BIZERT, TUNIS: July 20, 2010
Pannikhdas Served in Tunis and Malta During a Marine Tour to Mark the 90th Anniversary of the Exodus of the Russian Army From Crimea
Participants in a marine tour in honor of the 90th anniversary of the exodus of the Russian Army from Crimea took part in a pannikhida performed on July 17, 2010, in the Russian cemetery in the Tunisian city of Bizerta.
His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe performed the divine service, held last Saturday.
The governor of the local province, Mr Falem Djeribe, welcomed the marine-tour delegation, calling that arrival in Tunis by the descendants of the Russian emigration historic. He noted that the authorities had restored the Russian graves, which was paid for by the Tunisian President, noting that Tunis appreciated its Russian population.
Among those commemorated at the pannikhida was Anastasia Shirinskaya, who died last December. She was the eldest member of the Russian emigration in Tunis. In September, 2006, Shirinskaya turned 94 years old. Based on that, the Bizerta Municipality decided to rename one of the plazas, the site of an Orthodox church, in her honor. During her lifetime she was a teacher of mathematics and Russian language in the local school.
The following day, the members of the expedition visited a cemetery in Malta where there are also some Russian graves. A pannikhida was served there as well.
The participants of the marine tour, organized by the Center of National Glory and the Fund of St Andrei the First-Called as part of the Russky Mir program, to take place from July 14-25, 2010, are following the route traveled by their compatriots who fled from Crimea in the 1920’s, but in the opposite direction: Bizerta, Tunis; Lemnos, Greece; Gallipoli, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey, and ending in Sevastopol.
Those participating in the trip are descendants of Russian émigrés of the first wave: Troubetskoys, Chavchavadzes, Naryshkins, Shakhovskoys, Golovins, and Russian social and political figures as well as artists, including famous writers and painters.
A pannikhida will likewise be served in the Turkish city of Gelibolu (formerly Gallipoli), at the memorial complex established for the members of General Kutepov’s Army Corps. Orthodox services will also take place in Russian cemeteries in Lemnos.
The culmination of the marine tour will be the opening of a memorial to St Nicholas the Miracle-worker in Sevastopol on July 25, the official Navy Day in Russia.