Corfu Festival for the Bicentenary of the Order of St Michael and St George 1818 – 2018
CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, as Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. In fact, the history of the Order begins with the visions of Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824), Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands and Governor of Malta after the Napoleonic Wars.
Count Spiro Flamburiari, Chairman of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, has had the inspiration to honour the bicentenary of the Order this year with a Festival aiming to boost British-Hellenic relations in Corfu. His whole life has been devoted to the promotion of the island and its prosperity, and to highlight the significance of its heritage.
The Festival takes place under the auspices of the British Embassy Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism, and the Municipality of Corfu. Events – including 5 lectures, 2 brass band concerts, 3 visual art exhibitions and 1 cricket match – will take place between 7 July and 30 September 2018.
● Lectures at the Corfu Reading Society.
3 August – Mr Derek Johns, “Romanticism – A Brief Introduction”.
6 August – HE Ms Kate Smith CMG, “British-Hellenic Friendship in Corfu”.
24 August – Ms Helena Matheopoulos, “Music in 1818”.
28 August – Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG, “The Order of St Michael and St George”.
4 September – Mr Nicholas Parsons CBE, “Edward Lear – Artist ∙ Poet ∙ Wanderer”.
● Music by the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society curated by Mr Robert A. Christoforides.
5 August – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Esplanade’s Band Stand.
7 September – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Old Fortress.
● Exhibitions at the Ionian Academy curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos.
7 – 29 July – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective.
2 – 26 August – “Romanticism in Corfu”.
29 September – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective.
● Cricket Matches organised by Sir Simon Orr-Ewing Bt and Mr Nikos Louvros.
13 May – Matches between the Lost Marbles and the Atlas CC Cricket Corfu teams.
Read more about al the contributors to the events here. PRESS RELEASE
London, 12 October 2018
Acknowledgement of a successful Bicentenary Festival 2018
It was almost a year ago that I came up with the idea of celebrating in 2018 the 200th anniversary of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in Corfu.
With this in mind, I undertook with colleagues of the Foundation to organise a series of events, which would cover at least a period of three months. This took me over seven months at considerable expense and hard work to put together the various festivities, which at the end had a tremendous success.
HM The Queen’s letter, dated 24 July 2018, congratulated us for a “wonderful publication […] beautifully illustrated”!
In his letter, dated 11 September 2018, Lord Jacob Rothschild wrote, “You’ve achieved wonders with the Festival. Many congratulations and best wishes.”
I am very proud and extremely happy that all my efforts have received such positive recognition.
HRH the Duke of Kent’s forward to our bicentennial publication gave our events enormous prestige. The fact that the British Embassy Athens, two Ministries of the Hellenic Republic – Culture and Tourism – and the Mayor of Corfu have granted their auspices gave to our Festival official standing.
I am also proud because all the events, which the Foundation managed to organise, boosted Anglo-Hellenic friendship in Corfu. This was one of my main goals. Thank God all our efforts have been recognised by individuals, companies, foundations, institutions, the media – Greek and foreign – and all kinds of people.
At this stage it is important to mention the following:
i. Our five lectures attracted an audience of approximately 500 people. They included various subjects – the history of the Order, Anglo-Hellenic friendship, music, Edward Lear, Romanticism, historic and contemporary visual art.
ii. The Mantzaros Philharmonic Orchestra played at the Esplanade’s Band Stand Greek music, but, most important, British Military music, played for the first time ever in Corfu, on scores that we provided them with from London. An achievement enjoyed by a substantial crowd. They even sang “Rule Britannia!”
iii. Our three exhibitions have been visited by over 4,000 people.
iv. Finally, the two cricket matches involving English, South African and Corfu teams duly honoured the Order.
In total 11 well-attended events took place to celebrate the bicentenary of the Order. It is worthwhile noting that it has been the first time such celebrations on this scale ever took place on Corfu to honour the Order at least outside the United Kingdom.
In addition, I should also mention the following:
1. 1,500 bicentennial publications have been distributed gratis. In his letter, dated 28 August 2018, Lord Rothschild wrote, “Many, many congratulations on the celebrations and on the handsome book, which you put together for the bi-centenary. It is a great achievement.”
2. 3,500 leaflets were distributed.
3. 300 posters were displayed in town.
4. Four enormous banners were displayed in areas advertising our events.
Please note that our Facebook yielded 1M+ global reach (see below Report of Performance Review by Social Media).
On this happy note I think that the above brings to an end the circle of events that took place in Corfu to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Order.
I take also the opportunity in thanking HE the British Ambassador, as well as all of you for your support throughout this period.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Chairman, Corfu Heritage Foundation
Report of Performance Review by Social Media
1. Website: Total views 5,053 with a peak in June of 1,1k and 2,049 visitors.
2. Facebook: 1M+ global reach with average 2,2k reacted with the page.
3. Instagram: Total likes 1,175, with an average of 11 likes per post (the contemporary art highly rated).
4. Twitter: 454 impressions in the last 91 days (2.3% engagement).
5. Google+ & Youtube: Not used. Created for future use.