Marmarinon Benevolent Society of Afthoni
Founded August 15, 1909 Los Angeles, California
"The oldest Greek Organization of Los Angeles."
Beginning at the turn-of-the-century, several compatriots from the town of Afthoni on the island of Marmara came to Los Angeles. These compatriots began formal monthly meetings in 1908. At a meeting on August 15th, 1909, the former residents of the island of Marmara decided to organize the "Marmarinon Benevolent Society of Afthoni." Its original membership included 282 heads of households in the greater Los Angeles area, with some 80 members in other parts of the west (notably Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, with separate organizations growing out of each of these areas).
From our by-laws. "Membership is open to all those born on the island of Marmara, their families and descendants, and those willing to perpetuate the Afthoni society and its goals. Dues are used solely for charitable purposes and to operate the club on an annual basis (original dues were set at $1.00 per month for men and $.50 for women. (The amount of the dues was lowered "temporarily" during the great depression)."
"The purpose of the fraternity is:
In order to perpetuate its well being, the benevolent association, from time to time, will organize family gatherings of all its members, sponsor lectures by able speakers so to keep alert the interest of its member, and continue to foster their love for their heritage, homeland, and country.
If the membership of the fraternity becomes less than ten, all of its monies, archives and other belongings shall be forwarded to the patriarch of Constantinople."