History of St. DemetriosYears ago, a few Greeks linked by their religious and ethnic zeal, set forth a goal and began their arduous journey through the vast, consuming, and melting pot society for their new adopted land, to reach their dream. For years, spurred by hope, strengthened by accomplishments, they ascended difficult, future paths toward the realization of this goal.

The Community of St. Demetrios has been in existence for 80 years and its progress has been astonishing. So much has been achieved in so a brief time. Few communities can match its accomplishments and offer so much to their parishioners. On November 7, 1927, the “Hellenic Orthodox Community of Astoria, St. Demetrios Inc.” was created. Twenty days later a cornerstone was laid at the present site of our St. Demetrios Church. From the inception of the Community an afternoon Greek School and Sunday School Program was organized to help the new generation of Greek-Americans hold on to their language, customs, traditions and religion.

In the early 1940’s the founding fathers saw a need for expansion to serve the social needs of the growing community. The Greeks were here to stay in Astoria and the Church had to meet the needs of the parish. After much struggle on May 5th, 1956 the Center was completed and consecrated. It was September of that same year when St. Demetrios opened up its first Day School, with 267 children registered. As those children crossed the threshold, they carried with them the entire future of the community. On May 9, 1982, the ceremonial “cutting of the ribbon” took place marking the opening of the St. Demetrios High School. With His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos presiding over the ceremony attended by over one thousand people, the motto “We believe, therefore we build” become a reality.

In the community’s history so many goals and dreams have been realized. This community is always willing to accept the challenge to move forward in every way. The school, which opened in 1956 with 267 students, has blossomed into a full Day School with over 600 Greek-American students. This alone is an accomplishment, which deserves much merit.

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