April 10, 2019
Shipowners George S. Coumantaros and John P. Goulandris have been inducted into the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame.
The two historic industry personalities were revealed as the Inductees for 2018 in front of more than 600 guests from the shipping community at the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner 2019 held at the Megaron, The Athens Concert Hall.
Voting for Inductees takes place annually among members of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Academy, currently numbering about 300 prominent individuals in the Greek shipping industry today. The integrity of the on-line voting and the final results are overseen by the international audit firm, Deloitte.
The new Inductees in alphabetical order are:
George S. Coumantaros (1922-2016)
George S. Coumantaros had family roots in flour-milling and shipping and as a young man became highly knowledgeable in both. After spending his early years in the UK, Greece and Argentina, in 1947 he joined his family in New York and established his own company, Southern Star Shipping, which began operating Liberty ships, T-2 tankers and later larger, modern vessels.
In a shipping career spanning 70 years, he forged long-term relationships with international companies in the steel, aluminum, coal, cement and petroleum sectors. He viewed shipping as an integral part of the supply chain, and he strove to provide efficient, innovative logistical solutions for industrial clients.
He pioneered self-discharging bulk carriers, designing and implementing unique transshipment operations in Guyana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Nigeria, to name a few. His decades-long shipbuilding programmes were distinguished by attention to detail, superior specifications and innovative designs.
In 1960, an opportunity arose to establish a flour-mill in Nigeria, and he expanded the company into one of the country’s leading industries, today employing 12,000 people. George S. Coumantaros became greatly respected in Nigeria, especially by the work force, to whom he was a protector and father figure-figure for 58 years.
John P. Goulandris (1907-1950)
The eldest son of Petros J. Goulandris and his wife Chryssi, John P. Goulandris was born on the island of Andros in 1907and early in his career worked for family company Goulandris Brothers in London.
In 1937, just before the outbreak of World War II, John P. Goulandris decided with his brothers to set out on their own, forming their own business group known as Petros J. Goulandris Sons. Soon afterwards, he and his brothers started to envision possible opportunities on the other side of the Atlantic.
John set his sights on Montreal, a city with an active post-war Greek community, and – guided by him – the family founded Andros Shipping, purchased and built ships in Canada, and even established a general cargo liner service from Canada to the Far East.
Despite his relative youth, John P. Goulandris’ entrepreneurial instincts and energy had, by the mid-1940s, played the leading role in establishing a substantial new maritime enterprise and earned him the nickname of ‘The Great One’. Tragically John P. Goulandris passed away from heart failure in 1950 at the early age of 43. However, he had already laid the foundations for his brothers to go on to realise his vision in the decades to come.
The Inductees for 2018 will shortly be featured with full biographies and other media in the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame.
An independent organisation established to bring the fascinating story of Greek shipping to a wider public, the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame has been paying tribute to leading personalities from Greece’s past shipping history since 2007.
With the addition of George S. Coumntaros and John P. Goulandris, the Hall of Fame now includes 30 outstanding personalities of the shipping world.