NEW YORK – The union of Crete with Greece in 1913 is one of the seminal events in Modern Greek history, a homecoming for the great island, and an act healing for the rest of the Greek nation. A year of celebration in New York will feature in a remarkable weekend of events, December 5-8.
The Pancretan Association of America and the United Cultural Committee of NY and NJ Cretan Chapters will commemorate and celebrate the centennial of the of Enosis – the Union – with a series of social, cultural, and educational events that will culminate in a Pancretan Awards Gala Pancretan Awards Gala at Terrace on the Park on December 6.
Greek Parliamentarian and political scion Dora Bakoyannis will be honored at the Gala with the Venizelos Award and renowned author Harry Mark Petrakis will be presented the Kazantzakis award.
The commemoration will begin on a serious note with a UN Symposium titled: “Crete’s 100 Years of
Contributions to Better Nutrition and Healthy Living,” from 3-6 PM on December 5 at the UN’s iconic headquarters building near the East River on East 42 Street in Manhattan.
The theme of the Pancretan Awards Gala is on December 6 “Celebrating 100 years of Progress since the ENOSIS” and on December 7 7:30-11:30PM, a theatrical production followed by a special musical production will be presented at the Kritiko Spiti-Cretan House in Astoria.
The tone turns a bit more solemn on December 8. A memorial service will be held for the heroes of the struggle for the liberation of Crete and a Great Doxology and Artoklasia will commemorate the Enosis the Enosis the Enosis at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan. His Eminence Archbishop Dimitrios of America has been invited to officiate.
Following the services, at 2:30 PM there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Statue of Liberty and a raising of the Greek flag at historic Castle Clinton on New York harbor.
Emanuel Velivasakis, past president of the Association, told TNH that the organizers are planning “something different,” but he noted the events throughout the years have had education dimensions and said that both Greek and non-Greek participants have been pleasantly surprised.
He emphasized that the medical symposium at the UN on the Cretan diet will have an international character because it will be attended by top scientists and researchers from the United States, the Netherlands and Greece, among other countries.
The purpose of the symposium is to present the traditional Cretan fare as the model diet for good health and longevity will also be an opportunity for promoting the islands rich agricultural production and the high quality of its products.
“The high quality events of the Pancretan Association constitution an occasion for remembering and paying tribute to the protagonists” in the events whose anniversary is being celebrated, he said.
“It is also a golden opportunity to present Crete as a tourist destination, its cultural heritage and its products to the greater American community.”