Over the weekend, The Hellenic Centre celebrated its 20th Anniversary in class and style with an excellent programme of events promoting its cultural and educational presence in the British capital. The events reflected on the spirit and mission of this unique centre of Hellenism.
From its foundation in 1994 to the present, the Centre has succeeded in showcasing the best in contemporary Greek endeavour, while maintaining and enhancing international interest in the rich historical and cultural heritage of Greece and Cyprus. It has also become a place where people from all nationalities from the community can meet and participate in its social events.
This weekend events amongst others included music, dance, films and exhibition of photography, paintings, pottery and jewellery from world acclaimed artists, actors and designers. A guided tour of the Greek and Cypriot antiques at the British Museum was more than well received and attended by many friends of the Hellenic mind!
As mentioned above with respect the tour at the British Museum, the wealth of Greece was presented to the thirty “faithful” visitors, under the well-known Naukratis project of the Ancient Greeks in Egypt!
All in all was a great weekend supporting Sophie Kydoniefs’ efforts as well as the Centre’s groups and teams for a great anniversary and beyond!
We will begin our tour with photography; the “Photographic Memories of Modern Greece” by Costas Balafas in black and white at the Friends Room at the Centre’s ground floor, brought over from the photographic archives of the Benaki Museum in Athens was more than humanistic and real from this post-war supremo who begun 60 years ago a trip around Greece depicting the pulse of the Greek Nation and as you can see from our shots, “honouring” the sea-wise dimension of Greece!
Daphne Krinos, Marina Kulukundis and Christina Soubli were exhibiting also in the Friends Room their jewellery with each of them having an exceptional uniqueness and meaning. Krinos’ works spreads world-wide and one can find her designs in the Collections of the V&A, the Goldsmiths’ Company and the Craft Council; some of Kulukundis’ innovative designs in precious and semi precious stones, brings back the boldly colours of Byzantium and Soublis’ exclusively hand-made creations combined with fine 22 carat gold a resurrection of the human body to which she refers to.
At the inner part of the Friends Room, Sotis Philippides was exhibiting special pottery which one can view and purchase at Harrods, Bergdorf Godman and Jasper Conran; excellent! Opposite, Liana Pattihis exhibited her designs evolving the creative potential of enamel. Her jewellery brought us back 70 – 80 years, back in the Belle Epoque…
The Bar too, opposite the Friends Room, was simply but meticulously decorated with frames which included the Hellenic Centre’s past Diary of Events brochures/programmes and …what else, a ship’s toy model! Nice traditional plates from the Centre’s chef and drinks available at symbolic prices.
Downstairs at the basement, were the Great Hall, we witnessed an excellent exhibition of paintings by Katerina Daniolou Soroula, Rania Kapeliari, Georgia Kokkini, Niki Markianou and Niki Michailidou. The sea-factor dominating the works, an apotheosis of our coastal life and maritime supremacy; a more than a unique exhibition!
Over the weekend the films Little England (Mikra Agglia) directed by Pantelis Voulgaris and Papadopoulo and Sons by Marcus Markou attracted a great number of spectators. The first film was based on the book of Ioanna Karystianni “The Jasmin Isle”, Andros at its best, love being squized and the second one a classic greek comedy with all the ingredients that make greek life eternal with hope in succeeding against all odds!
Did I hear you say Music? Well an apotheosis once again of Manos Hadjidakis at the Great Hall with Soprano Ismini Giannakakis, mezzo-sopranos Marie Verhoeven and Sophie Llewellyn Smith and Olga Kononova on the piano. Ecstatic!
Missed Katerina Polemi’s quartet and its theatrical jazz performance but as we were told she did more than well; we had the honour to attend an event in Greece on 24 May 2012 at the Yacht Club of Greece, where she won the admiration of over 300 guests!
Traditional Greek Dancing was performed by the world acclaimed Lycee of Greek Ladies in London which included dances from various regions in Greece with performers dressed in authentic regional costumes from all over Greece and its islands.
The Hellenic Centre is the focal point of Hellenic Diaspora in the United Kingdom and beyond, a place of reference too, a place where major events encompassing the entire business world, and in particular shipping, trade, finance and energy, take place and we are more than pleased to be a part of it!
We look forward to the next major anniversary of the Hellenic Centre and we take the opportunity to congratulate Mrs. Agatha Kalisperas, the centre’s director and her team of dedicated ladies, for their professionalism in furthering Hellenism abroad and look forward seeing our viewers in the United Kingdom as well as those abroad, to grasp the chance and organise, beneficial for all business and other events in the Centre’s excellent conference and functions’ environment !
Viewers can see/read herebelow the Corporate as well as the Member Societies of the Hellenic Centre:
A Bilbrough & Co Ltd – www.a-bilbrough.com
Anthea Investments Ltd – www.anthealettings.com
Bank of Cyprus UK – www.bankofcyprus.co.uk
Bonhams – The Greek Department – www.bonhams.com
Bright Grahame Murray – www.bgm.co.uk
Chandris (UK) Ltd
Chios Navigation Co Ltd
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP – www.crowehorwath.net/uk
CSAM UK Ltd – c-sam.co.uk
Curzon Maritime Ltd
Cyprus Tourism Organisation – www.visitcyprus.com/wps/portal
Eagle Ocean Ltd – www.eagleocean.com
EFG Private Bank Ltd – www.efgl.com
Embiricos Shipbrokers – www.maritimelondon.com/embiricos.htm
Faros Maritime Ltd
Fastbeck Ltd T/A Halepi Restaurant – info
Grays of Westminster – www.graysofwestminster.co.uk
Greek Nannies – www.greeeknannies.co.uk
ICS Education/SKOLA – www.skola.co.uk
It’s All Greek – www.itsallgreek.co.uk
Latsco (London) Limited – www.latsco.com
London Scribes – info
Moore Stephens – www.moorestephens.co.uk/Home.aspx
NHS – www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx
Nicholas & Co – www.nicholassolicitors.com
Odysea Ltd – www.odysea.com
One Stop Weddings Ltd – marilynsweddings.co.uk/
Pireus Bank S.A – www.piraeusbank.co.uk/
Reward Gateway (UK) Ltd – uk.rewardgateway.com
Royal Bank of Scotland – www.rbs.co.uk/personal.ashx
Ryman Ltd – www.ryman.co.uk
Southern Shipping & Finance Co Ltd
Surgical Conference Management Ltd – www.scmmedicaltraining.com
UCLAN Cyprus Ltd – www.uclan.ac.uk/
University of Westminster – www.westminster.ac.uk
?What If! Innovation – www.whatifinnovation.com
Anglo-Hellenic League – www.anglohellenicleague.org
Cypriot Estia of London – www.cypriotestiaoflondon.org
Episteme – The Association of British Cypriot Professionals
Eteria Ellinon Epistimonon – www.eteriaellinonepistimonon.org
Greek Archaeological Committee (UK) – www.gacuk.org
Greek Cypriot Brotherhood
Hellenic Bankers Association (UK) – www.hellenicbankers.org.uk
Hellenic Engineers Society
Hellenic Foundation – www.hellenicfoundation.org
Hellenic Medical Society – www.hellenicmedicalsocietyuk.org/index.php
Hellenic Psychiatric Association (HPA-UK)
Lobby for Cyprus – www.lobbyforcyprus.org
London Hellenic Society
Lykion ton Hellinidon – www.lykiontonhellinidon.co.uk
Macedonian Society of GB – www.macedonia.org.uk
Oinoussai Benevolent Fund – www.oinousses.com/4709/index.html
Peloponnesian Association of GB
Society for Modern Greek Studies – www.moderngreek.org.uk/society
Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies – www.hellenicsociety.org.uk