Northwest & Pacific Notes – June 2018

NORTHWEST FESTIVAL:  Seattle’s Church of the Assumption is holding its annual “Bite of Greece” fest June 1, 2, and 3. The taverna-style event will feature the always-enjoyed cheese and spinach pitas, gyros, souvlakia, and Greek desserts. Folk dancers will perform, and the marketplace will offer an array of items from St. John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, WA as well as other food and gift items for sale. For more information, contact

ANNUAL FUNDRAISER:  “Come Sail Away at the 14th Annual Auction and Gala on June 9 at St. Demetrios Church in Seattle. Enjoy a lavish dinner, an abundance of silent auction items as well as a live auctioneer with special items. Music and dancing will complete the evening. Contact chairperson Margo Christophilis at for further details.

PANTAGES: The Tacoma (WA) Historical Society Press has issued a book posthumously by Griselda “Babe” Lehrer entitled, In Search of Alexander Pantages: Head of the Vaudeville Circuit. Taso Lagos’ book, American Zeus was highlighted in April’s “Northwest and Pacific Notes” column. Felix Banel in his review of the Lehrer book in Columbia magazine, states, “Alexander Pantages is well-remembered as a vaudeville impresario who built theatres all over the Northwest, including in Spokane, Tacoma, and Seattle as well as in Oregon, California, and Canada.”

Standing before the newly unveiled bust of Ioannis Phokas (Juan de Fuca) at the Museum of Vancouver, B.C. are Costas Vangelatos, Secretary General of the World Federation of Cephalonian & Ithacian Societies “Odysseus;” Peter Fragiskatos, Canadian Member of Parliament; Prof. Andre Gerolymatos, Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University; and sculptor Ioannis Bardis. Photos by World Federation of Cephalonian & Ithacian Societies “Odysseus”

EXPLORER HONORED:  A bronze bust of 16th Century Cephalonian seafarer Ioannis Phokas, known as Juan de Fuca, who sailed in the service of Spain, is now on permanent display in the Museum of Vancouver, B.C. Crafted by well-known Greek sculptor Ioannis Bardis, the statue was unveiled on April 24, 2018. In 1592 Juan de Fuca discovered the strait which bears his name. The waterway serves as the boundary between the United States and Canada, with Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the North and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state to the South. The explorer is revered by both the Greek-American and Greek-Canadian communities, as well as the general public. In Seattle, the AHEPA chapter is called Juan de Fuca, and on both sides of the strait there are parks, buildings, geologic features, fairs and festivals with his name. According to the National Herald, the museum ceremony was organized by the World Federation of Cephalonian & Ithacan Societies “Odysseus”, the Ionian Cultural Federation of America, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Dignitaries from each organization, the Consul General of Greece in Vancouver, a Greek-Canadian Member of Parliament, and others participated. Much credit for extensive research over more than 25 years confirming Phokas’ voyages and findings was given to author Eurydice Livada Duca who presented the keynote address.

YOGURT EXPANSION:  Ellenos, a popular Greek yogurt in the Pacific Northwest, has received an infusion of $18 million from Monogram Capital Partners, a Los Angeles private equity investor, thus allowing the yogurt company to undertake a much-desired expansion. According to an article in the Seattle Times, Ellenos, with its 125 employees, currently produces 10,000 pounds of yogurt a day in its factory in the Georgetown area of Seattle. A new plant in suburban Federal Way will provide capacity to make close to 100,000 pounds per day. Ellenos founder Constantinos Apostolopoulos, who brought his family recipe with him from Australia, said the expansion will allow the company initially to better serve its customers in 300 Northwest grocery stores, but then he hopes to “take it across the country.”


Email the author: Theodora Argue

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