BGS Meeting — July 27, 2013 — Cemetery Preservation

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, July 27th at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Gene Gravlee, ACPA – Walker County

Program Topic: Cemetery Preservation

Please join us as Gene Gravlee presents a program on Cemetery Preservation.   Gene is the Walker County Representative for Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance.  He retired from the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Air Force Reserves with over 28 years of service.   He has published county cemetery maps for Walker, Winston and Lamar counties while working as a volunteer for Craig Remington at the University of Alabama.  He has over fifty years conducting family research member SAR, MOSB, Alabama Genealogical Society, Walker Genealogical and other organizations.

BGS Meeting — June 22, 2013 — Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, June 22nd at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Niki Sepsas

Program Topic: Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama

Please join us as local writer, Niki Sepsas, presents a slideshow based on his book Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama.  The book chronicles the founding of the Greek church in Birmingham in 1907 and its growth over the past century into Cathedral status.  The story also focuses on the Greek immigrants who arrived on these shores more than a century ago possessing little more than their dreams of a better life and left us their legacy of faith and an abiding love of their patrida, their homeland.

In addition, the book and slideshow contain numerous images and stories on the founding and growth of many of the best known restaurants in the Birmingham area today – The Bright Star, Niki’s West, Fish Market, John’s, Fife’s, Costa’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Nabeel’s, Smokehouse Restaurant, etc. – many of which are still owned and operated by the children and grandchildren of those early immigrants and family members who followed them.  The work was a particular labor of love for Niki as his grandparents were among the earliest immigrants from Greece to settle in Birmingham.

Father Paul Costopoulos, the Dean of the Birmingham cathedral, reviewed the book and wrote:   “Niki successfully captures the unique history of the Greeks in Birmingham.  It is a story that is both fresh and engaging.”