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Claims to fame include:

• Father of Greek containership owning
• Chairman of HELMEPA, founder & principal supporter of
   HELMEPA Junior
• Major benefactor of Messinia

IT IS hard to think of shipowners who have left an entirely positive legend. Few can be said to have earned widespread affection outside the shipping community as well as within it. Yet Captain Vassilis C. Constantakopoulos, known almost universally as "Capt. Vassilis", was an exception.

Born in 1935 in the village of Diavolitsi, he grew up in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese during the difficult years of the Occupation and the bitter Greek Civil War. He used to say he did not see the sea until he came to Athens in 1948. He graduated from night school in 1953 and began his shipping career in the same year when he took a berth as a deck boy on an elderly freighter leaving Piraeus.

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