Since immigrating to the United States in 1969 from Giannina Greece, Philip Nicolaides has spent a life of service to churches, societies, and the Federation. Throughout the past half-century, he has been a pillar, preserving and promoting Philadelphia’s Greek-American community.
Nicolaides faith has straddled two churches. He has been a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia and St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby, where he participated in church affairs. His dedication has been recognized by the churches. Nicolaides has been voted in as parish council president 14 times since the 1970s.
During his presidency at St. Demetrios, he guided the church during its transition in the early ’80s with the groundbreaking and construction of a new Greek school and gymnasium. Two years ago, he guided St. Demetrios’ 75th Anniversary as a church, with a historic book and film. And it was under his direction that the Philadelphia Greek Basketball League came to call St. Demetrios home. The weekly games were featured in various news sources and engaged participation by Greek American men from all over the Delaware Valley.
A lifetime member of the Epirotes Society of Philadelphia since his arrival, he has held the office of president and helped preserve the organization with special events and the annual dance known as the Tsipourovrathia. He has also played a leadership role with the Federation of Hellenic American Societies of Philadelphia and the Greater Delaware Valley by sitting on the board and representing both St. Demetrios and the Epirotes Society. Each year, he assists in hosting the post-Independence Day Parade ceremony at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby. This affair has secured St. Demetrios’ reputation as home to the Greek community.
Nicolaides continues to participate as a guiding light in the Greek American community. His efforts have secured the future of his church, community, and Hellenism and are an example of what we should all strive for.
Originally published on Cosmos Philly by Eleftherios Kostans. Video by Vasilis Keisoglou.