Nearly 200 guests, the majority being members of London’s Greek shipping community, gathered last Thursday to celebrate the New Year and to cut the traditional Vassilopitta.
A full house at Lloyd’s Register HQ’s building in the City listen to Thomas Thune Andersen’s speech, cheered the lucky punter of the Byzantine sovereign Gerry Vagliano and exchanged views on the shipping markets!
This is one of the major City events/celebrations worshipping the Greeks, their tradition, maritime values and takes place at the society’s old listed building at 71 Fenchurch Street. It was the third such event under the Chairmanship of Thomas Andresen, who together with CEO Richard Sadler, Apo Poulovassilis Head for Greece and EMEA and their business development teams headed by Costas Papadakis presented us with an unforgettable event. Supported by the children’s chorus of the Hellenic College under the direction of Julieta Demetriades , who sang the traditional Greek and English carols with excellent drinks and mostly Greek cuisine dishes the event went on until late.
Thune Andersen’s brief but to the point speech should be given to all members of the Greek Parliament to see the success of the golden Greeks, the masters of the seven seas and the only real hope for the suffering nation’s return to prosperity and to all those involved in the shipping, trade and shipbroking business to see another pragmatic view of the shipping industry; he said:
“Welcome to you all.
- Greek owners continue to play a leading role in world shipping and it is pleasing to see so many Greek owners represented here today.
- Greek principals spent $8.5bn last year acquiring 238 new and second-hand ships
We see growing interest in LNG carriers and offshore sector.
- We expect to see trends of 2012 continue in 2013 – poor freight market
- But opportunities lie within the current market reality.
- We can’t move the market for you but from our perspective as a technical organisation, we can talk about the ever-increasing focus of the industry on reducing energy consumption and in meeting environmental requirements.
- During these difficult times we are doing our best to assist and support owners and industry:
- Greek shipping has been leading the adoption of new environmental standards –
- For example, with the help of Lloyd’s Register, owners have adopted a ‘marinised’ version of the ISO 50001 energy management standard.
- Future fuels such as LNG have been an area of significant work for us.
- We now might see the first order placed for a deep sea bulk carrier or oil tanker with a dual fuel engine in 2013 – will it be one of you?
- Unfortunately, more distressed owners are likely to be relieved of their fleets. The Greek community will continue to snap up bargains (so, more of the same!).
- Do I need to comment on the news of the DNV-GL merger? Like you all, no doubt, we will be watching with interest.
- We are focused on our own activities and growth strategy…
- And a significant step we are taking is the re-location of our Marine business in Southampton.
- We are dedicated to supporting the technological innovation and technical progress necessary to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow.
- When we occupy that new Global Technology Centre building in June 2014, all 400 Marine headquarters roles will be in Southampton where we will be right beside the UoS School of Ship Science, in the heart of a new and growing cluster of shipping activity and innovation
- but still close to London and, vitally, connected to other hubs of research and development around the world – such as Piraeus.
- This famous building and the location of Lloyd’s Register’s Group headquarters in London, remain vitally important to us.
- Energy and rail transportation are significant areas of growth for us.
- And now, with our restructuring of Lloyd’s Register into a commercial Group of businesses controlled by a charitable foundation, we are better placed than ever to promote our mission.
- There is a growing trend around the world of companies wanting to do good for society and, increasingly, society will require evidence of more than just quarterly returns for their shareholders.
- Society will want, perhaps will need, companies that are a force for good; independent companies that can deliver services that are necessary to protect our seas, our environment and, most of all, you and your staff in an uncertain world. Companies like Lloyd’s Register.
- So I thank you again for your continued support and I wish you all the very best for 2013 by cutting the Vassilopitta cake”
Holding the knife, he did the traditional three crosses – then the first four slices: First for Jesus, Second for St Nicholas, Third for Greek shipping in general and the Fourth for Lloyd’s Register!
Amongst the guests we spotted the new Secretary-General of the IMO Koji Sekimizu, the Greek Ambassador Constantine Bikas, the new head of the Consular Section at the Greek Embassy Mrs. Despina Chasirtzoglou, Captain (HCG) George Manoledakis, acting Shipping Attache with his number two, newly appointed Captain (HCG) Efstahios Kalyvas, George J. Margaronis from Helikon, Dimitris Monioudis, president of HESGB, Takis Markatos from Lyras Maritime, Prof. Costas Grammenos, Chris Papathanassiou from Clarksons, Andreas Tsavliris and his son Alexander, Chandris’ Stefanis Georgandis and Alex Xenakis, John Frangoulis and his son Tassos, BP’s Anna Evangelides, Stathes Kulukundis, Spyros Polemis, Harry J. Fafalios, Chairman of the GSCC and his Director Commodore (Rt. HCG) Costas Amarantides, Alexander Kedros, Carl Lumbers, SSY’s Dimitris Chahalis, Captain Petros Korkodilos, Dino Symeonides, Gosia Kosciolek and George A. Papadakis from A.P&A Group of Companies in London, John M. Hadjipateras, Nicholas Skinitis of Hermes Shipbrokers, and many others including over fifteen Lloyd’s Register Society members.