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2019 Panigyri Review

Photo credit: Adamandia Xlentzou

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546

10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

Photo Credit: PhotoCerigo 

Dance Performance

 Back by popular demand, award winning dancers from the Resurrection dance groups performed several dances.

Click here to see their full performance!


Following the opeing prayer, lunch was served. 
Yiannis Varelis once again prepared a fantastic delicious meal.


President Katherine Stathis reminded everyone of the meaning of the Artoklasia and the importance of attending services prior to the luncheon.

Fr. Niko shared the significance of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Dr. Tikey Zes, renowned composer, director, and hymnographer in the Orthodox, church shared the miraculous story of healing of our beautiful icon, the Most Holy Theotokos of the Myrtle Tree -  Myrtidiotissa, 
and sang the hymn associated with that feast day. Tikey took the hymn in Greek and translated it into English. 

(Click here to read the story of Panagia Myrtidiotissa on our website)


 A moment of silence for those who have passed this past year.

$830 was collected in Memorial donations in honor of loved ones.

Visitors to Kythera

The Mattis Family - Cynthia (daughter of Ted & Cathy Zamenes), 
Tim, & Mathew made thier first trip to Kythera.

Shelley Ankerholtz (Daughter of John Derdivanis) and 
her husband Scott, made their first trip to Kythera.

Shelley & Scott visited the Monastery of Agia Moni
 where her 3rd Great Grandfather, Ioannis Argyri, carved 
the icon template for the alter in 1844.

Kytheraismos Symposium

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli will attend the Kytheraismos Symposim 
Brisbane,  Queensland, Australia in November.

Past Kytheraismos Symposium Attendees:

2016 - Mary & Richard Lind, Lucas Roemer-Cominos - Kythera

2014 - Vikki Fraioli, Cynthia Cavalenes-Sydney, NSW, Australia

2008 - Vikki Fraioli, Terry Panages, Melissa Neofes-Mischak - Kythera

2006 - Vikki Fraioli & Terry Panages - Canberra, NSW Australia
2004 -  Ann Condas - Kythera

Medical Supplies Update

Although it is taking more time than expected, our hope is that it will come to fruition onee all the steps above have been completed.The KSOCA has more than enough in donations to follow through with this project on their own without the help of the KAA.

Notable Kytherians

Who knew that one of our founders John G. Alfiers, was an inventor? 
John, along with Manuel J. Maneas, another Kytherian, invented a swimming appliance to help people stay afloat while swimming!Harry Alfier found this document in an old file cabinet amongst his fathers belongings. 

This invention relates to devices adapted to be worn by a person engaged in swimming, and more particularly to appliances which will not only aid in sustaining the user near the surface of the water and prevent his sinking, but also affort propelling mechanism...

We have our own present day Notable Kytherians to recognize!

Members Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis and Katerina Lefteris shared some amazing feats they accomplished this year! 

Katerina has done double this distance - 146.6 and usually
 performs in the top 10-15% in her class for her age group!

2019 Scholarship Awards

The above named offered donations amounting to $475
Below is a list of past recipients

 Scholarship Chairman Melissa Neofes-Michak

 presented the 2019 Recipients

Stephanie Orth accepted the certificate for her daughter Zoie.
Richard Lind accepted the certificate for his grandson Chase.

Honorary Kytherian

Elaine Moulos presents the Honorary Kytherian Award to Tom Panages

Honorary Kytherian was awarded to Tom Panages
Tom is awlays there to lend a hand in any way he can. 
We appreciate all he does!


The Raffle where everyone is a winner!

The Last Kytherians, a film by James Prineas, was played during the raffle


Closing remarks and adjournment at 3:00pm

The Kytherian Society of California Officers and Board

Click here to view PHOTOS from the event

Eternal Be Their Memory...

Emilios Pavlou

Pavlou Emilios

August 1, 1922 - January 2, 2019

Emilios (Emile) Pavlou, beloved husband, son, brother, theo (uncle), nouno (godfather), and friend passed away peacefully on January 2nd at the age of 96. He was born in Washington, DC to the late Michael and Maria Pavlou, immigrants from Poros, Greece. Growing up, his family moved to and from Greece and across the eastern United States. Emile's love for his church was instilled in him at an early age, as he assisted his uncle and priest, Archimandrite Nikiphoros Pavlou, with services and other church duties. He began working at a young age and most loved serving as chief usher in the local movie theater. 

In early 1942, after the United States entered WWII, he enlisted in the US Navy and was sent to San Diego for training. He was proud to serve his country on refrigeration and troop transport ships around the Pacific. He met the love of his life and wife of 70 years, Evelyn Simos, on New Year's Eve (Evelyn's birthday) in 1943. His navy ship had to return to San Francisco due to engine trouble. As he always did when he was back in the states, Emile took the streetcar to his Thea Maritsa's house in San Francisco; it was there that he met Evelyn and the rest was history. After the war, Emile and Evelyn married in 1946 and moved to San Francisco in 1952. He held a variety of jobs throughout the years, primarily managing and selling welding supplies up and down the Peninsula. Upon retiring in 1987, he and Evelyn took many trips to Greece and other locations around the world.  

Emile was an active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco for over 60 years - serving as chanter for Father Anthony Kosturos, Sunday School teacher, parish council member, choir member, and much loved pillar of the church. He was a 33 Degree Mason, serving as Past Master of King Solomon's Seaport Lodge and Inspector General Honoree of the Scottish Rite. He was also active in the Parkside District Improvement Club and the Saint Mary's Hospital Stonestown Mall Walkers (in which he led attendees in the makarena every week).

Emile was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Evelyn; his parents Michael and Maria Pavlou; brothers James, Louis, and Nick Pavlou; sisters Catherine Pagonis and Georgia Newburn; and his beloved in-laws. He is survived by his sister, Tessie Reapsong, and numerous nieces, nephews, godchildren, cousins, and friends both in the United States and in Greece.  

A Trisagion will be held on Tuesday, January 8th, at 7 pm and the funeral service will be Wednesday, January 9th, at 11 am; all services at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 999 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco. Pallbearers will be Marek Pearse, Matthew Pearse, Andy Pagonis, Rick Alejandro, Tim Marinos, Michael Marinos, and Thomas Marinos. Honorary pallbearers are Mark Pearse, James Pagonis, Jeff Kalban, Harvey Berg, James Whelden, Alex Christ, and Patrick Wasley.

Donations may be made in Emile's memory to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church or the charity of your choice. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Tess Miclat, for her unwavering care and support the past three years. May Emile's memory be eternal.

Evelyn Dorothy Simos Pavlou


December 31, 1925  - February 9, 2017

Evelyn Pavlou, beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend passed away peacefully on February 9th at the age of 91. She was born in Bakersfield, CA to Demetrios and Iasmia Simos, immigrants from Greece. Growing up, she played violin and took dance lessons, while also helping out in her father's store - the Rex Sweet Shop in Downtown Bakersfield. She met the love of her life and husband of 70 years, Emilios Pavlou, during World War II. It was her 18th birthday and she was visiting San Francisco with her mother and siblings. Emile's ship had to return to San Francisco due to engine trouble. As he always did when he was back in the states, he took the streetcar to his aunt's house; it was there that he met Evelyn and the rest was history. They married in 1946 and moved to San Francisco in 1952. With her sister, Tess and another friend, she opened the Teb's Dress Shop on Taraval Street. After that closed, she was a banker at Bank of America on Taraval for over 21 years. Upon retiring from the bank in 1987, she and Emile took many trips to Greece and other locations around the world. She was an active member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for over 60 years - she sang in the choir and organized Sunday coffee hours. She was also active in the Parkside District Improvement Club, the Bank of America Retirees Association, and the Saint Mary's Hospital Stonestown Mall Walkers.

She is preceded in death by her parents, sister Zoe Pearse, brother John Simos, sister Despina (Tess) Rhodes, and brother Adam (Steve) Simos. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Emilios Pavlou, and many other godchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends here in the United States and in Greece.  

A Trisagion will be held on Wednesday, February 15th, at 7 pm and the funeral service will be Thursday, February 16th, at 11 am; all services at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 999 Brotherhood Way, San Francisco.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church or the charity of your choice. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Tess Miclat, for her care and support during these difficult times. 

2019 Panigyri Reservation

It’s Time to Mail in Your Reservation Form!

Submit  reservation form with payment by September 20, 2019

Kytherian Society of California

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

September 29, 2019

10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

12:00 p.m. - Luncheon

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546

Menu Selections:

Greek Style Chicken with Olive Oil, Lemon and Oregano

Greek  Lamb Shank with Orzo

Grilled Salmon with Lemon & Butter

Pasta Primavera (Vegetarian)

Salad, Spanakopita, & Dessert - Galaktobouriko

Coffee, Tea or Iced Tea

$40 per person

$15 Children 12 & Under - Chicken Strips

Bring a bottle of wine to share with your table!

Please donate a prize or gift basket for our annual Raffle! 

BRING a FRIEND to help the KSOCA grow!

 For more information contact:

Elaine Moulos

Vikki Vrettos Fraioli

Submit  reservation form with payment by 

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

Meal choices after the deadline date are subject to availability.



Kythera Summer Edition 2019

May 2019 News 


Anastasia Conomos Condas Scholarship

Scholarship applications are due July 1. If you know a student of Kytherian background who might qualify, please encourage them to apply. 

Applicant's must:

  • be a United States citizen of Kytherian descent
  • be a resident of the State of California
  • be between the ages of 17 and 32
  • be accepted or enrolled for the current and/or upcoming school year as a new or continuing full-time student in undergraduate, post graduate or vocational schools leading to an undergraduate degree, post graduate degree or certificate.
  • attach proof of full-time admission and/or enrollment and your Grade Point Average score from the latest quarter or semester
  • attach a photograph of yourself
  • attach a 500-word essay entitled, My Family’s History on Kythera.”
  • attach signed letters of recommendation from two individuals not related to you, providing their names and contact information
  • have an immiediate family member who is an active  Kytherian Society member who has paid his or her $30 dues for the past two years and has attended our meetings and functions.
  • submit your completed application with a postmark no later than July 1, of each year.

 Click to download an application 

This year we have created an online version of the application.

Click to request a link to complete the application online


The Last Kytherians

James Prineas is at it again! This time filiming the Last Kytherians.

I’ve completed the first of 12 of what will be a series of film portraits about some of the remaining families who live a farming life on Kythera, much like our ancestors did. Called "The Last Kytherians", it will document the few farmers left on the island who still live from raising animals, tending fields & market gardens, making honey and even collecting sempraviva on rocky cliff faces. I'll be making a submission to the Kytherian Association of Australia to fund the series, which will be shot all over the island.

Any support which you can offer would be much appreciated!    

Episode 1 of The Last Kytherians: 
The Chlentzos Family of Logothetianika

Does the name Chlentzos sound familiar? That’s because they are cousins to Mary Chlentzos Alfieris, wife of KSOCA co-founder John Alfieris and all their descendants who attend the Panigyi each year!


Mark your calendars!

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

September 29, 2019

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546

Save the Date

Kytherian Society of California

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

September 29, 2019

10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

12:00 p.m. - Luncheon

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546

Eternal Be Her Memory...

Theodora DracosCarvounnis

IMG 7908 - Version 2

July 27, 1924 - Jan 2, 2019

The KSOCA mourns the loss of long-time member Teddi Carvounnis. Teddi was a fixture at the KSOCA luncheons for decades, attending with her devoted husband of blessed memory, John Carvounnis. Teddi was awarded the Honorary Kytherian award in 2007 for her continual support of the society alongside John who will be remembered for running the annual raffle. Teddi will be missed by all.

May her memory be eternal.


Theadora (Teddi) Dracos Carvounnis was born in Hayward, California on July 27th, 1924 and fell asleep in Christ on January 2nd 2019. Loving wife and mother, she was predeceased by her husband John, and son Steve. Teddi resided in the Castro Valley home she and her husband created for decades and she developed an enormous family and friend network spanning the entire bay area. Both Teddi and John were members of the Oakland Greek Orthodox Church and the Castro Valley Greek Church, and both were active members of the Kytherian Society. Teddi was loved and cherished by numerous friends and family, but especially held dear by her cousins Kosta and Jordan, and her 8 godchildren; Helaine, Peter, Elena, Janet, Cynthia, Elaine, Greg and Jordan. Funeral services will be held at the Castro Valley Greek Church of the Resurrection, on Thursday 1/10/19 at 11:00am and the Trisagion will be held on Wednesday evening, 7pm at Santos-Robinson mortuary in San Leandro.

DSCN0026 - Version 3

Eternal Be Her Memory...

Francis Helen Alfier

1 Fran

October 24, 1925 - November 10, 2018

The KSOCA mourns the loss of Fran Alfier. Fran passed away in Spokane, WA at the age of 93. She attended our luncheons for many years with her son Harry Alfier and grandaughter Alex,  and daughter Mary Francis Lind. Fran’s inlaws, Mary and John Alfieris, we co-founders of the KSOCA.

Frances was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to parents William Francis Kelly and Edith Wheable. She was raised in Richmond, California and attended Emeryville High School where she met her future husband, Milton Alfier. Frances worked at See's Candy for 40 years and was the cook at the Lake Don Pedro Golf and Country Club in the 1980's. Frances was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Milton, her brother, William Kelly, and her sister, June Kelly. Frances is survived by her three children, Mary Lind, Sherry Allen, and Harry Alfier, as well as her seven grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She was most proud of her big Greek family and found peace in her Greek Orthodox faith. 

May her memory be eternal.

3 FranMilt - 1

Milton and Fran Alfier

2017-10 Connie's Bday - 1

Children Sherry and Harry, granddaughter Alex, and 
daughter Mary with husband Rich and Fran.

2009XmasPty 2

2018 Panigyri Highlights

Panigyri 2018 Review

Kytherian Society of California

Panigyri of the Myrtidiotissa

August 26, 2018

10:00 a.m. -  Church Services & Artoklasia

12:00 p.m. - Luncheon

Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church

20104 Center Street, Castro Valley, CA 94546

The beautiful Artos was prepared by Fawaz Khanachet.

Many thanks to Fawaz for preparing this wonderful bread each year.

This year for the first time ever, 

board member Cynthia Cavalenes-Jarvis 

live-stremed our luncheon on 


Just CLICK the blue FACEBOOK LIVE links 

to see different portions of the program.

If you are NOT on FACEBOOK, you can still tune-in by 

clicking   the “not now” arrow on the screen that pops us.

FACEBOOK LIVE -  Social Hour

Dance Performance

Following church services & Artoklasia, our Panigyri began with a wonderful performance by the Resurrection Greek Dance group, Nea Arxi, who were the FDF First Place winners in the Advanced Junior   category. Among those dancing were two of our very own young Kytherians, Alex and Mary Holton, grandchildren of Connie and Fawaz Khanachet.

FACEBOOK LIVE - Dance Performance

Welcome and Opening Prayer

After the dance performance all stood for the opening prayer,  and a moment of silence in honor of those who have passed, followed by a wonderful lunch prepared by Chef Yanni Varelas.





After lunch Vikki Vrettos Fraioli began the program with an introduction of Officers, Board Members and our new Sunshine Chairperson, Joanne Kavalaris.


We memorialized two long-standing members who passed away this year: Penelope Conomos, who passed away just two weeks shy of her 108th birthday, and John Sofios.

Chrys Conomos came to the podium and shared memories of Penelope’s wonderful life.

Eternal be their memory….

Visitors to Kythera 2018

Vikki shared photos of several of our members whose families went to Kythera this summer. 


Richard and Mary Lind and Family


 Julie and Gavin Reid and Family
(Daughter of Connie and Fawaz Khanachet)


Athan and Christine Zes and Family
(Son of Tikey and Teddi Zes)


Julia Moore
(Granddaughter of Dr. Pan Coukoulis 
and last years scholarship recipient)

Monument Unveiling

On July 8, 2018, at the Alexandros Aristotelos Onassis Airport in Kythera, they had the unveiling of the Alexandros Aristotelos Onassis statue and monument commissioned by George Hatziplis in memory of his late wife Helen, who passed away in 2009.

Kytherian Genealogy

 Vikki discussed the progress that has been made by the  Kytherian Genealogy Club in translating Kytherian records and creating a huge family tree for the Potamos District. She shared several family trees, revealing photos and information those families have submitted. Amalia adds these photos and information to genealogical history discovered in birth, baptism, marriage, and death  certificates. 

In many cases, the report will go back at least one generation prior to the family that was submitted. Often people are surprised to discover additional people on their tree that they were unaware of, including photos of those people submitted by other Kytherians. 

Vikki shared several examples of family trees illustrating how many of the California Kytherians are related.  

Cominos Family Tree

Several descendants of the Nicholas Cominos (Vlastaras) family were in attendance including  his great great granddaughter Anya.

Many thanks to Marie Cominos and family for submitting photos.

Megaloconomos (Conomos) Family Tree

Several descendants of Theodoros Megaloconomos were in attendance including his great great great granddaughter Angelica!

Many thanks to Chrys Conomos and Alexa Conomos Anderson for submitting photos.

This tree revealed that the Alfieris’ are 7th cousins with the Conomos’! 

A few more examples were shown  to illustrate how important and rewarding it is to get involved in this project. If you haven’t done so already, please dig through those old boxes and send your photos to:

Kytherian Youth Tour

A committee will be formed to work on plans to initiate a Kytherian Youth Tour. KSOCA board member, Richard Lind, shared ideas that were discussed with Sydney Kytherians, George Poulos and James Prineas, while he was in Kythera this summer. Below is one example that was put forth by the Kytherians in Sydney. Members will be updated on the progress of this plan.

Medical Supplies to Kythera Project

Excellent progress has been made on this project that will send $650,000 worth of medical supplies to Kythera. The IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) gathers the supplies, the KSOCA pays AHEPA National for the cost to ship the container (approximately $20,000.00), and the container is shipped to Kythera. The KSOCA has received over $15,500.00 in pledges and donations at this time so $4,500.00 is still needed. The KSOCA will set up a GoFundMe campaign to collect the remainder of the funds. A representative from the IOCC is working directly with the hospital representative in Kythera.


The Kytherian Society of California has provided scholarships for students in the amount of $11,500 since 2004! At this year’s lumcheon we awarded two additional scholarships making it a grand total or $14,500 in scholarship awards!

This year members contributed an additional $452.00 to the Anastasia Conomos Condas Scholarship Fund.

Many many thanks to all who continually donate to this important fund every year.

Please encourage your qualifying students to apply for our scholarship by July 1 of each year.

Recording Secretary and Scholarship Chairman, Melissa Neofes-Mischak, presented certificates to this years scholarship winners: Rachel Larsen and Marek Pearse. Melissa shared just a small portion of their essays to the group before each one was invited to come forth to receive their scholarships. Congratulations to Rachel and Marek!

You can read their essays by clicking the links below:

Rachel Angelus Larsen

Marek Pearse

Honarary Kytherian Award

Vice-president, Elaine Moulos, presented the Honorary Kytherian Award to Andrew Sam Mousalimas. Andy has always been a supporter of the KSOCA and has many close family ties with his Kytherian Cominos cousins. 
Andy shared some of his experiences with Co C 2671 Special Reconnaissance Battalion  Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Greek US Operational Group, World War II, the predecessor of the CIA.

In March, a group of World War II veterans, including Andy, were awarded  the Congressional Gold Medal for their efforts in the OSS. The medal is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress. Many thanks to Andy for his service to our county!

Mousalimas now 90 something years old has written his memoirs of his WWII service. The fascinating book offers insights into the top secret missions in Greece and elsewhere in Europe that helped defeat the Nazis.

The book, entitled Memoirs, offers a unique look into the day to day experience of these extraordinary young men who served in the Greek U.S. Operational Group (USOG) created by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) the precursor of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). The opening is powerful with Mousalimas and his childhood friends in the choir at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Oakland, CA when they heard rumors that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor on that Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, one day after Mousalimas’ 17th birthday. Most of the community’s young men, ages 14 and older, who were in church that day, Mousalimas noted, either volunteered or were drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces.

The National Herald, September 10, 2018

Watch Andy’s Presentation on YouTube by clicking below

FACEBOOK LIVE - Andy Mousalimas

John Carvounnis Memorial Raffle

Our Panigyri concluded with our famous John Carvounnis Memorial Raffle. Many thanks to all those who donated prizes. 

See you all again next year!



Su   © KSOCA 2012