Palaio Faliro* Mayor, Radm (HN) Dionyssis Hatzidakis and Captain Iakovos Perantinos, member of HELMEPA’s Board of Directors, standing in for HELMEPA’s Chairman Dr John Coustas, together inaugurated the “HELMEPA Junior” Artwork Exhibition at the “FLISVOS” Cultural Centre, yesterday, 11th March 2013.
Welcoming the invited guests, HELMEPA Director General, Mr. Dimitris C. Mitsatsos, referred to the Association’s first mobile environmental exhibition hosted aboard the Hellenic Navy’s landing vessel “IKARIA”, moored at Flisvos in 1985. The ship’s Captain was then Commander and now Mayor of Palaio Faliro, Radm (HN) Dionyssis Hatzidakis. Presenting the Mayor and old naval colleague with HELMEPA’s Coat of Arms, Mr. Mitsatsos thanked him wholeheartedly for having his Municipality host the children’s artworks.
Radm. Hatzidakis was moved as he fondly recalled that first encounter with HELMEPA and its late Chairman, Mr. George P. Livanos, expressing his joy at now having the opportunity to support the significant work carried out by the Association in his capacity as Mayor. He went on to state that the seas and beaches are our country’s “heavy industry” and it is our duty to protect them. Indeed, he remarked that how we may achieve this is by the raising of awareness among children about the protection of the marine environment through initiatives such as those HELMEPA undertakes.
Saluting the event, Mr. I. Perantinos, spoke about his own experiences of and close ties to the sea – an element of nature he believes is too often “misunderstood” but to which we owe our very existence. He added that we Greeks, and especially the younger generations, must get to know the sea and of course, grow to love her. This is the endeavour of the “HELMEPA Junior” Program, the activities of which heighten the awareness of our nation’s citizens of tomorrow, putting HELMEPA’s environmental messages into practice.
Guests were then led through a brief guided tour of the Exhibit, when they had the opportunity to see up close the imaginative way in which children express their environmental concerns.
Besides members of the General Council and staff of the Municipality, the General Consul and staff members of the Embassy of the Philippines, Ms. Irini Daifa, a member of HELMEPA’s Board, Mr. John Maragoudakis, Chairman of the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club, local residents, members of HELMEPA and Press representatives were present.
For the duration of the Exhibition, HELMEPA has organised the free transport to and from the Cultural Centre of 800 students of the region together with their teachers. Already today, Tuesday 12th, one hundred students from the 6th Primary School of Palaio Faliro and their teachers visited the Exhibition.
The Exhibition will be open to members of the public on every day of the week between 9am and 2pm and 5pm and 9pm, until 28th March 2013.
* A cosmpopolitan suburb south of Athens and east from Piraeus, coincidentialy inhabited by many from the entire spectrum of the shipping industry and beyond