OUR LETTERS (ΥΠ)
In 1922, the Order of AHEPA was founded in Atlanta, GA. The South in those days, as most of us know, was not a society of equals. Along with African-Americans, ethnic/religious groups such as Catholics, Jews and Greeks were increasingly becoming the targets of the Ku Klux Klan. After the hanging of a young Greek-American by the Klan, a group of Greek-American men in Atlanta formed the Order of AHEPA. Consequently, AHEPA’s original cause was to fight racism and to assist Greeks from Greece to immigrate, and assimilate into the North American mainstream. The AHEPA membership was made up of adult Greek males. In the years that followed, eleven young Greek males, with a spirit that equaled that of their ancestors, conceived the idea of, and organized the Sons of Pericles. The purpose was to compliment the AHEPA and serve as a vehicle to keep the young Greeks, living in North America, together so they would never lose touch with the Greek culture.
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.
The two Greek letters, Ypsilon and Pi are the letters that represent the initials of the Fraternity. They stand for two Ancient Greek words: “Υιες” and “Περικλέους.”
“Υιες” comes from the Ancient Greek word “ο Υιος” which means “son.”Υιες is the plural “sons,” with the article οι it means “The Sons.” “Περικλέους” comes from the Ancient Greek word “ο Περικλης,” which is the name Pericles. “Περικλέους” is a form of the noun that denotes possession, along with the article "του ," which translates to “of”.
So, the Name of the Fraternity, οι Υιες του Περικλέους translates directly from the Ancient Greek into the English phrase “The Sons of Pericles.”