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Greek Cultural Garden Signing Ceremony

Greek Cultural Garden Signing Ceremony
The Gift of Greece to Civilization
Hellenic Preservation Society
September 4, 2022

The mission of the Hellenic Preservation Society (HPS) is to present a unified voice of the Hellenes in Northeastern Ohio that will promote the Greek experience through programs, presentation and cultural collections.

HPS is commissioning an ambitious and exciting work for the Greek Cultural Garden, one of 35 (and growing) in a chain of Cultural Gardens in Cleveland Ohio. The Garden was dedicated in 1940 and has been sponsored by the Hellenic Preservation Society since 1992.

Greek Cultiural Garden sign

The Greek Garden is flanked by two Doric columns representative of the type of column one would see while viewing the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens Greece. The central court is a sunken garden and forms the lines of a Greek cross. Looking west from the main entrance is a pylon, the chief feature of the garden, symbolizing the wall of the Parthenon in Greece. Inscribed on the pylon are the names of 34 historic Greek figures representing the Greek spirit in philosophy, art, literature and science., e.g. Socrates, Homer, Plato, El Greco, Aristotle and Archimedes.

The Hellenic Preservation Society has commissioned Master Stone Carver Nicholas Fairplay to sculpt a 5 x 15' stone relief to be installed on the Parthenon Wall featuring dozens of Greek cultural figures.

Banner for Greek Parthenon wall

The ceremony was held in the Greek Garden on September 4, 2022 with over 100 people attending despite the rain.

The project, which was originally conceived in 1939 by the "Grecian Cultural Garden Association," will now become a reality thanks to the efforts of the Hellenic Preservation Society of Northeastern Ohio.

HPS Frieze project Chairman Lou Frangos served as MC of the event.

Lou Frangos

Lou Frangos


He welcomed the crowd and then introduced the four Ermidis brothers who led the singing of the national anthems of the US and Greece.

Ermidis brothers singing the anthems

Ermidis brothers singing the anthems


Next, Lou introduced Fr. James Doukas of St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church who gave an invocation.

Lou Frangos and Fr. James Doukas

Fr. James Doukas

Fr. James Doukas


NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle of a red box are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.

Next, Lou Frangos introduced Hellenic Preservation Society President Jean Wendland Porter who gave her remarks.

Jean Wendland Porter

Jean Wendland Porter


Proclamations were given to honor the event and Greek community by Ohio State Representatives Tom Patton and Martin Sweeney. MC Lou Frangos announced other proclamations including from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

Tom Patton and Jim Trakas

Tom Patton and Jim Trakas

Jean Wendland Porter, Lou Frangos and Tom Patton

Jean Wendland Porter, Lou Frangos and Tom Patton

Martin Sweeney

Martin Sweeney

Lou Frangos, Jean Wendland Porter and Martin Sweeney

Lou Frangos, Jean Wendland Porter and Martin Sweeney

Next, Dr. Wael Khoury, current president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) and Lori Ashyk, CCGF Director, gave their remarks.

Dr. Wael Khoury

Dr. Wael Khoury

Lori Ashyk

Lori Ashyk




Next, Dr. George Parras, a past president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, gave some history of the Greek and other gardens.

Dr. George Parras

Dr. George Parras



Next up was Andy Chakalis who has been involved in the Greek Cultural Garden for over 30 years. Andy gave some background and history.

Andy Chakalis

Andy Chakalis



Project Chairman Lou Frangos called up the board of the Hellenic Preservation Society and presented a ceremonial check to the Master Stone Carver Nicholas Fairplay commissioned for the project.

HPS Board, Nicholas Fairplay and ceremonial check

HPS Board, Nicholas Fairplay and ceremonial check


Nicholas Fairplay then spoke about the project and answered questions.

Nicholas Fairplay

Nicholas Fairplay


Nicholas Fairplay



Earlier in the evening, Dan Hanson spoke with Master Stone Carver Nicholas Fairplay who was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK. As a result of Mr. Fairplay's extensive knowledge of stone carving he was invited to be consultant on the Giza Pyramid Archeological Mapping project for the University of Chicago Research team, and the following year was an expert advisor and was featured in the filming of the Nova Documentary on Pharaonic Pyramid Construction for PBS.

He is the subject of a documentary "Nicholas Fairplay: Stone Carver," a co-production of Oberlin College faculty and students and Allen Memorial Art Museum. In 1995, Nicholas was elected a member of the Association of Master Carvers of England. He is also a professional member of the Stone Carvers Guild of the United States.



Then the crowd enjoyed a sumptuous spread of Greek food and marvelled at the Greek Garden.

Enjoy the other images from the event.

Jean Wendland Porter, Nicholas Fairplay and Lou Frangos

Jean Wendland Porter, Nicholas Fairplay and Lou Frangos


a

Athanasios Sarantopoulos and Emmanuel Ermidis


Big Greek flag


Lou Frangos and Alex Machaskee

Lou Frangos and Alex Machaskee


Crowd at Greek event


Crowd at Greek event


Father James Doukas with an Ermidis son

Father James Doukas with an Ermidis son


Ermidis family and Lou Frangos


Banner in the rain

Rain couldn't keep people away


Greek Garden tents


Emmanuel Ermidis

Emmanuel Ermidis


Lou Frangos and Alex Machaskee

Lou Frangos and Alex Machaskee


Flag of Greece in Greek Garden



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The Greek section of ClevelandPeople.com is sponsored in part by

The Hellenic Preservation Society
The Unified Voice of the Hellenes in NEO


Hellenic Preservation Society logo


The mission of the Hellenic Preservation Society is to present a unified voice of the Hellenes in Northeastern Ohio that will promote the Greek experience through programs, presentation and cultural collections.









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