Athens – 7 October 2020

Postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic from its usual Spring spot in the maritime calendar, the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame’s 2020 Induction Ceremony took place online on Monday 5 October 2020 in front of a worldwide audience.

More than 1,000 viewers from numerous different countries watched the Virtual Event, hosted in the port of Piraeus from the deck of Hellas Liberty – one of only three Liberty Ships, built during the Second World War, that survive to this day.

The exciting event, featuring music by composer George P. Lemos, remains free to view in its entirety on the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame’s website and Facebook page.

Highlights included messages from Greece’s Minister of Shipping & Island Policy Ioannis Plakiotakis and the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners, Theodore Veniamis.

The Virtual Event paid tribute to the lives and times of the first 30 Inductees, from Panagis Vaglianos (1814-1902) to Capt. Vassils Constantakopoulos (1935-2011), with testimonies from family, friends and eminent historians. The event concluded with the announcement of the latest Inductees to the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame – Pericles S. Panagopulos (1935-2019) and George R. Vergottis (1893 – 1965).

As in previous years, the annual Hall of Fame event supported children’s charity Hellenic Hope.  Friends of the Liberty Organisation President, Captain Evangelos Kouzilos, presented the donation from the event proceeds to Andreas Bouras, chief executive officer of Hellenic Hope.

Such an event was made possible by the support of industry sponsors, led by Co-lead Sponsors ABS, IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.

For ABS, Vassilios Kroustallis, Vice President Europe, commented on the historic abilities of Greek shipping to survive crises and saw ithe industry coping with the current challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Already we are seeing the virus powering innovation through rapid global adoption of technologies to drive value and safety at sea. I am confident even more significant gains lie ahead,” Mr Kroustallis said. “The energy, optimism and innovation of Greek shipping and the remarkable men and women who are the bedrock of our success, will ensure we bounce back stronger and fitter to face whatever the future holds.

Theo Xenakoudis, Director, Worldwide Business Operations and Managing Director, Piraeus, Greece for IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry, also saw the challenges brought by Covid-19 acting as “the catalyst for adopting new measures and procedures in a demanding, digital, international environment.”

He said: “The Marshall Islands is known worldwide as a quality flag, a perfect match for Greek shipping’s high standards, and has been a large presence in the Greek maritime market for decades, with our continued expansion and investment in resources. As we continue to adapt to a changing world, we’ve learned that our ability to work together as a community is our greatest strength.”

Wang Qi, Chairman of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co. Ltd (SWS), said: “We look back with pride on SWS’s achievements, many of which have been in cooperation with our Hellenic friends.  SWS is very proud of its strong relationship with Greek shipping and we go forward together in an era that demands always more reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly ships.

“Whatever changes await our industry, the sea will remain the same, connecting us,” he added.

The Greek Shipping Hall of Fame expressed its gratitude to its Co-lead Sponsors and other strong supporters of the event.

TMS and Navios Group of Companies were major sponsors of the Virtual Induction Ceremony.

Bureau Veritas, Citi Private Bank, Moore Greece and Optima Shipping Services supported the Virtual Event as Premium Sponsors.

Further sponsorship support came from China Classification Society, ClassNK, The Shipping Deputy Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus, The Ecali Club, HSBC, KPMG, Kyvernitis Travel and Marichem Marigases Worldwide Services.

Bank Julius Baer enhanced the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame’s 2020 support for Hellenic Hope.

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