Greek Newspaper Article - 1951

John and Maria Chlentzos Alfieris made their first trip back to Kythera in 1951, after having immigrated to America in 1906. They took a train from California to New York, then embarked on a ship headed for Pireaus, Greece.

        While in New York, they stopped at the SHIP-AHOY where they delighted in the hospitality of their compatriot, Mixalis Semitekolos. A news article was printed in a Greek Newspaper, possibly the San Francisco Greek-American Newspaper -The Promithiean. It appears the article was written by John Alfieris, but one can not be certain.

Below is a copy of the article in Greek, followed by a translation from 

Greek to English by Peter Panaretos, then edited by Katherine Stathis.

Seated from left to right: Ioannis Alfieris with his honorable wife 
Maria Chlentzos, 

Mr. Theodore Ath. Firos, and Mr. Panagiotis Koroneos “Lerios”

standing is Mr. Semitekolos


GREETINGS FROM THE RETURNING IMMIGRANTS


    Years ago we left our homeland in search for a better life in a foreign country, America.  But the desire to return to our poor island dominated our souls. We wanted to revive the carefree life of our childhood under Kythera’s emerald blue skies. 

    As years went by, our desire to return to our homeland increased. As immigrants in America, we kept our homeland in our hearts. We prospered in America. We benefited from its opportunities and civilization. We now love it as our own country.  We are proud of our American citizenship just as we are of being born Greek. 

        We thank God for enabling us to fulfill our desire, for realizing our goal after so many years of keeping it strong in our hearts. Today we are happy in our homeland.  Our love of Greece is equaled by our love of America. 

        With full hearts we send greetings to all our fellow Greek Americans, but especially to those in California where we have spent most of our immigrant years. 

    We send heartfelt, special greetings to our compatriot in New York, Mr. Mixalis Semitekolos.  As we passed through New York, we met him at his famous restaurant, SHIP-A-Hoy, where Greece and America merge. He extended unbelievable hospitality to us.  We thank him for everything and hope to see him in Greece very soon.

Athens, July 1951


EMMANUEL KARAVOUSANOS from New York, 
recalls Mr. Semitekolos.........  

    Emmanuel remembers Mixalis as an extraordinary man.  Mixalis came to the United States as a youngster.  He worked hard as all immigrants do, eventually starting a small eating establishment.  After a period of time, he opened Mike's Ship-Ahoy, small in the beginning, but which grew in size as he acquired adjacent space.  It became a well-known landmark taking up half a square city block on 66th Street and Broadway in New York City.  Mixalis employed a number of Kytherians as waiters, including Emmanual’s father.

    As president of the Kytherian Association of New York, Mixalis held meetings at his Mike's Ship-Ahoy restaurant. Members and friends would congregate there for various social events including the Vasilopita and for the Mirtidiotissa celebration.  

    Mixalis was also a remarkable philanthropist. He traveled around the United States collecting money and pledges to build a hospital on Kythera.

        In 1952, or very early '53, Mike asked Emmanuel to be his driver on a trip that would last two weeks.  Together, with Mixalis’s wife and two friends of theirs, they drove from New York to the area around Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.  From there they traveled to Detroit, Michigan, then to St. Louis, Missouri.  They returned east and drove to Huntington, West Virginia and from there to Baltimore, Maryland.  From Baltimore they returned home to New York. On another occasion, Mixalis came out west to California to collect pledges as well.  The money that was collected these “road trips” made the hospital in Potamos a reality.

     In May of 1953, Mixalis’s entourage flew to Athens and from there took the only available ship, the “Mirtidiotissa”, to Kythera.  It would be 16 hours before they arrived on the island.  Once there, however, they were treated like royalty.  For several days they ventured to a number of villages where it had been prearranged to have a feast and welcoming.  As they drove up, all the villagers would be there waiting with flowers, smiles and lots of love for them as they approached. Picnic tables were adorned with food galore. Mixalis was, to the Kytherans, Megas Evergetis -- the great philanthropist. The official groundbreaking for the hospital in Potamos took place on May 21, 1953 (see photos at the bottom of this page) 

    All who had the opportunity to know Mixalis Semitekolos admired him as a daring, caring, loving human being. 

February 2008

Mike's "Ship-a-Hoy" Sea Food Grotto
Eileen Pollis Photo's
Peter Panaretos Photo's
James Gavriles & Tony Caravousanos Photo's
Evangeline Vrettos Photo's

   © KSOCA 2012