‘Lost Homelands, Newfound Hopes’ Lecture in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The Hellenic Cultural Society of South Florida hosted speaker Petros Tsingelis who presented a historical timeline lecture titled ‘Lost Homelands, Newfound Hopes’ on November 20 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church’s Kandaras Hall in Fort Lauderdale.

Tsingelis chronicled the 3,000-year presence of Greeks in Asia Minor beginning with Alexander the Great’s conquest of Asia Minor, the displacement of the Hellenes of Smyrna, and ended with the history of the Hellene refugees in the 20th and 21st centuries. The rich history of these people includes Archbishop Iakovos of the Americas who was from the island of Imvros and Prodromos Bodossakis, one of the richest men in Greece, who was born in Bor, Cappadocia. His family created a charitable philanthropic foundation which is internationally known for promoting Hellenic Culture.

Attendees during the lecture hosted by the Hellenic Cultural Society of South Florida in Kandaras Hall at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL. (Photo: Erin Ryan)
Petros Tsingelis presenting the history of Greeks in Asia Minor. (Photo: Erin Ryan)
The delicacies at the event included Souzoukakia Smyrnika, a traditional dish brought to Greece from the refugees of Asia Minor, as well as dolmades, spanakopita, and baklava. (Photo: Erin Ryan)

One of the most interesting figures was Georgios Dilbois (George Dilboy), who was born in Alatsata, near Smyrna. He was a soldier who not only fought for Greece, but also for the United States, in three wars, spanning two continents. He was killed in action in France in 1918 and was buried in his hometown. When Smyrna was overtaken by Turkish troops, his grave was desecrated. This outraged President Warren Harding so much that the USS Litchfield was sent to Turkey to recover his remains. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Private First Class Dilbois was the first Greek-American to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The event ended with a reception featuring a variety of foods from Asia Minor and Greece.

The Hellenic Cultural Society of South Florida will be hosting future events and more information can be found on Facebook: @simplyGreekSF and Instagram: @hcs_southflorida.


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