#Brits in Greece :: #Corfu's 150th Anniversary Ending British Protection

Caption: Photo Left, British Ambassador to Greece, John Kittmer laying wreath in Kerkyra at 150th anniversary celebrations of handing over of British Corfu to Greece.

On May 20 and 21, 2014 Corfu celebrated the 150th anniversary of the handing over of the British Protectorate of Corfu to the Greece Confederation. 

The British Ambassador to Greece, John Kittmer took part in the official celebrations. He spoke at two events organised by the British Embassy, at the Palace of St Michael and St George and at the Corfu Reading Society. 

"I am very happy to be back on the island of Corfu, representing the UK at the celebrations of the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece. The passing of the islands from the British Protectorate and their union with Greece happened in a spirit of dialogue and negotiation without civil or military strife. This warmth between the UK and the Ionian Islands continues today. The strong links that bind us are reflected in the British legacy on the islands and in the love that British residents and tourists have for the islands and the islanders," Mr Kittmer said.

The Ambassador on his visit to the Palace of St Michael and St George, referred to the legacy of the British Protectorate. This includes an Order of Chivalry: the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. 

To mark the occasion, the Ambassador awarded Ms Despina Zernioti the badge of Honorary Companion of the Order on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.  Ms Zernioti, the Curator of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, which is housed on the Palace, has been a passionate and effective advocate of the history of the Ionian Islands and, in particular, of the British presence there; she has worked tirelessly to maintain the links between the Order of St Michael and St George and its historic home in the Palace.

Photo of the Nomads Cricket Club ground
of Gouvia Marina, Corfu
Did you know that Corfu's capital Kerkyra is Greece's home of cricket or otherwise known as the Hellenic Cricket Federation. The sport was introduced naturally by the Brits when Corfu had been a British Protectorate during the 50 year period, 1814-1864. 

Ambassador Kittmer was accompanied by the Vice Consul for the Ionian Islands Matt Dellap and Deputy Vice Consul for Corfu Charlie Picula, 

The Ambassador also on his visit had a series of meetings with the Regional Governor of the Ionian Islands, Mr Spyros Spyrou, police chiefs and British tour operators ahead of the busy summer holidays season.

Historical note: It was during the period 21st of May / 2nd of June 1864, that the then British Commissioner, Eric Storks gave the Ionian Islands to Thrasivoulo Zaimi, the Greek emissary.