Ambassador David Pearce: “Why Diplomacy Matters”

Why Diplomacy Matters”
By David Pearce Former Ambassador to Greece 2013-2015
Date: Friday, September 21,  @ 5:30pm
Location: Room 102 Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland

We are excited to announce a talk by the Honorable David Pearce, former U.S Ambassador to Greece (and Algeria). He will discuss why U.S. engagement abroad matters, drawing on over four decades of experience of living and working overseas, as a journalist and diplomat. He will also provide practical examples of diplomacy at work, from his time as Ambassador to Greece from 2013-2016, and his  many years of work in the Middle East.
Ambassador Pearce has held senior-level positions at the State Department in Washington, with responsibility for Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
After three years of service as Ambassador in Athens, he retired in November 2016 from the U.S. Department of State as a Career Minister, the second-highest rank attainable in the Foreign Service.

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“Astoria” the last film of the Spring series

Sunday, April 15, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland

“Astoria” Dir.: Nick Efteriades, USA, (2000, limited release), 2006.
Okay, so it’s not a Academy Award contender, but this independent film by a Greek-American filmmaker is a solid little drama set in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria known as “Little Athens.” The film centers around a blue-collar Greek-American family and its struggle to hold on to the American Dream— it’s like a Greek Saturday Night Fever with much less dancing! The desire of 28-year-old Alex is to escape his stagnant neighborhood, and his father’s plan that he take over the family sandwich shop, and pursue an off-beat dream that will take him to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. Meanwhile he has to deal with a local mangas; and with the fact that he has become enchanted by a beautiful iconographer, visiting from Greece. The original score by Nikos Papazoglou is a plus. The New York Times called the film “charming.” Rated “R” for language. In English. 103 minutes.

Lecture: “Genealogical Sleuthing in Greece: Sailing on the ‘Wine-Dark’ Sea of Greek History”

Lecturer: Mary Papoutsy
Date: March 22, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Location: Room 133, Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland

Mary Papoutsy will discuss the American sources of information needed to launch genealogical research in Greece, and then give concrete examples of the types of information that Greek repositories hold. Successful genealogical research work there depends upon patience and preparatory work here. Researchers encounter genealogical challenges at the very outset with transcriptions of Greek, but these can be resolved. Armed with a Greek spelling of the family surname and the name of the ancestral village, one can initiate investigations and request records in Greece. Family research there is a true odyssey, punctuated with serendipitous finds and unexpected detours.

Hellenic Society Movie & Annual Meeting March 4

1. The annual meeting for will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. on March 4 in Talbot Auditorium (where the films are shown), Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland. We will present the annual report, touch on plans for the coming year and announce the results of the election of officers. Members may opt to attend just the meeting or stay for the film at 3:00 pm. I hope to see you there.

2. “Ψυχή Βαθιά” (A Soul So Deep) Dir.: Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece, 2009
Sunday, March 4, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
Pantelis Voulgaris’s latest film tackles the still-divisive topic of Greece’s 1946-49 Civil War, when the “National” army of Greece’s Western-backed government fought an insurgent “Democratic” army of Greek leftists and communists. The struggle was one of the first armed conflicts of the new Cold War. Voulgaris dramatizes these internecine events through the tale of two young brothers – 14-year-old Vlassis and 17-year-old Anestis – who find themselves enlisted in opposing camps after their father is killed and they are separated from their mother. Voulgaris has stated that his intention was “to finally reconcile the bloodiest pages of our modern history. “His beautifully-shot film is set in the Grammos Mountains of western Macedonia, site of some of the war’s worst violence, in 1949 – what Voulgaris calls “the last act of our nation’s drama.” The humanism for which the director is renowned is very much in evidence; because Voulgaris has also always been an artist of leftist sympathies, some attention has been paid to the question of whether he reveals any bias – or if, perhaps, he has attempted to be too even-handed – in his treatment of this very contentious subject. Not Rated, but probably PG-13. In Greek with English sub-titles. 136 minutes

Hellenic Society of Maine Board co-president to speak at the Greek Institute in Cambridge, MA. February 26.

Hellenic Society of Maine Board co-president to speak at the Greek Institute in Cambridge, MA. Public Welcome.

The Greek Institute, 1038 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138
Telephone: 617-547-4770

2018 Greeks Speak Lecture Series
Monday evening, February 26, 8pm


A talk by noted educator, Christos J. Gianopoulos. The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” is one of the Delphic wise-sayings and inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Mr. Gianopoulos teaches philosophy and history at the University of Maine at Augusta and the Maine Community College system, and leads seminars on Jungian themes at the C.G. Jung Center in Brunswick, Maine. His mission is to read, write and talk about a way of life that is guided and nurtured by the Self.

At The Greek Institute. Open to the public; donations welcome.

HSoM Spring 2018 Newsletter

The Hellenic Society of Maine Spring 2018 edition has been published (Click Here for the electronic version) and if you are on our mailing list you should have received a copy.  If you are not on our mailing list please send us an email at or subscribe to this webpage to receive notifications.

Film:“Attila ‘74: The Rape of Cyprus”

Thursday, February 22, at 5:30pm, Room 211, Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland

The famous filmmaker, Michael Cacoyiannis (Zorba the Greek, The Trojan Women, Electra) is a proud Cypriot. When Turkey invaded the island during the political upheaval in July of 1974, he rushed to the island to document those his- toric events. The resulting film was “Attila 74: The Rape of Cyprus.”
The Hellenic Society of Maine will show the film at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 on the USM Portland campus. Following the 11⁄2 hour film HSoM board member, George Spatoulas, will lead a discussion after a quick break for refreshments.
The surprise invasion occurred after years of wrangling and political maneuvering that involved not only Cyprus but Greece, Turkey, the USA and other countries. The triggering event was the Greek junta’s attempt to depose the Cypriot president, Archbishop Makarios, as part of a plan to reunite the island with Greece.
Once Turkish troops landed on the island, thousands of Greek Cypriots were killed or fled south to displaced persons camps. Supported by only a cameraman and a sound engi- neer, Cacoyiannis traveled across the island in those early traumatic weeks interviewing political leaders as well as countless victims and refugees. Thus this documentary is clearly from the Cypriot point of view.
Both Greeks and Turks — who had been living co- mingled for centuries — lost homes, land, and businesses when the population was separated. Today, more than four decades later, the island remains divided with a Turkish sec- tion in the north and the Greek section in the south, with the line cutting right through the capital of Nicosia. Talks aimed at finding a solution continue to fail right up to this year, stalling on the key issues of governance and reparations.