100 Years of Burdigala & Britannic

It was during  the August of 2015 that the Friends of Kea Society-SFK organized an event in Kea island titled “The Shipwrecks of Kea” that the idea of organizing a proper “Centennial Celebration” during 2016 to commemorate the two shipwrecks was first discussed. Hence the ball got rolling and the Municipality of Kea together with SFK are co-organizing this event titled “100 Years from the Sinking’s of S/S BURDIGALA & HMHS BRITANNIC”, in Kea Island, Cyclades, Greece, to be held between Friday September 30th and Sunday October 2nd 2016.[16][17]

The Centennial Celebration aims to:

  • diffuse and bring back to focus the historical events which took place in the area 100 years ago
  • to engage and attract either as speakers or delegates renown personalities from the historical, diving, diplomatic, government and business communities (international & local)
  • to commemorate and honor by symbolic acts, the souls lost or suffered during the two ships sinking’s
  • to promote Kea island as a unique diving and tourist destination
  • above all, to offer a memorable experience for both participants and sponsoring partners
  • Needless to say, a world-wide press coverage is part of our plan, ensuring a first rate exposure for sponsors’ products and services!

A note worthy of your attention:

  • Proceeds from the Event will be used to award scholarships to top grading students from the Kea island high school [under the auspice of the Hon. Mayor of Kea Municipality]
  • For this purpose we are establishing the “Carl Spencer Scholarship”
  • Donations will be solicited from the International Diving/Historic Community as well from Domestic Foundations, Corporations, NGO’s & individuals.

Preliminary Program of Events & Activities

Three days of Centennial celebrations from Friday 30th September to  Sunday 2nd October 2016.

  • Friday 30th September 2016 morning: A team of technical divers will descend to the S/S BURDIGALA shipwreck with a task to place a commemorative plaque ‘1916-2016: 100 YEARS of S/S BURDIGALA, sunk on 14 November 1916 in the Kea Channel. The Region of South Aegean, The Municipality of Kea & The Friends of Kea Society, 30-9-2016’.
  • Friday 30th September 2016 morning: Similarly, another commemorative plaque ‘1916-2016: 100 YEARS of HMHS BRITANNIC, sunk on 21 November 1916 in the Kea Channel. The Region of South Aegean,The Municipality of Kea & The Friends of Kea Society, 30-9-2016’. In addition, a third plaque in memory of the British diver Carl Spencer, who lost his life during the 2009 National Geographic Society expedition will also be placed. The Region of South Aegean,The Municipality of Kea & The Friends of Kea Society, Honor the memory of Carl Spencer who led the National Geographic Society expedition to HMHS BRITANNIC, May 24th 2009′. Such will be positioned in the bridge of Titanic’s sister-ship, most probably by the TRITON class submersible of the U-Boat Malta Org[18] or via ROV or via a separate dive mission.
  • Friday 30th September 2016 early afternoon: A flotilla of big and small vessels will visit in a celebratory manner (flying the appropriate flag dress code) from the surface above, the two shipwrecks and the flagship (possibly a Greek Navy or Coast Guard official ship) will lay a wreath honoring the souls lost or suffered during each sinking ship. Invitations will be sent to: the Political and Naval leaderships, Ambassadors and Naval Attachés of France & the United Kingdom, VIP’s, delegates, and other dignitaries.
A scene from another flotilla mobilization in Europe; we would like to see something similar on the blue waters of the Kea Channel
  • Friday 30th September 2016 evening: Open Film Session, a world’s premier of the DARK WATERS special for the event film version, kindly prepared by the U-Film/U-Boat Malta[19][20][21] organizations. @ Folk Museum of Kea, Mylopotamos, open-air garden theater.
  • Saturday 1st October 2016 morning [09:00]:  Convening of the International Conference pertaining to the Sinking’s of S/S BURDIGALA & HMHS BRITANNIC. Notable and knowledgeable speakers will present topics [indicatively] as:
    • The Historical Environment of the WW I era
    • The role of the German U-Boats
    • The Story of the S/S Burdigala
    • An account of the various U/W Missions undertaken so far, from the discovery of the wreck in 2008 up to today
    • Lunch break

The Conference will take place at the new premises of the Kea Events. As a side attraction, a paintings/photo/video Gallery and Memorabilia Exhibition will be set-up, along with appropriate booth spaces for our Sponsors.[22]

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