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Helmepa celebrates 35 years

Helmepa celebrates 35 years
On 6 June the Yacht Club of Greece was packed to the brim by shipping people to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (Helmepa).

In an atmosphere of some excitement, over 300 supporters and friends, celebrated along with Fotini P. Livanos, wife of the late George P. Livanos, the driving force behind the founding of Helmepa and string of Intermepas.

Hosted by Helmepa chairman, George A. Gratsos, the association's board, its dg, Dimitris Mitsatsos and the secretariat, attendees were treated to a look back into Helmepa's founding, the inspiration of Livanos in its early days and how it evolved into the force it is today among the protectors the marine environment through the cooperation between ship operators and seafarers working to achieve a common goal.

“Shipowners and seafarers, inspired by George P. Livanos, in 1982 co-signed a joint declaration under which Helmepa operates and will continue to do so as long as Greek shipping exists,” said Matthaios D. Los, a founding member and present Union of Greek Shipowners treasurer.

Gratsos referred to the association’s voluntary contribution to the maritime training of Greek officers, arousing an environmental awareness of the wider public and students as well as the creation of similar ‘Mepa’ associations in seven more countries.

In a statement read to the gathering, Basil Papachristidis, second Helempa chairman, said: “The work and example of Helmepa, offers Greece a special distinction, comparable to the advantageous position of the Greek-owned fleet within global shipping. It took the vision, creativity and faith of a great Greek shipowner and patriot – George P. Livanos – for Greece to express the best its maritime tradition has to show.”

In the presence of Intermepa chairman, Ausmepa's Warwick Norman and an array of reps from three other Mepas – Cymepa (Cyprus), Namepa (North America) and Turmepa (Turkey), tributes were paid and plaques presented to a number of personalities who played a part in promoting Helmepa's goals. These included Themistocles (Themis) Vokos, former chairman of Posidonia Exhibitions, founder of Seatrade and former publisher of Newsfront / Naftiliaki.

Helmepa was first exposed to international shipping in 1985, when it participated in the Seatrade exhibition in New York and since then has a presence at every Posidonia exhibition. Vokos spoke of Livanos’ vision and all the contributors to the successful evolution of the association, and what it offers to maritime training and environmental education.

Helmepa35

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