St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine
Greek Landing Celebration 2009

For Immediate Release:
St. Augustine, Florida - Rye Beach, New Hampshire

Polexeni Maouris Hillier, director of the Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is pleased to announce: The Our Greek Landing Celebration 2009 will be held on Friday June 26th, 2009, 6pm, reception at the St. Photios Shrine, followed by a book presentation at Flagler College.

As part of the weekend festivities, the Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine has invited noted author Mr. Christos Papoutsy to lecture and present his newly authored book "Ships of Mercy: The True Story on Who Rescued the Greeks from the Quay of Smyrna, September 1922."

This new book, a rewrite of history reveals the true story of the September 1922 rescue, where more than 300,000 Greek refugees were rescued. After ten years of research, travelling the globe, uncovering lost never before seen captains' logs, naval war diaries, documents, and many other media from dozens of nations the truth was found - and it is surprising.

The lecture/book presentation will be offered by Mr. Papoutsy in the format of a 45 minute very interesting power point screen, followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

The book distributor will donate 40% of all books sold by the National Shrine.

In April of 1768, 1400 pilgrims left their homes in Smyrna, Mani, Crete, Italy, Corsica and Minorca to escape poverty and oppression. They sailed for the New World with Dr. Andrew Turnbull, entrepreneur and servant to the English Crown. He offered hope and freedom in return for seven years of indentured service. Two months later, they arrived in the port of town of St. Augustine. Over 200 of their fellow travelers died en route.

After registering with the harbormaster and taking on additional supplies, they sailed 75 miles south to establish an indigo plantation, calling it New Smyrna. History documents the colonists' 10-year struggle and the eventual escape of less than 300 survivors who fled on foot to St. Augustine where they found refuge and justice.

Despite the insurmountable odds, the Greek history of St. Augustine reigns vibrantly in America's oldest city. In 1965, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America learned from some Greeks living there in St. Augustine, that the Avero House was the actual refuge offered to the survivors of the New Smyrna Colony. The Archdiocese procured the property and under the leadership of Archbishop Iakovos, opened the Shrine, a living memorial, in 1982. Empowered with the research of Dr. Panagopoulos and other historians, we daily witness this historical legacy left by our ancestors while sharing our Orthodox faith with thousands of visitors each year.

On behalf of the St. Photios Foundations chairman His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, our president Metropolitan Alexious, and the entire board of trustees, I invite you to our Greek Landing Day 2009 Celebration, June 26th, 27th & 28th. More information will shortly be released regarding the 2009 Commemorative Album. Sponsor space is available in a variety of sizes and prices to fit the sponsor's requirements.

We are grateful for your support in helping to keep the memory alive, through your continued generous support. Thank you.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Polexeni Maouris Hillier

(Posting date 4 February 2009)

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