Registered Charity No. 278892
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The Anglo-Hellenic League
The Hellenic Centre
16-18 Paddington Street
London W1U 5AS
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Note: Although the Anglo-Hellenic League is a member society of the Hellenic Centre, and has a post-box at the Hellenic Centre, it is not affiliated with the Hellenic Community Trust or the Hellenic Centre in any other way. If you would like to contact the Hellenic Centre, you will find information here. We regret that we are unable to forward messages to the Hellenic Centre.
Dedicated to promoting Anglo-Greek understanding and friendship, through charitable and cultural work.
In Memoriam: Matti Egon-Xylas (1935-2020)
On behalf of the Council and members of the League, our Chairman has written to the family of Matti Egon-Xylas to express our condolences at her passing away.
Matti was, for many years, an active and generous member of the League. Born into a Greek shipping family, she was largely brought up and educated in England. From an early age she devoted herself to philanthropy, becoming a major benefactor for causes in the UK and Greece. In addition to her involvement with the League, Matti founded the Greek Archaeological Committee UK and, with her second husband, Nicholas Egon, established and endowed the annual Runciman Lecture at King's College London.
Matti was a wonderful, warm and charming person: a friend and inspiration to very many. She will be much missed and remembered with great affection. Αιωνία της η μνήμη.
Council of the League
20 October 2020
Tuesday 27 October 2020, 7pm
Polly Samson in Conversation
Author Polly Samson will be in conversation with John Kittmer about her latest novel A Theatre for Dreamers (Bloomsbury 2020), set in the sixties on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of writers, painters and musicians live, ruled over by Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled queen and king of bohemia. Within this circle a love triangle forms between writer Axel Jensen, his wife Marianne Ihlen and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.
‘A spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost.’
Polly Samson is the author of two short story collections and three novels. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous prizes, translated into several languages and dramatised on BBC Radio 4. Her novel The Kindness was named Book of the Year by The Times and Observer. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
The event is open to members of the League and any who support our aims. It will take place on Zoom Webinar. To reserve your place and receive access details, please register well in advance here.
Copies of A Theatre for Dreamers can be bought here.
Wednesday 4 November 2020, 7pm.
Michael Cullen, 'Across the Peloponnese: a short walk through thyme'.
The League invites its members and all who support our aims to join us for an illustrated talk on the 15-day north-south hike across the Peloponnese which Michael Cullen first completed in 2016 and describes in his guidebook, Trekking in Greece: The Peloponnese and Pindos Way(Cicerone 2018). Michael’s talk will focus on the dramatic landscapes of the Peloponnese, with discursions on history, mythology, flora and fauna, and people.
Michael was born in Athens to British parents and spent as much of his childhood as the school holidays would allow exploring lesser trodden parts of Greece's mainland and islands. After graduating from Cambridge University in French and German, he headed straight back to Greece to set up a programme of adventurous hiking trips around the country, in conjunction with local operator Trekking Hellas. Six years later, armed with lots of hard-won experience, happy memories and lamentably few savings, he expanded his hiking horizons to include France, Spain, Italy and Austria, under the auspices of Oxford-based holiday operator ATG Oxford. The arrival of the dotcom boom, a wife and then a child saw Michael move strategically sideways to co-found a niche accommodation website called i-escape.com, which he still runs to this day. Now based in Bristol, he spends his non-existent spare time singing, wild swimming and updating his two passion-project guidebooks to the Greek mountains.
This illustrated talk will take place by Zoom webinar. To gain access to the event, you must register well in advance here.
Cultural Programme for 2020 into 2021
Rescheduled dates for our much postponed cultural programme in 2020 are available here. Further information about how to sign up for the autumn webinars will be released shortly.
Annual General Meeting: Draft Minutes
The postponed AGM took place under socially distanced conditions at the Hellenic Centre on Monday 28 September 2020 at 5.15pm.
Draft minutes are attached. Members who attended the AGM are welcome to submit any amendments by 31 December 2020.
Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award 2020
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award 2020 is Emma Bentley for her essay 'Why are the re-imaginings of the Prometheus myth by Hesiod, Aeschylus, and Plato’s Protagoras so different?’
This year’s runner-up was Molly Duffy for 'Mortality and the Monstrous: An Analysis of the Hellenistic Sculptural Depiction of Medusa from Greece and Magna Graecia’. Jessamyn Madden-Aberdein received a commendation from the judges for 'The Birth of Misunderstanding: What can Delphi and Parnassus tell us about dual worship of Apollo and Dionysus as "twin gods"?’
We thank all students at King's College London who submitted essays for the competition and congratulate the three short-listed students for essays that demonstrated creativity, scholarship and excellent writing.
On receiving news of her £500 award, Emma Bentley said:
‘I'm thrilled and honoured to have won the Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Prize. My essay approached the Prometheus myth through ontological, epistemological, and ethical lenses, and I was struck by the myth's enduring potential for negotiating complex philosophical and ideological questions. I'm so grateful to receive this prize for a piece of work that I thoroughly enjoyed researching.’
This year’s judges were: Prof. Gonda Van Steen, Dr Isabelle Clark and Dr John Kittmer. The council of the League thanks the judges for their hard work.
Because of Covid restrictions, we will be unable to hold an Award ceremony this year. We will make an announcement shortly about our programme for the autumn.
The Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund was created in honour of Katie Lentakis, who played an important role in the Greek resistance, became a prominent member of the Greek community of London, and was for many years the vice-chair of the Anglo-Hellenic League. The prize, which is open to undergraduate students in their final year at King’s College London, was first awarded in 2002.
1 September 2020
RUNCIMAN AWARD 2020 and 2021
The Council of the League has decided to hold the next Runciman Award in 2021, to coincide with the celebrations for the bicentenary of the start of the Greek War of Independence. There will be no award in 2020.
Our sponsorship arrangement with Elias Paraskevas Attorneys1933 has come to an amicable end. We are grateful to the company for its three-year support and commitment to the Runciman Award. We are now seeking a new sponsorship deal.
The Runciman Award has been operating for over 30 years. We are committed to its future and think the time is right to have a brief pause, to take stock of what the prize has achieved and to agree new ambitions for the years ahead, taking account of the wider purposes of the League. While much is to be decided, we expect that eligible books written in both 2019 and 2020 will be admissible for the prize in 2021.
We shall make an announcement at the end of 2020 about the relaunch of the Runciman Award.