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10 EAST 79th STREET, NEW YORK,N.Y. 10021 TEL.:(212) 628-2500 CABLE: ARCHGREEK, NEW YORK
A brief outline of ...
THE NATIONAL GREEK ORTHODOX SHRINE OF ST. PHOTOS
St. Augustine, Florida
In 1767 the first major group of settlers to arrive in the New .World
from Greece landed on the east coast of Florida. They established a community
which they named New Smyrna, but after a few years of great hardship moved.
north to St. Augustine. The Greeks in New Smyrna were part of a larger colony,
most of whom came from the island of Minorca, off Spain. Their leader was
Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scottish doctor whose grants of land in Florida under
the British Crown was to open the way for British settlements in an area heretofore
exclusively settled by Spain. When the New Smyrna settlement was abandoned
the Greeks became citizens of St. Augustine and-were eventually absorbed into the
Scommunity'life of this Spanish city. They had no Greek Orthodoxpriest but held
periodic services in a building which came to be known as the Minorcan. Chapel.
This building still stands today, and is to become the St. Photios Shrinei.
First Greek Orthodox Shrine
In 1964 the possibility of establishing a Greek Orthodox shrine in
St. Augustine in memory of the first Greeks who arrived in the New World was
discussed at the 17th biennial Clergy-Laity Congress. Two years later the
actual building and property of the Minorcan Chapel became available for purchase,
and with the assistance and leadership of our Greek Orthodox faithful in St. Augustine,
the property was acquired by the Archdiocese, for $60, 000. The two-story
building is a handsome structure, and is located on historic St. George Street,
a prime location. His Eminence Archbishop lakovos has stated, "The Shrine will
honor the memories and sacrifices of the first group of pioneers of Hellenic blood
to settle in the Western Hemisphere. It will be a national shrine to which all of
our people, at one time or other in their lifetime, should make a pilgrimage. "
Plans for the Shrine
While it is yet premature to determine the exact shape and plans that the
shrine will take, it will basically be a restoration-of the existing building, with the
possible construction of a small Byzantine chapel or altar in the courtyard. His
Eminence has appointed Mr. Ted Pappas of Jacksonville as architect, and all efforts
are being coordinated with the St. Augustine Preservation Board. The local
St. Augustine Committee includes: Mr. Spero Zepatos, Chairman; Mr. James Kalivas,
Vice-Chairman; Mr. Tom Xynidis, Treasurer and Mr. Steve Sarris, Secretary.
Also on the Comniittee are the Priest and President of tlihe Jacksonville parish, the
President of the Florida Greek Orthodox Clergy Association and Mssrs. George Fotiou
and Tom Christon. The Public Relations Committee includes Chris Trizonis,
Chairman, Harry Kalikines and George Ballas of Jacksonville, Michael Savas of
Ft. Lauderdale and James Scofield of St. Petersburg. Members of the Archdiocese
Council in Florida are advisors to the project: Mssrs. James Angleton, George
Karnegis, Albert Colozoff of Miami, Mr. Theodore Mavrick of Ft. Lauderdale,
and Mr. James Scofield of St. Petersburg. The Chairman of the National Fund
Drive is Mrs. Adeline Geo-Karis Lambros of Zion, Illinois.
Shrine Banquet April 3rd
On Saturday, April 3rd, 1971 the national banquet for the St. Photios
Shrine will be held in St. Augustine. The list of dignitaries will be headed by
His Eminence Archbishop lakovos and His Excellency Governor Reubin Askew.
All of our people in Florida are urged to be present for this historic event which
will take place at the beautiful Ponce De Leon Lodge. Tickets are $10, and are
available from your local Church office. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and
the banquet will follow at 6:30 p.m.
Florida's Role in the Drive
The state of Florida is the "host state" of the first national Greek Orthodox
Shrine in the Americas. It is a proud role, and an honor for every Floridian.
It is also accompanied by certain responsibilities which our Florida parishes are
being asked to respond to as follows:
1. To appoint a local "Shrine Committee" composed of the Priest and
two or three interested laymen.
.2. To name the Priest and the President of the Parish Council as
members of the Board of Trustees of the Shrine.
3. To conduct one fund raising event each year for the benefit of the Shrine.
Questions, ideas and suggestions concerning the St. Photios Shrine Project
and the banquet on April 3rd should be directed to:
Mr. James Kalivas Mrs. Adeline Geo-Karis Lambros
Banquet Chairman National Fund Drive Chairman
101 Carver Street 2613 Sheridan Road
St. Augustine, Florida Zion, Illinois
Tel: 904 829-8141 Tel: 312 872-5100
Mr. Ernest A. Villas, Director
Archdiocese Department of Laity
8-10 East 79th Street
New York, New York 10021
Tel: 212 628-2500,