submitted by Helen Tzortzopoulos on 19.08.2005
100 YEARS OLD!
It was a momentous accasion for the Kytherian Brotherhood of Piraeus as it celebrated 100 years since its founding in 1899. The elegant neo-classical building of the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce provided a perfect venue for the two days celebrations which took place on the 6th & 7th November to commemorate the 100th Anniversary. On the Saturday evening, the first part of the function was principally of an academic nature. Mr. Vrettos Kypriotis - current President of the Brotherhood elaborated upon the nature and content of the forthcoming two day cultural event.
The first guest speaker was distinguished Kytherian academic George Leontsinis, professor of Modern Greek History at the University of Athens. The theme of his paper was "Domestic migration and unification of the community: The example of the Kytherian Brotherhood of Piraeus-Athens".
Mr. Ilias Marcellos, economist and head of European and international Relations of the University of Athens (and Editor of this newspaper), presented a very enlightening paper titled "The common economical areas of Kytherians of the Diaspora (past, present and future)". Mr. Marcellos referred to how modern technology today e.g. Internet can unite groups of Kytherians with common spheres of interest - professional, business of otherwise, throughout the world. He also suggested that meetings on an international scale could be organized every couple of years wherever there are Kytherian communities for interchanging of ideas, opinions, etc. which would be mutually beneficial. Today's on-line communications open up enormous horizons the advantages of which are endless for Kytherians everywhere. Finally, postgraduate student of History ms. Calypso Michalakaki spoke in depth on "The Kytherian Brotherhood of Piraeus-Athens, 100 years of history". She spoke on events leading up to the founding of the Association and the people responsible for its establishment, its benefactors, its purposes and aims and its achievements over the century.
As the content of papers was considerable and of extreme interest, we will at a future date go into more detail on the topics as presented by these outstanding speakers.
The second part of the two day programme was more socially orientated - this being justified by the fact that the hall was more than filled to capacity. Speeches of greetings were made by the President Mr. Vrettos Kypriotis, Vice President Prof. George Leontsinis and Secretary mr. Dimitri Parissi. Honoured guests who presented their congratulations to the Brotherhood included a representative from the Dept. of Mercantile Marine (in the absence of the Minister), and Mr. George Cassimaty, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Piraeus. An abridged version of the history of the Brotherhood was once again presented by Ms. Calypso Mihalakaki and during the course of the evening, poetry was recited by Mrs. Litsa Stratigou Mr. Panagioti Katsouli and John Christodoulos whilst Katy Galanaki sang Kytherian songs. The Brotherhood presented honourary diplomas to some 50 people who had served on the Brotherhood's committees over the years. The evening's celebrations were highlighted by a display of kytherian folk dancing presented by two generations of dancers - the old veterans followed by the Kytherian youth of today. A lavish reception may have closed the two day celebrations but opened the way for the next 100 years.
One hundred years is a long passage of time and the Brotherhood, like most other associations, has, throughout that time, undergone many changes, many hardships, many conflicts and disputes. Whatever the difficulties however, the Brotherhood has managed to survive and the end result is that the Kytherian community of Piraeus has its home in the heart of Piraeus - a home where parents can meet each other for social exchanges, where their children can be taught of their heritage - their history, music and culture until it is time for them too, to pas the baton on to the next generation.
Edition number: 210
From the archive of the newspaper "Kytherian Idea"
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