By Anthe Mitrakos
ATHENS – Some 600 members of the Greek shipping industry gathered at the Megaron Athens Concert Hall to commemorate twoGreek Shipping Hall of Fame inductees at an awards ceremony and dinner on April 3.
The lives and accomplishments of maritime lawyer George Leonard Daniolos and shipowner Nicolaos D. Lykiardopoulos were honored that night, as they joined 24 past inductees including the likes of Aristotle Onassis, Stavros Niarchos and Anthony J. Angelicoussis, among others.
“The people we are honoring tonight exemplify leadership and embody the pioneering spirit that has defined the maritime industry for centuries,” ABS Regional Vice President, Vassilios Kroustallis said. “It is important that we recognize that innovation and advancement does not stop with them.”
A portion of the funds raised from the event was donated to Hellenic Hope, a charity that raises funds to support projects in Greece that help children in socio-economically deprived areas and children at risk from the ongoing crisis.
“A warm thank you from us at Hellenic Hope to the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame for supporting our organization for a fourth consecutive year,” Hellenic Hope co-founder Manos Papatheophanous said. Based in London, Hellenic Hope has so far raised about 1 million euro to assist more than 3,700 children and 17 charitable organizations in Greece.
In addition to the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame’s donation, presented by Chairman of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (Helmepa), George Gratsos, the event included a charity auction of four original costume sketches used in the production of historic films related to the sea. The “Hollywood at Sea” auction raised an additional 37,500 euros for Hellenic Hope that night.
Present at the event were sponsors and prominent members of the Greek shipping community who highlighted the importance of recognizing the industry’s next generation in an effort to secure a bright future in maritime affairs.
In his pre-dinner speech, DryShips Inc. and Ocean Rig CEO George Economounoted the importance of youth entering the shipping industry in both seafaring and shipowning positions, while American Hellenic Hull CEO Ilias Tsakiris stressed the need to invest more time and resources in the industry’s young professionals.
“If we are to honor those remarkable individuals who have made their mark on Greek and world shipping, we have to immediately address the challenge of recruiting the right talent,” Tsakiris said. “We must train them under the same principles and values and in that way keep alive the spirit of the great Greek shipowners and seafarers.”
“Only if we invest in the next generation can we ensure that Greek shipping will continue to evolve and remain a global leader,” Tsakiris said.
The Greek Shipping Hall of Fame inductees are selected annually since 2007 through a voting process conducted by the members of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Academy.
George L. Daniolos (1903-1994) served as a legal adviser to the Union of Greek Shipowners for decades, playing a major role in promoting Greek shipping interests. A native of Andros island, Daniolos was involved in the 1943 preparation for the purchase of 100 Liberty ships by the Greek shipowner community, including the drafting of a legal framework relating to Greek flagged ships that is used to this day.
Nicolaos Dionysios Lykiardopoulos (1866-1963) is recognized as a Greek shipping industry pioneer, among the first to acquire updated steamships and tankers. A native of Kefalonia, Lykiardopoulos paved his path at an early age, managing to become a captain at the age of 28 and eventually building his own fleet. A founding member of the Union of Greek Shipowners, he served as president for a decade until the age of 94.
Support for the event, which marked its 10th anniversary this year, was led by ABS, the Liberian Registry and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.