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George Galdies: Smyrna on my Mind

September 28, 2022
Tickets from Eventbrite. Booking is essential: Members LHF / HC £5, Non-members £10, plus Eventbrite booking fee.

, The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS

A book launch organised by the Levantine Heritage Foundation.

In this Smyrna on my Mind, George Galdies, a native of Izmir, explores the similarities and contrasts between his childhood in Izmir and that of his father, Peter. Peter Galdies was brought up in sheer poverty due to the ravages of war and strife of the First World War, while George had the privilege of growing up in the ease of a middle-class family home which his father had managed to create against all odds.

As we read on, there also emerges the parallel tale of the destiny of their birthplace: the Aegean city of Smyrna. A true survivor of invasion, occupation, and destruction, this province rebuilds herself as modern Izmir in record time, as observed and narrated by the author and his father. The transformation is illustrated with personal photographs from early childhood into their late teens. The chronicle is presented to the reader in the form of alphabetical entries. Each letter reminding the author of words that influenced him the most. These are names of people, places, objects and abstractions that went towards moulding his adulthood.

George Galdies moved to the UK in 1974 having resigned as British Vice Consul to start a new career in international trade. In his retirement he has been actively seeking to keep alive the memory of ‘Levantine Smyrna’ through writings and gatherings. He is life-member of the Levantine Heritage Foundation

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