Lloyd's Register
The American Club
Panama Consulate
London Shipping Law Center
Home HRAcademia HESGB*: Making waves at Park Lane

HESGB*: Making waves at Park Lane

by admin
HESGB president Dimitris N. Monioudis introducing the event / welcome speech; photo John Faraclas

By John Faraclas and Anny Zade

This 29th Annual Dinner and Dance of the Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane, coinciding with the second full moon for 2024, the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, and the ongoing since October 7th 2023 conflict between Hamas and Israel, was the preamble of what will happen next year on the HESGB’s 30th Annual Dinner & Dance, a major anniversary to look out for! Already, as we hear, over 40 percent of the recent guest list have declared their intention to attend in 2025!

Just over 750 members, guests and friends, from all over Planet Ocean’s five continents – with over 40 nationalities, made it in Shipping’s administrative capital for this unique event at the spectacular Great Room of the landmark hotel associated with the success of the international charity event organised by the Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain!

As we have mentioned numerous times, continuation and sustainability is the name of the game for everything successful in business, particularly in the shipping adventure, the most “delicate” and most important of all businesses on Planet Ocean; these two words – continuity and sustainability, are the ingredients reflecting HESGB’s success! Remember: No Shipping, No Shopping, No Sipping! Add the fact of Shipping’s principle of equal international opportunities – equality, diversity and inclusion and see why so many women attend this event; needless to say how many of them hold top positions in their companies – a couple of days before the event, we had the announcement of the 100 Top Women in Shipping and some of these world acclaimed women were present!

An efficient and well attended cloak-room with the personnel asking us to even photograph our ticket numbers just in case we lose same; details to the utmost, but they do count!

Effie and Synthia Zarifis at the registration desk; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Highly organised front double registration and information desks were attended with smiling faces of youngsters, many of them children of HESGB’s members; the best ever facility in comparison with previous events and a three-rotating members’ team from the BoD greeting the incoming guests! Further down to the right, before the main bar, the Vogue customised photo booth cover for us was sending the message…

…and another team of volunteers at the registration desk (standing), with Vicky Kotsovolou (seated to the right) the deputy secretary of HESGB; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

At this Great Room’s foyer – the well known lower mezannine, waiters standing with trays of drinks amid the intense networking during the pre-dinner reception and photography “memento” board-screen! Great wines, the cold white ones a big sipping woooow… Good to see the well-placed boards with the table names given by the society, company tables and names of each guest as well as the lay-out of the room; very ergonomic so as to facilitate all 750-plus attendees!

Organisation that counts… Photo john Faraclas
Details more than important… Photo John Faraclas
Lloyd’s Register and HESGB Secretary Patty Apostolopoulou entertaining guests; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
H.E. The Greek Ambassador Yiannis Tsaousis with GSCC’s director Radm (HCG) Kostas Amarantidis who is also the deputy treasurer of HESGB; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
Dr. Robyn Pyne, programme leader, logistics & maritime management, School of Engineering, Associate Dean, Global Engagement and DBA candidate Mrs Anna Kaparaki- Lecturer in Maritime Law at LJMU and Senior Solicitor at Mackinnons Solicitors LLP; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Academics, Accountants, Architects and Civil Engineers, Associations, Aero Tourism Clubs, Brokers, Bankers and Financiers, Bunker suppliers, Charity Organisations, Chartering Brokers, Claims Specialists, Class Societies representatives, Cruise Industry groups, Diplomats, Diving and Underwater specialists, Environmental Protection and Products companies, Fashion designers and clothing specialists, Flag States and Ship’s Registries, Florists, Freight Forwarders, Food and Drinks groups, Gifts designers, Hotels and Resorts companies, IT Computer and Communications specialists, Logistics and Ports services, Lubricants companies and suppliers, Marine Engineers, Marine Paints, Maritime Arbitrators, Military Authorities – Coast Guard officers and Defense Attachés, Naval Architects, Navigational Systems and Aids specialists, and lawyers were there in full force….

Michael Baxevanis flanked by his wife Miriam and daughter Janaina; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Add also the Marine Equipment and Services, Offshore Companies, Oil Companies, P & I Associations, Press and Media, Regulatory, Salvage Towage and Wreck Removals entities, Security Anti Piracy, Cyber Crime and Terrorism specialist firms, Shipmanagers, Ship Agencies, Ship Chandlers and Suppliers, Shipbrokers, Shipyards representatives for shipbuilding / shiprepair and conversions, The entire Shipping Markets and sectors – Bulk, Oil /Containers/ LNG and LPG carriers / Reefers, Travel Agencies – specialists also in Marine Travel, and Underwriters were present and we also noticed that guests’ other halves engaged in other sectors, such as medicine, the arts, public services were more than impressed of our industry!

Naftosol’s George A. Pirinis with his sister Alexandra;photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Moreover the arrival of all those supporters – members and guests from Greece in particular, proves that despite the geopolitical crisis and austerity in many countries, the post-Covid effects, the ongoing conflicts and the mess in the Red Sea’s southern entrance, only the shipping industry is capable of withstanding the effects of this multi crisis, but also the current shipping and world economic ones, the worst so far from all recorded, despite the situation and the picture of buoyant BDI and Wets indices! It is important to understand how paramount Shipping is for Greece and its existence given also the unprecedented attacks from various supposed politically, business and ethically correct nations and organisations – the recent speech by the chairman of the GSCC (Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee) during the annual Vasilopitta event, is more than self-explanatory. This event proves how interwoven the entire technical sector of the shipping industry is to all intents and purposes: the HESGB Cluster… as we have written a few years ago! Pity some faithfull members and supporters since HESGB Inception missed the event dur to business travelling, but we all understand the nature of Shipping business…

Costis Frangoulis, president of The International Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus (second from the left), Takis N. Pappas (fifth from the left) with friends…;photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

It is paramount to understand these attacks emanating from Greek Shipping’s “competitors” and supposed friends – governments in particular, which, instead of performing fair competition practices opt for destructive ones, ignoring the fact that Greece Rules The Waves for Ten Millennia – for those who ignore this very fact of the Ten Millennia, should be more than glad to entertain them! Greek Shipping is here to stay and it will be wise and prudent for all to be aware of the skeletons in their own cupboards. London and the HESGB annual event acts as the Rendezvous so to speak of all the international shipping fraternity’s stakeholders.

A smiling Evan Zaranis, the Treasurer of HESGB greeting a guest;photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

The HESGB is after all, the medium through cooperation and synergies defusing the tensions and enhancing cooperation, and this epitomises its scope on all fronts, be it charitable, educational, employment, you name it!

Guests “landing” at the Great Hall’s level for dinner…;good to see another faithful couple on the left, J. Safra Sarasin Bank in Luxembourg director Aggeliki Koutoulia with her son Dionysios Zachariou (just behind her) from BV Solutions M&O in Nantes, France. Photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
… always at the forefront, the HESGB Events co-ordinator Alex Xenakis (with the red tie) ensuring safe “landing”…; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Now, down we go to the Great Hall’s Dinning / Ball Room with the exceptionally attractively laid tables. Pictures speak for themselves… Add the visible 3600 panoramic photo booth; we joined …the opportunity for a spin drive of fancy with our good old friends, the Baxevanis’…

…beautiful laid tables; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
HESGB ‘s vice president Giorgos Foustanos selling Raffle tickets;photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Starting with the welcome address by the society’s president Dimitris N. Monioudis and the Charity presentation – with the Penelopeio Nursery for underprivileged children, Dogs’ Voice Group of Volunteers looking after pets that have suffered during natural and man-made disasters and St. Anna’s hostel for underaged girls, the central event began.

Bureau Veritas’ Nicholas Brown with Capital Executive Ship Management Corp’s Stavros Meidanis listening to a joke…; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

The president’s speech was once again unique covering all aspects of real life, a recap of yet another annus horribilis (2023) which has gone by, an introduction of what we were to see and enjoy over the next seven plus hours and stressing this year’s dedication of the event’s booklet on the Parthenon Marbles, an issue which MUST be settled once and for all. The front and back cover of the event’s booklet as well as all mention and pictures of the Parthenon Marbles on nearly every page, sends a strong message for these treasures to leave the British Museum and return to their original places; end of the story!

HESGB President Dimitris N. Monioudis: A speech to remember; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

A sad note/announcement by the president, but this is life, was the passing away earlier on the day, of Stathes Kulukundis of Rethymnis & Kulukundis Limited, a world acclaimed, traditional and down to earth member of the International Greek Shipping Fraternity; moments of silence were observed; blessed!

I guess that beyond the president’s Dimitris Monioudis mentioning the 750 guests and 40 plus nationalities figure, one has to be reminded that people travelled from all five continents to ensure being there on time and then return back to base despite the short stay in London…

The Lykeion ton Hellinidon performing; photo Anny Zade

The Traditional Greek Folkore dances by the Lykion ton Hellinidon of London raised the mood and many of those present came on stage leaving …Mama Mia behind! F A N T A S T I C! Many Congrats to the dancers and Anita Williams who teaches and trains them as well as to the president Pyghi Skinitis and her team for keeping the group more than alive!

This is what we call folklore extravaganzza; photo Anny Zade

The Dinner was excellent and the meat – we tried with Anny Zade both main courses, the Confit Duck & Fondant Potato were well prepared at just the right temperature – a great achievement when thinking back to other major events. The shimeji mushrooms superbly elevated the celeriac & provencal vegetable lasagne!!!

the Poseidon table with HESGB president, his wife and guests on a l to r, Takis and Christina Pappas, Dimitris J. Fafalios, Spyros Tarasis, Rania Sifounopoulou and Katie Ameli; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
DNV’s second table with ADNV’s Alberto Manfredini, Tarek Farag, Anna Ziou, HESGB Christos Kottas (vice president) and his wife Maya Thanou, HESGB’s deputy Treasurer Kostas Amarantidis and his wife Tenia Koroneou and guests; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
The Accelleron Industries table; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx
The Oceanus table with Sami and Nikoletta Tsiamas, Dr. Zoi Alexopoulou, Symeon Taxopoulos, Prof. Epaminondas Mastorakos and his wife Eleni Mastorakou, Nicholas and Pyghi Skinitis, Dr. Evangelos Markopoulos and his wife Olga, Anny Zade and John Faraclas; photo by our man in Habana…

The Fortissimo quartet performance both on the staircases adjacent to the Great Room with all four ladies in green outfits and then on the dancing floor (in black trendy outfits), was special, particularly when they spread out and played between the seated guests; excellemous.

Fortissimo in action; photo John Faraclas

Maria (Eklektou) superb violin performance accompanied by the other Maria (Mitrizaki) with Kelly (viola) and Sylvia (cello) received huge applause from all in the room, given their amazing ability to fuse classical, pop, rock and Middle Eastern music. It’s good for our readership to know that this all Greek-female quartet, appears at important shipping events and we last saw them at WISTA-Hellas’s 30th Anniversary last December in Athens!

Teams of volunteers made the rounds for those who hadn’t purchased raffle tickets in advance, enhancing the charity support.

Dancing was to the fore as Hellenic Nights’ DJ Avgoustinos Galiatsos had to do his utmost best to please the many requests! Good to see so many on stage; well done!!!!

The Pangalos’ and Benetis’ in full swing…; photo John Faraclas

…newcomers Amelia Rocos with Camilla Frank-Avramidis; photo John Faraclas
WISTA-UK president Monica Kohli with Marshall Islands/IRI Verity Maloney; photo John Faraclas
Captain (HCG) Angeliki Iatropoulou with Lt. Commander (HCG) Evanthia Kassotaki from the Greek Embassy’s Shipping Office; photo John Faraclas

Circulating between tables, it was great seeing friends and supporters as many of allaboutshipping’s were there; we were more than pleased to witness the support for the HESGB! First comers where surprised from what was taking place and pleased they made it!

And the Raffle Draw begins with Riffi announcing the first number: 2047! Photo John Faraclas
Painter / artist Christianna Asprouli with Maria Dragoumeli of ABL who won a painting; photo John Faraclas
The Top Prize Raffle Winner Anthi Nakou receiving her prize (raffle ticket 1731); photo John Faraclas

Finally the Raffle Draw was yet another success with many surprises!!! The top prize went to Anthi Nakou from Benhard Schulte Shipmanagement… a hotel gift voucher valued at 2,100 Euros offered by Accelleron, with which the winner can anytime stay in Zurich, Rome, New York, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore and elsewhere in one of the 550.000+ hotels! Another interesting one, another flight of fancy by Athens Aeroclub went to Evan Zaranis, HESGB Treasurer. An extra prize which wasn’t on the typed list of artists Christianna Asprouli, went to Maria Dragoumeli of ABL.

Readers can view the winners via this link:


Much appreciation to all the sponsors of all 25 prizes.

Interior designer/ architect Fevronia Deliyiannidou with ERT journalist Natasha Kantzavelou; photo by James Darling sponsored by SulNOx

Finally, Many Congratulations to all who took part in any capacity in producing this memorable evening and in particular Camila de Oliveira Diniz and all at the HESGB Events Team.

…the ever present Jonathan D. Morley from Lloyd’s Register Global Technology Centre with his wife; photo John Faraclas

HESGB* :The idea to form a Club had been regularly mulled over since the early 1980’s, but it was not until the summer of 1995, that a group of Greek Engineer friends, based in the UK and predominantly Graduates from Newcastle and Sunderland, decided to form a “Club of Greek Engineers” with its main goal to maintain social contact amongst its widely spread membership. Later that year, the first General Assembly was held, at which time, the official name of “Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain” was endorsed, the Society’s statutes were formulated and the first Governing Committee was elected.

From inception, the aim of the Society has been to nurture and promote professional and social contact among its members and particularly younger members, newly positioned within the shipping industry. This is achieved by holding informal gatherings, providing a forum for exchanging views on technical matters and by organising numerous social and cultural events.

The Society started off with around eighty Founding Members and since then has increased in membership year on year, firmly establishing its presence within the UK maritime industry.

In fact, just as Greek shipping history goes back over 4, 000 years, we are proud to report that our Society’s membership has a collective experience within the industry exceeding 4, 000 years with many members requested to share their views and expertise in various prestigious international fora, such as IMO, Intercargo and BIMCO.

At the same time, the society has been privileged to welcome into its ranks a number of non-Engineer Associate Members, to actively participate and support its functions, thus broadening HESGB influence even further. 2009 was truly memorable in the Society’s brief history.

The new logo was introduced to critical acclaim, based on the trireme, the ancient Greek warship which was fast, agile and state of the art, all attributes HESGB seeks to emulate three millennia later. The website was also revamped and relaunched bringing our members even closer together. Worth logging on for the record of interesting functions… www.hesgb.com

You may also like

Leave a Comment