The School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics at the International Hellenic University – IHU, Thessaloniki, is organising lectures by significant personalities on this subject.
On the invitation of Dr Eleni Mavragani, Assistant Professor for the Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management at the IHU, leading the Cultural Heritage Tourism module, Count Spiro Flamburiari gave a lecture to the students via Zoom from the Corfu Reading Society at 5.30pm on the 25th of February 2021.
He started by saying that in his life he has two loves – the first for his wife and the second for Corfu. Amongst his interests for the preservation of Corfu’s heritage he referred to the upgrading of the Corfu Reading Society and the support of the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society. He also expressed his interest in Anglo-Hellenic relations owed to the fact that the British Protectorate has been responsible for a number of benefits to Corfu: road networks; waterworks; the British Cemetery; the Psychiatric Clinic; the British Hospital; the Church of St George; the Ionian Bank; and the introduction of cricket and the ginger beer.
The subject of the lecture was based on his achievements in connection to Corfu. He introduced the following issues: the Corfu Heritage Foundation; his book “Corfu: The Garden Isle”; the Corfu Heritage Foundation Memorial Plaques; the Edward Lear Society; the Corfu Festivals of 2018, 2021 and 2024; and finally the Obelisk for 1716.
Regarding the Corfu Heritage Foundation, he referred to its creation in 2000 and its objects. About his book “Corfu: The Garden Isle”, he referred to all the academic contributors, the two photographers and HRH the Duke of Kent, who wrote the introduction. Concerning the Corfu Heritage Foundation Memorial Plaques, he referred to a number of personalities associated with Corfu, including Count John Capodistria, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Angelos Giallina, Edward Lear, Lord Guilford and George Rallis. He also analysed the importance of introducing to the general public and students the local history of Corfu via a peripatetic tour all around Corfu Old Town. He introduced the Edward Lear Society, mentioning its foundation in 2014 and its objects. He said that Edward Lear was a great personality in literature and painting, culturally bridging Corfu and England. When the Society was founded, he commissioned Margot Roulleau-Gallais to create Lear’s bust in bronze, which is permanently exhibited in the Corfu Reading Society (see picture). He also spoke about organising a number of Festivals in Corfu to celebrate significant anniversaries. In 2018 the Festival celebrated the Bicentenary of the founding of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 2021 the Festival celebrates the Bicentenary of the Greek Revolution of 1821. In 2024 the Festival will honour the Bicentenary of the founding in Corfu of the Ionian Academy by Lord Frederick North, Earl of Guilford. In closing he spoke with pride about the Obelisk, 8 metres high, that will be erected at the new roundabout of the Corfu Port Authority. It is inscribed in Greek, English, Italian and Russian with following text: “to the memory of the Corfiots who fought heroically during the Ottoman Siege of Corfu in 1716”.
Count Flamburiari’s passion for Corfu is renowned and clearly perceptible. However, he underlined the importance of the young generation to join forces in order to continue his vision for the preservation of the Heritage of Corfu.