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Archons Fountas and Halecky become recipients of the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, together with the recipients of the 2012 Bouras Award Archon James C. Fountas, and his wife Jean, and Archon John Halecky, Jr., and his wife Sonia, alongside National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis and his wife, Dr. Maria. (Photos by J. Mindala)
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His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America together with His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey joined the Order of Saint Andrew in honoring James C. Fountas, National Treasurer and John Halecky, Jr., National Secretary on Friday, October 19, by bestowing upon them the "Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship." The Awards were presented during a special celebratory dinner dance held at the New York Hilton Hotel, which launched the Annual Archon Weekend.

Archons Fountas and Halecky have been involved in virtually all the major initiatives of the Archons for a quarter century. They have played significant roles as organizers in the groundbreaking International Archon Religious Freedom Conference held in November 2010 at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium and are assisting in preparations for the 2013 Conference slated to be held in Berlin. Their contributions of time, talent and treasure for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Order of Saint Andrew have earned them as worthy recipients of this prestigious Award.

The evening began with introductory remarks offered by Archon Andrew E. Manatos followed by a welcome by Archon George Safiol, Award Committee Chairman. A toast was offered by Archon Regional Commander Dr. Nicholas G. Loutsion who spoke of the recipients personal accomplishments and work on the National Council of the Order of Saint Andrew.

The remarks of Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras, who was unable to attend that evening, were delivered by the National Commander: "Dear Fellow Archons and Friends of our Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate, Once again, I have the honor to greet you on the occasion of this Award named in my honor, even though it is still my preference to be anonymous. Nevertheless, I am a loyal son of the Order of Saint Andrew and feel deeply privileged to have been of some measure of service to our Ecumenical Patriarchate and our Archdiocese. Therefore, to recognize my brother Archons, James C. Fountas and John Halecky, Jr. who share this honor this evening is truly a joy for me. Their tireless and exemplary service and stewardship to our Mother Church are truly examples for all of us.

Archon James C. Fountas, National Treasurer, and his wife Jean, honored with the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship.

"I continue to pray that the Bouras Award, which is also the gift of my parents and my beloved wife Anna of blessed memory, will serve to perpetuate the tradition of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in the name of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, both here in America and around the world. Let us together keep the light of the Phanar burning brightly for the generations to come. Thank you and may God bless us all."

In recognition of the recipients, National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis said, "Just as Archon Nicholas through his extraordinary Archon Stewardship has empowered the Order to execute its worldwide religious freedom initiatives, it has been the work of Archons Jim and John who have executed the strategy, transformed the strategy from thought to deed and have done so with dignity, professionalism and great devotion to the Mother Church."

Dr. Limberakis was then joined by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey who then presented the Award to each of the recipients, who were accompanied by their wives Jean Fountas and Sonia Halecky.

Archon Fountas graciously accepted the Award, saying, "Thirty-six years ago, I met Nicholas J. Bouras and we have been serving together on the parish council of Holy Trinity in Westfield, NJ ever since. His devotion to the Patriarchate, the Archdiocese, the Metropolis of New Jersey and his generosity to many parishes is legendary, and makes all of us aware of what our role as human beings is and what we owe to each other and to future generations."

In expressing his involvement in the International Archon Religious Freedom Conference and visits to member nations of the European Parliament, Archon Fountas concluded, "I am convinced the Patriarchate should never leave from its home and we should never separate ourselves from the Patriarchate. It is not a matter of writing a strong letter, or making a formal call, it necessitates well-founded, persuasive and dynamic presentations. It is important to repeat the Conferences and meetings over and over again, with the same vibrant determination, until they come to the desirable conclusion. I thank my fellow Archons for this great honor, and to my wife Jean my everlasting appreciation for her understanding, unselfishness and support in allowing me to play a part in the history of the Order of Saint Andrew."

Archon John Halecky, Jr., National Secretary, and his wife Sonia, honored with the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship.

Upon receiving the Award, Archon Halecky responded: "In 1987 I was invited to join the National Council of the Order and was elected National Secretary in 1998. I consider these eleven years as my basic training in preparation for the administration of our National Commander, Dr. Anthony Limberakis. The new commander redefined the individual mission of an Archon, from the popular theory, that the offikion was a reward for past service to the Church to the idea of a new beginning of service and commitment to the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople." He concluded saying, "As an Archon it has been a blessing to befriend a truly unique human being a Roll Model for every Archon and all Orthodox Christians, Nicholas J. Bouras who attends every meeting of our National Council as well as special briefings from individual Council Members. It is a distinct privilege to be associated with our spiritual father, Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual advisor Fr. Alex and a group of laymen whose commitment to our Faith and the Mother Church is remarkable."

The Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary and incomparable stewardship to the Order, enabling Archons to vigorously pursue securing religious freedom for the Mother Church of Constantinople. The Award is named after Nicholas J. Bouras, current National Vice Commander, who himself has demonstrated remarkable leadership as a faithful son of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Archon George D. Behrakis was the recipient of the inaugural Bouras Award in 2011.

ARCHON JAMES C. FOUNTAS

James C. Fountas of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, NJ, was invested as an Archon in 1981 and conferred with the offikion, Depoutatos. He has served on the National Council and as Treasurer of the Order for the last 15 years.

Serving the Church locally and nationally, he has been a member of the Parish Council since 1977 and served two terms as Parish President and eighteen years as Parish Secretary and Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer. He served on the Parish Council of Holy Trinity/St. Nicholas on Staten Island for six years. He also became President of the Staten Island chapter of AHEPA in 1957 and 1958.

Archon Fountas was awarded the Archdiocesan Medal of Saint Paul in 1980. He co-chairs the annual Holy Trinity Golf Classic since its inception, which will celebrate it's 30th anniversary this year, in which proceeds are donated to local charities and philanthropic institutions. He has served as Vice-Chairman of the Council of the Metropolis of New Jersey for the past eight years and as a member of the Archdiocesan Council since 2000. He was also appointed a member of the New Jersey Hellenic American Heritage Commission by the Governor of New Jersey in 2009.

Archon Fountas is a graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is retired from the United States Gypsum Company in 1998 after serving 45 years as an executive, managing manufacturing facilities on the East Coast after service at the Corporate offices in Chicago and Division offices in New York.

He was activated for military service during his employment and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army with service in Korea.

He and his wife Jean will be celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary in November and have a son, Christopher.

ARCHON JOHN HALECKY, JR.

John Halecky, Jr. of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church (Carpatho-Russian Diocese) in Elizabeth, NJ was invested as an Archon in 1982 and conferred with the offikion, Ekdikos. He has also served on the National Council of the Order for the last 15 years and as National Secretary since 1998. He was chosen by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as a member of the official delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the reception of the relics of Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom from the Vatican during the Thronal Feast of Saint Andrew in 2004.

For 25 years, he served as a member of the Diocesan Board of Trustees and Financial Secretary of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and as a Trustee of Christ the Savior Seminary, in Johnstown, PA. He has served as a Trustee and President of his Parish Council, and previously as Parish Council President and Choir Director of Saint Mary's Orthodox Church in Bayonne, NJ. Archon Halecky was on the Advisory Committee of the Monastery of the Annunciation in Tuxedo Park, NY and is a recipient of the “Bohorodica” (Theotokos) Award for outstanding service to the Carpatho-Russian Diocese by laymen. He is also an active member of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in North Wildwood, NJ.

During his business career, Archon Halecky's focus has been in finance having served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Comstock Group, an industrial services company; President of Elkcom Leasing; Chief Operating Officer of Fischbach Corporation and Principal of Peninsula Associates, a management-consulting firm. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and a veteran of the United States Army.

Archon Halecky and his wife, Sonia, have been married for 53 years and reside in Avalon and Summit, NJ. They are parents of John Halecky, III and Nadine, wife of Silvio Quaglia, M.D., and have four grandchildren: Justin, Amanda, Jennifer and Cassandra.


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