Halo and Sano Halo were awarded Honorary Greek Citizenship on June 11, 2009.
Thea and Sano were sworn in by Consul General Aghi Balta at the New York Consulate on June 11, 2009. In September, Thea and Sano traveled to Athens for a reception at the Hellenic Parliament with Dmitrios G. Sioufas, President of the Hellenic Parliament, and for a dinner reception with other important Hellenic Officials and members of both the Pan Pontian Federation of USA and Canada, and the executive committee of DISEPE. (See photos on the photo album page)
the 2002 AHEPA Homer Award
FOR vividly capturing the harrowing and haunting firsthand account of
Sano Themia Halo's survival of the Turkish death marches following
War I in the memoir 'Not Even My Name';
FOR creating awareness of and documenting a catastrophic event in our
FOR depicting a powerful tale of strength and triumph through personal
adversity and destruction;
FOR receiving critical acclaim of 'Not Even My Name' from reputable
media outlets and noted colleagues;
FOR excellence as a wrtier of poetry and prose, receiving numerous
FOR her ingenuity as a news correspondent and radio producer;
FOR her appreciation of the fine arts and accomplishments as a painter;
IT IS with grateful appreciation and recognition, therefore, that the
Order of AHEPA does herewith present to Thea Halo:
THE AHEPA HOMER AWARD
Represented by this scroll,
this 19th day of July 2002,
in the city of New York, New York
Andrew T. Banis
Letter from the Supreme President of AHEPA announcing awards
Dear Ms. Halo:
Congratulations! On behalf of the American Hellenic Educational
Progressive Association (AHEPA), the largest association of Americans
of Greek descent and Philhellenes, we are pleased to inform you that
you have been selected to receive the 2002 AHEPA Homer Award to be
given at the 80th AHEPA Grand Banquet on Friday, July 19, 2002, at the
Hilton-New York, New York City. Cocktails begin at 6 p.m. and dinner at
7 p.m. The Grand Banquet is the pinnacle of events that are all part of
the 2002 AHEPA Supreme Convention.
The Homer Award is one of the greatest accolades the Greek American
community can bestow upon an individual. It serves to recognize an
outstanding Hellene who has distinguished oneself as an author or
writer. Past recipients include Dr. Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew Mellon
Professor of Humanities, Wellesley College; and Author Nicholas Gage.
Ms. Halo, your accomplishments as a writer, and specifically through
your authorship of Not Even My Name, have been widely recognized by an
international community, including such well-respected publications as
The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report,
and Washington Post
Book World; and colleagues such as Nicholas Gage. For this, we
Of course, we realize that no recognition can go without paying special
tribute to the subject of Not Even My Name, your brave mother, Sano
Themia Halo, to who we will proudly present the AHEPA Medal of Freedom.
Ms. Halo, AHEPA has been proud to host you at the chapter and district
levels. We are, indeed, way past due in honoring you and your mother on
an international stage. Also, we are pleased to offer the opportunity
for a book reading and signing on Saturday, July 20, Noon, at the
Hilton for our conventioneers.
The 80th AHEPA Supreme Convention is a special one for our members. We
would be honored to have you as part of our celebration of 80 years of
service to the Hellenic-American and Hellenic-Canadian communities. We
anticipate a favorable reply.
Andrew T. Banis
Reprinted with the permission of the Supreme President Andrew T. Banis
GOVERNOR PATAKI'S HONORS SANO THEMIA HALO
WITH THE 2001 GOVERNOR'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN HONOR OF WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH.
Sano Themia Halo wins New York State Governor George E. Pataki's 2001
Award for Excellence in honor of Women's History Month, "Celebrating Women of Courage and
Vision" Sano at age 91 with Governor Pataki at award ceremony, March 8, 2001
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
GOVERNOR'S 2001 AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
STATE OF NEW YORK
GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR
SANO THEMIA HALO
The annual observance of Women's History Month during March provides an
opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of
outstanding New Yorkers. The recipients of the Governor's 2001 Award
for Excellence have earned this richly deserved tribute.
Your story of survival defines the true meaning of courage. At the
early age of 10, you demonstrated true strength of character when
forced to leave your home and village in the Pontic Mountains of Asia
Minor. Abandoned in poverty and given over to a family of strangers who
demanded hard labor and changed your name, you were robbed of your
Pontian Greek heritage.
After you were forced into marriage at the age of fifteen, you
immigrated to New York City and set out to overcome life's challenges
and achieve your dreams of a better life. Determined to succeed, you
taught yourself to read and write, earned your United States
citizenship and worked hard to support your family of eleven children.
Throughout this ordeal, you held on to the vision of relaying the story
of your people. Through the memoirs captured in your daughter Thea's
book, Not Even My Name, we all have a greater appreciation for Pontic
Greek heritage -- one that was nearly destroyed by the genocide of your
people during World War I. As the subject of documentaries and articles
that preserve the history of the ancient Pontic Greeks in Turkey, you
exemplify true heroism.
Approximately forty thousand Pontic Greek Americans in Astoria alone,
as well as thousands more throughout our State and Nation, have you to
thank for keeping the story of their rich heritage and tragic past
Your meaningful contributions to your people are truly unforgettable.