Greek heritage is alive and well thanks to individuals dedicated to maintaining and sharing its ancient roots.
The Greek Heritage Project Museum in Saanich is home to artifacts, historical dowry collections, preserved memories and more. Museum director Wendy Smylitopoulos is the detail-oriented steward of the operation and its displays.
Preserving Greek history in and around Greater Victoria through research and education is the purpose that drives Smylitopoulos and the volunteers who help her curate copious amounts of detailed information into digestible learning.
“I am not so much interested in the dusty books, but rather, I’ve always been fascinated to learn about what Greek people wore, what they ate and how they made and grew it, what types of relationships they had and what they’re doing now,” she said.
While she has British roots, Smylitopoulos married a Greek man and recalls her passion for learning about Greece beginning when she was in Grade 7. “It is a fascination, an itch,” she said.
A detailed genealogy project documenting the people and history of this community is ongoing. Smylitopoulos said she finds herself frequently welcoming volunteers to sort through the many archives on hand that require dedicated study.
“I’m looking for people who are passionate and interested in history – not dusty history, but real history – history of the people themselves. Not so much about wars, generals or governments.”
She said that her interest lies in understanding the humanness of the culture and its roots.
To learn more about the Greek Heritage Project Museum, or to become a volunteer, visit victoriahellenicsociety.org/museum-1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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