The Daughters of Penelope was founded on November 16, 1929, in San Francisco, California, through the efforts of Dr. Emanuel Apostolides and Mrs. Alexandra Apostol ides Sonenfeld. The first chapter, Eos Chapter I, consisted of 25 charter members. Since 1931, over 350 chapters have been established across the United States, Canada and Greece.
The Daughters of Penelope is the woman’s auxiliary of the Order of A HEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Within Canada, the objectives of the Daughters of Penelope are to promote the social, ethical, and intellectual interests of its members; to perpetuate the study of Canadian ideals and encourage Hellenic study; to cultivate citizenship and patriotism towards the countries in which chapters exist; and to promote the dissemination of Hellenic culture and ideals while preserving the ideals and traditions of Hellenism as a contribution to the development of Canada.
The first Canadian chapter of the Daughters of Penelope was formed on May I, 1938 in Saskatoon. The Saskatoon Chapter took “Telemachus” as its name in honour of the mythological son of Odysseus and Penelope. By establishing this chapter in Saskatoon, the Daughters of Penelope became an international organization. With 17 members, it continued to be the only chapter in Canada until 1944 when a chapter was chartered in Winnipeg. Subsequently, chapters were formed from coast to coast, from Halifax to Victoria. Today there are 17 chapters in Canada. Through the years, the members of the Canadian chapters have worked for many worthwhile projects. They have raised thousands of dollars in support of local, national and international projects of the Daughters of Penelope.
In Saskatoon, Telemachus Chapter 69 has been involved in numerous projects, including:
Fundraising for the local Greek Orthodox church and cultural-centre facilities
Canadian Red Cross
International food fairs
Multicultural events and consultations
The chapter in Saskatoon has also participated in international fundraising activities of the Daughters of Penelope, including research to find a cure for Cooley’s anemia, assisting with relief efforts for victims of natural disasters (ie. earthquakes) in Greece, and supporting facilities such as St. Basil’s Academy, the Papanicolaou Cancer Centre in Florida, and the Penelopian Shelter Home in Athens.
The Daughters of Penelope Telemachus Chapter 69 Fund will support, on a rotating basis, the three hospitals of Saskatoon, for their general purposes.
This historical overview was compiled by Lola Pontikes (Treasurer) and Cleo Girgulis (Secretary) of the Daughters of Penelope – Telemachus Chapter 69