Saturday, April 27, 2013

Steve Galatti

Stephen Paul Galatti, born in New Jersey, came from a venerable family of Greek nobles, originally from the island of Chios--- of tragic fate under Turkish rule.  His great grandfather had been one of the hostages hung in the public square during the uprising of 1823.  His father was a cotton trader and, following tradition, sent his sons to the best schools of his host country.  Steve and his brother both went to St. Mark's and then Harvard where Steve was a football star.  The elder Galatis (Greek spelling) moved back to Europe in 1914 where Steve's father died in July, just before the outbreak of war.  At the prompting of some of his college classmates, Steve joined the newly formed American Ambulance Field Service as part of SSU3, the "Section de l'Alsace Reconquise", mostly composed of Harvard students.  By the end of the year, he was called back to AFS HQ in Neuilly to become A. Piatt Andrew's righthand man.  Thereafter, he would always be at the heart of AFS operations, the natural leader after Andrew's death in 1936.  In 1939, he revived the Field Service for work first in France, then in the Middle East and North Africa, now part of the British Army.  After the war, he continued to pilot the Field Service as it pioneered a new form of international service:  student exchanges.   Under his direction, this proved to be a great success.  He died in the summer of 1964,


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