into Montreal, Canada, thereby making it the first international Greek Youth Organization in the world.
In 1938, an excursion to Greece gave the Sons the inspiration for the first of many national projects. A visit to Missolonghi inspired the dedication of a monument to the heroes of the war of Greek Independence. After approval of both Houses of Congress, the monument was presented as an expression of goodwill from America to Greece. The first national basketball tournament was held in 1940 with Pittsburgh, Pa. Chapter 112 taking top honors. The first Camp-Olympic was held and run by Ahepans that summer. After a respite during the war years (1942-1946), a new Supreme Lodge was elected. In 1949, Supreme Governor Stergios Milonas met with a fatal accident, and a scholarship was established in his memory.
In 1971, the Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena undertook the same national project for the first time, raising over $30,000 for Multiple Sclerosis. Also, the National newsletter, Eleftheri Zoi, came into Prominence.
In 1982 , the Sons and Maids, in continued cooperation, held the first Biannual Youth Salute. The first honoree was Senator Paul Sarbanes, with Sargent Shriver (1984), Ike Pappas (1986), and George Gekas (1988) to follow. In 1990, Chris Economides, Jr. was awarded the honor. In 2001, the Youth Salute was revived with honoree Christos Cotsakos, who was chairman and CEO of E*Trade at the time.
In 1985 the Sons of Pericles raised $10,000 to bring the Greek Special Olympics team to the International Games in Utah. The Periclean was revived as the Sons Newsletter to better serve the membership. In 1989, the Sons of Pericles reached 2,248 members, the highest total since World War II.
Wall of Honor
In 1988, in an effort to honor those who have helped the Order and under the leadership of Supreme President George W. Ioannidis, the Sons of Pericles started a Wall of Honor. Every year, the Supreme Lodge is allowed to induct a group of inductees, called a “class.” The distinction of being the first honoree was given to Chris Economides, Jr., who was chairman of the National Board at the time of his induction. He was followed by: Nicholas Figetakis, Peter Gourides, and Nicholas L. Strike.
They were followed by: Congressman George W. Gekas (1989), George Cokinos (1990), Gus Cherevas (1991), Constantine Gekas (1992), Basil N. Mossaidis (1993), Nicholas Karacostas (1996), George J. Dariotis (1997), James A. Lolis (1997), Steno “AJ” Augustine (1998), John Prokos (1998), James W. Gounaris (1999), Michael Katsimatides (1999), James S. Scofield (2000), Nick C. Demeris (2000), Bill Marianes (2001), Steve Kafkis (2001), Andrew G. Kaffes (2002), John Katsimatides (2002), George Kaloudis (2002).