THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF SAINT ANDREW GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH:
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN CLUB, 1926
(From The Greeks of Michiana by Milton Kouroubetis, 1987)
It was Tuesday, December 29, 1926. The snow was on the ground and the temperature was in the mid-twenties. That did not stop several groups of women from making their way to the Poledor residence at 211 West Marion Street. On this day, Father Mazokopakis (first priest assigned to St. Andrew) had arranged for Alexandria and Yiota Poledor to host this meeting for the purpose of discussing the formation of a women's organization.
Father Mazokopakis had been talking about the need to organize a group of women in the parish whose purpose would be the growth and welfare of the church. Today he was to reiterate his objective: "I would like to have you women become the right arm of Saint Andrew's parish and work for the common goal, just as the members of Ahepa are presently doing.
About then most of the women smiled as Mrs. Stasinos remarked, "And we thought we were here for coffee!" Father Mazokopakis smiled and replied, "I'll join you ladies for coffee and those delicious Greek pastries."
Following the break, Father lost no time and began to read what he had "scribbled," which was to become the first article of the constitution:
"On this day of December 29, 1926, an organization composed of the Greek ladies of the city of South Bend, Indiana, U.S.A., is formed under the name of Philanthropic and Progressive Organization, The Good Samaritan Club."
"The purpose of this organization will be to cultivate the spirit of mutual respect among the members; to ethically and materially support the holy mission of our church, community, and the institutions of our Archdiocese. It is to be the vigilant guardian of our ethnic religious customs, traditions, and belief."
"Eligibility for membership. All Greek-born women and/or those women who are married to Greek men may join the Good Samaritan Club by the payment of a $2.00 initiation fee. Dues are to be 50 cents per month. It is to be understood that the husband of a Good Samaritan member must be a dues-paying member of the Saint Andrew Church."
All those present were in agreement with his "scribbling," as well as with the proposal that officers of the Good Samaritans should consist of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer; all to be elected by secret ballot.
Of all the projects which the Samaritans have undertaken, the most memorable was their first, the presentation of various patrioti and comic Greek plays...
While the Greek stage of plays and Greek dances provided the early income of the Good Samaritans, it was the bake sale that proved most popular and financially successful after the Saint Andrew Church moved to the South Michigan address.
The Greek bake sale was introduced by Father Velis and Presbytera Frances in 1958. Father Assimakisdis and Presbytera Tassia were to introduce Greek pastries and other delicacies in 1959...
The services and programs sponsored by the Good Samaritans have changed considerably over the years. One thing has never changed: their total devotion and commitment to the parish of Saint Andrew. In fact, the Good Samaritans contributed $100.000 toward the building program of the new Saint Andrew Complex on Ironwood Drive. The social hall was named "The Good Samaritan Cultural Center" in recognition of over fifty years of service to Saint Andrew.
(To be continued)