A record attendance this year by both the members and guests attending Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee’s (GSCC) annual Vassilopitta event at the Baltic Exchange.
A full house last Thursday night at the King George V and the Royal Victoria rooms honouring the hosts and Greek Shipping at Planet Ocean’s administrative capital of Shipping.
Anny Zade writes:
The very eloquent GSCC’s chairman Harry J. Fafalios delivered an excellent speech referring to the material business and geopolitical times we live in with all the relevant issues: The major political changes in the United Kingdom and the USA as well as many forthcoming political events; the fleet growth and its parameters; the shipbuilding industry; the layups; the Greek fleet growing in size and turning younger with modern tonnage of all types; some administrative operating issues; the BWM saga… Moreover he stressed that the IMO should remain the main body for shipping matters and that the BREXIT might be a positive catalyst for shipping with a respective safe business environment. He ended by giving it’s due to Shipping being Greece’s most important industry together with Tourism and that the Greek Government should be encouraged to offer maritime education in a very crucial and demanding momentum,
as without the contribution of the Greek seafarers the Miracle of Greek Shipping wouldn’t exist. We will update this report when we receive the full speech from the GSCC secretariat.*
Archbishop Gregorius of Thyatira and Great Britain officiated and before cutting the four Vassilopittas he invited the guests to sing the traditional for the occasion psalms.
He also delivered some real words of religious as well as business wisdom and significance stressing the importance of Shipping in our society; over 90 percent of the goods we see, particularly in this country come by sea! He mentioned that this is another turning point for Greek Shipping following the Centenary Anniversary of the Union of Greek Shipowners last November in Athens and the 81st Anniversary since the GSCC was launched in London!
Only two lucky winners for this year’s sovereigns; Andreas A. Tsavliris from the Tsavliris Salvage Group and Iris Liaskoni from Seascape Ltd– a third one might have an appointment with a dentist… will await to see…
All of Shipping’s stakeholders were there: the Greek Ambassador Dimitris Karamitsos-Tziras, the Cyprus High Commissioner Euripides Evriviades, the Greek Maritime Attaché Captain (HCG) George Skandalis, his number two Commander (HCG) Theophylos Bouzas, and Mrs. Tenia Koroneou from the Maritime Secretariat at the Greek Embassy; the Greek Consul Sotiris Demestichas, the Greek Assistant Trade Attaché Panos Thomopoulos with intern Anna Menis, the Cypriot Alternate Permanent Representative at the IMO Argyros Madella with Nicholas A. Charalmbous from Cyprus’ London Shipping office attending too.
The Secretary-General of the IMO Kitack Lim, The Chairman of Maritime London and board member of Maritime UK Lord Mountevans were there as was Aggeliki Koutoulia from Julius Baer in Luxembourg, Dionissis Zachariou from the University of Paris, Faculty of Engineering, Members of the Baltic Exchange headed by the newly appointed CEO Mark Jackson, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Director Nick Brown, Tom Boardley, the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Corporate and External Affairs, who never misses the event, Kostas Deilakis and Angeliki Chiza also from Lloyd’s Register; Kirsi Tikka, head of Europe from ABS, John Vanezos from IACS, Kostas Pappadakis and Evan Zaranis from DNV GL’s London office, Robert Ashdown from IACS, Dr. Abdul Rahim from ClassNK in UK, Petros Korkodilos and his son George Korkodilos from A.P & A Limited in London.
Tryfon Kedros, one of the oldest members of the international shipping fraternity was there with his nephew Alexander Kedros from Southern Shipping and Finance, Spyros Polemis from Remi Maritime, Stavriana Asprogiannidou from Willis Insurance Brokers, Vasso Souvalioti from Intermarine London and Sophia Tsekoura from BP were there too.
The Oinoussians Pandelis Hadjipateras, his brother Markos Hadjipateras and his son John M. Hadjipatears who is also the president of the Oinoussai Benevolent Fund, Stathes Kulukundis from R&K with R&K’s director and president of the HESGB Dimitris Monioudis, Andreas Bisbas from Tsakos’s London office. Andreas A. Tsavliris from the Tsavliris Group, Alexandros G. Tsavliris of Zephyr Maritime, Hermes’ Nicholas Skinitis, George Ad. Skinitis from Seadock Marine Agencies, Christos Papalexis, Lambros Varnavides, Stamos J. Fafalios and Anastassis J. Fafalios from Fafalios Limited.
From Academia Dr. Aleka-Mandaraka-Sheppard who is also the founding director of the London Shipping Law Centre in a jovial mood, the head of the LSLC secretariat Gerard Matthews was present too, Chandris’ Alex Xenakis, ICS’ Secretary-General Peter Hinchliffe, its technical director Jonathan A. Spremulli and Simon Bennett were there too, as was Dr. Dimitris Gkonis, Secretary-General of Intercargo, Christophoros Coccolatos, Captain Theo Lembessis and Sotiris Milissis from ELKA Shipping, and Chryssa Papathanassiou from Clarksons-Platou!
Doug Barrow, the former CEO of Maritime London who just become Director of the UK Ship Register by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Lina Molfettas from KPI Bridge Oil, “K” Lines Costas Stavropoulos, Riverlake Shipping Alexandrods Mitsios, Pavel Smyslov from Solar Shipping, Michael Kotsapas from Union Maritime, Cassie Forman and Thomas Antoniades from Moore Stephens, Costas Ladas from LISCR’s London office, Seatrade’s and Posidonia Man Themis Vokos, Jonathan Saul from ThompsonReuters, and Dimitris Chilas.
From Athens and Piraeus we spotted Seaplus Management’s Charalambos Simantonis – the ever present shipping man in most of London’s business and social events, Ilias Bissias and Lisa Marelou from NAFTIKA Chronika, Katerina Nomikou from Gunner Cooke LLP and many others.
Once again many congratulations to the Committee’s Director Radm (Rt. HCG) Kostas Amarantidis and Maria Syllignaki for organising this Vassilopitta event which will remain as “the Vassilopitta to remember”, not just for its taste, but as one more than social event bringing together the Greek Masters of the Seven Seas, their British partners in the Shipping Adventure and all from Planet Ocean involved in this blessed and more than important profession!
* 31 January 2017: Herewith the Chairman’s speech in full : Chairman’s speech