Following the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee’s monthly noon meeting, 200-plus members and guests – at least 50 more than last year, – the GSCC’s traditional Vassilopita ceremony (cutting the traditional Festive Season’s cake) which took place last night on the first floor of the Baltic Exchange, was more than an event! His Eminence Archbishop Gregorious of Thyateira and Great Britain officiated assisted by father Filotheos, blessing the four Vassilopitas, whilst honouring the gathering with their presence were the Greek Ambassador Constantine Bikas, Cypriot High Commissioner Evripides L. Evriviades, Secretary-General of the IMO Koji Sekimizu, Greek Maritime Attaché Captain (HCG) Efstathios Kalyvas, and the Emeritus Secretary-General of the IMO Adm. (Ret HGC) Efthymios E. Mitropoulos.
GSCC’s chairman Harry J. Fafalios’s simple but powerful speech* focused on the “relationship” between Greek shipping and the Greek government, the environment, the freight markets, the surge of piracy after a relatively “quiet” period, shipfinance and the stock markets, as well as shipping funds, and upcoming regulatory legislation, and he paid special tribute to the seafarers!
Two lucky guests- for the time being, won the sovereign coins, Captain (HCG) Ioannis Kourouniotis and Evan Zaranis, secretary of the Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain – we are expecting to hear the third and fourth ones – hopefully not from the British Dental Association…
Present were the members Baltic Exchange’ staff including its Chairman Quentin Soanes, Mark Jakson from A.M. Nomikos & Son (UK) Ltd and former chairman of the Baltic, Dr. Abdul Rahim from NKK; also from the class societies Richard Sadler CEO of Lloyd’s Register, Tom Broardley Marine Director with Costas Papadakis from the same society, Kirsi Tikka head of Europe from ABS with Lino Costa and Vassili Kroustalis; and Yianni Calogeras head of Bureau Veritas’ London office.
George Hayalides was there too with his daughter Theodosia, Alexander Kedros, Captain Petros Korkodilos and Alexios Scopelitis all from Southern Shipping and Finance; George Pandi Empirikos, John M. Lyras, Spyros Polemis, Philippe N. Lemos, George Mouskas from Zela Shipping and president of the Cypriot Shipowners Association.
Markos and John M. Hadjipateras, Pandelis Hadjipateras, Stathes Kulukundis and Dimitris Monioudis (president of the HESGB) from R&K, Mathew T. Los chairman of the West of England P&I Club, Andreas A. Tsavliris and his son Alexander, George A. Tsavliris and his wife Zoe from the Tsavliris Group, Maria P. Lemos, Andreas Bisbas from Tsakos’ London office, banker Elena Mavrogonatou, shipbroker Nicholas Skinitis from Hermes Shipbrokers, Dr. Aleka Mandaraka – Sheppard the founding director from the LSLC and her husband Colin Sheppard from the LMAA.
Captain (HN) Apostolos Trivlides, the Greek Defence Attaché and members of his office as well as Captain (HN) Agis Rakopoulos from NATO’s Allied Maritime Command were present too; Dora Yfantidou from Maersk Broker, Katerina Keskini from DSB Offshore, Christina Ntaouti from Capital Link’s London Office, Yiota Tsiaousidou, Anatoli Tsakalidou from ACM Shipping, Kalliopi Xypolita from Zodiac Maritime Agencies Andrew Bardot from the International Group of P &I Clubs, Nigel Carden from Thomas Miller, Hugo Wynn-Williams from the UK P & I Club, Christos Atalianis, Marine Surveyor A from the Cypriot delegation, the Captain Theo Lebessis and Sotiris Millissis from ELKA Shipping, consultant Yianni Iakovides and many others, including the Committee’s Director Commodore (Ret. HCG) Costas Amarantidis and Sylvana James head of the GSCC Secretariat.
There was a lot of discussions and exchange of views focused on the current state of the markets and the geopolitical situation, with focal point that of the Greek saga…