April 8, 2013

Leading personalities from today's Greek shipping industry turned out in force on Monday 8 April 2013 to pay tribute to some of their illustrious predecessors at the official Inauguration of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame, held at Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall. 

More than 400 prestigious guests were there to witness the public launch of the Hall of Fame which was hosted by journalist and broadcaster, Maria Vassara. The ceremony featured an Inauguration Address delivered by Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, KCMG, Secretary General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization. 

Addressing the audience Mr. Mitropoulos said: "I personally believe, without reservation, in the scope and purposes of the institution we inaugurate this evening and I see it as, among other things, a means to educate and inspire Greeks, particularly young people, to follow the example of those who made Greek shipping great. 

"So today is a great and significant day, just as the initiative to honour these men and establish this institution on a strong and lasting basis is a great and significant initiative. For, as Herodotus, another great Greek, urged us thousands of years ago: "great and marvelous deeds (and consequently their creators) must not be forgotten with the passing of time," said Mr. Mitropoulos. Celebrated at the dinner in performance and video were the initial 18 Inductees in the Hall of Fame who include many international icons of the shipping industry. The event also marked the launch of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame website which went 'live' at the end of the night at www.greekshippinghalloffame.org 

The glittering Inauguration was kindly sponsored by classification society ABS, the National Bank of Greece and Optima Shipbrokers. 

ABS Chairman, Robert D. Somerville, said: "ABS is very proud to be associated with the launch of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame. It is a fitting tribute to the many outstanding individuals who have shaped the Greek fleet from the Liberty Ships post World War II to the present day." 

National Bank of Greece Chief Executive Alexandros Tourkolias, said: The launch of a Greek Shipping Hall of Fame is a particularly important event, since the enterprise and energy of the people who have made the shipping industry flourish will inspire the vision and goals of future generations of Greek ship-owners." Antonis Roussos, Chairman and Co-Founder of Optima Shipbrokers, said: "All the Inductees in the Hall of Fame helped create and shape the world's leading shipping power. Many of the illustrious personalities whom we honour tonight supported our country as altruistic benefactors or helped our nation in its toughest times, showing themselves to be true patriots."