Oct. 19, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A portion of 30th Avenue was officially named for late Astoria activist Dennis Syntilas this weekend.
Syntilas, who passed away in January, was a civic volunteer and advocate for the Greek-American community.
Two of his major accomplishments included helping to found the Greek-American Homeowners Association and the park at Athens Square, which pays tribute to ancient Greece and includes cultural performance space.
The Syntilas family and community leaders gathered on Saturday to celebrate the co-naming of 30th Avenue between 30th Street and 29th Street – the stretch of road in front of Athens Square – to “Dennis Syntilas Way.”
Councilman Costa Constantinides had requested the street co-naming, which the City Council passed in July along with 50 others city-wide.
“[Syntilas] was a pioneer of the Greek-American community in Astoria and spent his life dedicated to civic engagement,” Constantinides said in a statement. “His leadership served as a role model to Astorians and I am proud that he can now serve permanently as a role model for our entire city through this co-naming.”
Members of Athens Square, Inc., the GAHA, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and State Sen. Michael Gianaris joined in Saturday’s ceremony.
“Dennis was the epitome of compassion, kindness, and humility. He embodied all the character traits of a fine human being,” Syntilas’ wife, Rita Syntilas, said in a statement. “He always said ‘you cannot correct society, but you can teach by setting a good example.’”
Reach reporter Jackie Strawbridge at [email protected]