The most famous and active Greek-American organization, the AHEPA, held in Athens, Greece the 99th Anniversary AHEPA Supreme Convention to commemorate the bicentennial of the beginning of the 1821 Greek War of Independence.
The convention, which started last Sunday, honored on Wednesday the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, and the Greek shipowner Evangelos Marinakis.
The Prime Minister speaking after being awarded in the convention reiterated that the country will resolutely defend all of its sovereign rights.
Mr. Mitsotakis referred to Greek-US relations, stating that strategic cooperation is constantly increasing while repeating Athens’ dedication to resolving regional differences based on international law.
He also noted that Greece will continue to support with all its resolve towards the reunification of Cyprus.
The Greek Prime Minister mentioned, of course, an issue that is very important to the Greeks of the diaspora, the right to vote in the elections in their native land. Mr. Mitsotakis said a first step has been taken by his government to reverse a long-standing injustice, even though a fully unhindered right to vote from one’s place of residence overseas still remains to be achieved.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis dedicated the award to healthcare professionals who give the difficult fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, was also honored stating he accepts the award “on behalf of the Cypriot people”.
In his address, President Anastasiades reiterated his wish and determination for the reunification of the divided island.
The shipowner and businessman Evangelos Marinakis, Founder & Chairman of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. was honored at the event for his philanthropy and social responsibility.
In honoring Evangelos Marinakis, AHEPA Supreme President George Horiates said:
“We would like to honor today Mr. Evangelos Marinakis. He is the Founder & Chairman of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. He is one of the leading shipowners in the maritime industry and has been recognized by Lloyd’s List over the last decade as one of the top 100 global shipping personalities.
He is President and owner of Olympiacos F.C and owner of Nottingham Forest F.C. He owns the largest media group in Greece – Alter Ego Media S.A., which includes the renowned newspapers TO VIMA and TA NEA, MEGA Channel TV, One Channel, in.gr and several magazines.
Since 2014 Mr. Marinakis has been elected twice consecutively a top member of the Piraeus City Council with record votes in the history of local council elections.
Besides his business and sporting interests, Mr. Marinakis also actively supports a number of charitable causes both in Greece and around the world.
In order to preserve access to higher education about Modern Greece abroad, Mr. Marinakis participated as lead sponsor in the establishment of the «Miltiadis Marinakis Endowed Professorship for Modern Greek Language and Culture» at The Ohio State University, where the local Greek community and Ohio Hellenic Paideia initiated and completed a round of fundraising between 2015-2020, in order to safeguard the continuing operation of a department that was destined to close.
The chair of the program has been named after Mr. Marinakis’ late father, Miltiadis Marinakis, a well-respected philanthropist, who instilled in Mr. Marinakis a sense of duty toward his fellow man and pride in his Greek heritage.
Mr. Evangelos Marinakis also actively supports a number of charitable causes including UNICEF through its partnership with Olympiacos, a wide range of community and infrastructure projects across the port city of Piraeus, including most recently hospital equipment for the alleviation of the Covid-19 pandemic, food and clothing during the refugee crisis as well as for the less fortunate citizens of the Piraeus municipality, while he has been active in a multitude of cultural initiatives including among others the commemoration of the victims of the genocide of the Greeks of Pontus and support to the Kazantzakis Museum in Crete since 2014”.
The Chief Communications Officer of Capital Ship Management Corp., Niki Kalogiratou accepted Evangelos Marinakis’ award on his behalf and commented:
“Thank you very much. It is a great honor for Mr. Marinakis to receive this award from AHEPA. He is very sorry that he could not be here today, as he had obligations that were planned much earlier, regarding the presence of Olympiacos in the Champions League.
Mr. Marinakis asked me to convey his gratitude to you for this honorary distinction. It is very important, as he shares with AHEPA a common commitment to the Greek ideals of παιδεία, φιλανθρωπία, εὐεργεσία.
After a massive second wave of Greek immigration in the recent years, it is more necessary today than ever, to strengthen Greek culture and education abroad. In this respect, the creation of the ‘Miltiadis Marinakis Professorship for Modern Greek Language and Culture’ at the Ohio State University was imperative.
As we celebrate the bicentennial of the 1821 Greek War of Independence, we continue to spread the spirit of modern Greece and its ideals all over the world, especially in the U.S. which is home to the largest and most vibrant community of the Greek diaspora”.
(Niki Kalogiratou receives the AHEPA award on behalf of Evangelos Marinakis from George Horiates, Supreme President and Kostas Varsamis, Governor)