|National Council members present Archon Konstantine L. Vellios with an award recognizing his long-standing service to the Order of Saint Andrew. (Photo by J. Mindala)|
The National Council of the Order of Saint Andrew honored one of its most dedicated members, Mr. Konstantine L. Vellios, Archon Depoutatos, who retired from the National Council. Vellios was one of the founding fathers of the Athenagoras Human Rights Award and one of the first members of the newly-organized National Council since the Order's inception on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966.
Members of the National Council presented Vellios with a plaque at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on December 12, 2008. The plaque acknowledged his efforts and accomplishments in promoting religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stating:
"The National Council, Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in grateful acknowledgment of your exemplary National Council service. God grant you many years, good health, abundant blessings, and continued commitment to our Orthodox Faith through the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and its Apostolates. Archon Depoutatos, Konstantine L. Vellios. New York City"
National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, MD thanked Vellios for his tireless hours of dedication, saying, "The Order of Saint Andrew is grateful for Konstantine's commitment and love for the Orthodox Christian Faith and his desire to uphold religious freedom rights for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Each year, Konstantine donates all the floral arrangements for the Archon Grand Banquet and supports the Archons endeavors. We will miss his presence on the National Council, but wish him well on his retirement." Other members of the Order also expressed their personal reflections of working with Vellios and extended best wishes.
Vellios, who was accompanied by his son, and two grandchildren, offered his appreciation, saying, "It has been a privilege for me to serve the Mother Church as a National Council member. I wanted to bring my grandsons with me to see first-hand the great work accomplished by the Order for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with hope that they too may be worthy of the Archon offikion someday."