Saloniki-Greek Press -- September 28, 1933Greek-American Progressive Association
The letters G. A. P. A. represent the name of the Greek-American Progressive Association. It was founded December 17, 1923. The general purpose of the organization is known to all, but some parts of its program are vague and should be enlarged upon.
The G. A. P. A. endeavors to promote understanding between Greeks and Americans, and among the Greeks themselves. It strives to preserve the Greek language, and Greek religious and social practices, or customs, from obliteration.....For this purpose it maintains a youth auxiliary, the aim of which is to prepare Greek youth to maintain its Greek heritage in America. There is such a strong tendency on the part of our youth to become assimilated with the American youth that the value of the G. A. P. A. can easily be seen.
What is the difference between the G. A. P. A. and the A. H. E. P. A.? There 2are two basic differences; the matter of language and that of religious emphasis. The A. H. E. P. A. uses the English language in its rituals and speeches, and does not require its members to belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. The G. A. P. A. places special emphasis upon the use of the Greek language, and only orthodox applicants are accepted into the organization. The A. H. E. P. A. accepts Americans as active members, while the G. A. P. A. makes them honorary members, merely. It is possible that in the future the A. H. E. P. A. may have more American than Greek members; while the G. A. P. A. will forever be made up of Greeks only. However, it seeks to cultivate the friendship and respect of all the American people, not only because it is to the interest of its members to do so, but because it is their duty as American citizens.
At present the G. A. P. A. has a membership of over twenty-five thousand men, women, and young people; and the membership is steadily increasing. It forms branches at any place in the world where there are large numbers of Greek people, but makes America its headquarters. It is very necessary for the Greek 3people to keep in close contact with one another if they wish to preserve their language and customs.
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