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Funeral of Kritikos Spyridon


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Funeral of Kritikos Spyridon

   The course and life of Spyros Kritikos reflects and fully mirror the course of Greek Merchant Shipping after World War II.

   Spyros Kritikos was a child who grew up in the midst of the German occupation, grew up in very difficult conditions during World War II, his beloved mother and my grandmother Kalliopi died during the occupation leaving him orphan.

   His father Vangelis escaped because he was being chased by dictator Metaxas. His difficult childhood years, which deprived him of his childhood and his parents, gave him the strength to become a life-fighter and to succeed.

   He studied alone, working at the same time, becoming an officer of the merchant navy. An engineer where he made his first barge on the legendary liberty ships.

   Here, opposite the church of Ag. Spyridon on the docks at the port of Piraeus, the Greek Shipping Directory mentions his name, that he sailed on a Liberty ship in 1958.

   Then, he became an important part of shipowner Livanos, by going to Japan in the 1960s, overseeing and taking over the company's newly built ships.

   In the 1960s and fully aware of what he was doing for a long time and for as long as the Vietnam War lasted, Spiros Kritikos, aware of the danger to both himself and his family, broke the American Naval forces blockade that had imposed on northern Vietnam, at the port of Saigon, delivering ammunition, food, ph, which werearmaceuticals, and at the same time repairing hospital generators destroyed by US bombs. Also donating his ship's generator to a hospital, thus saving thousands of civilians, mainly elderly and young children.

   His action was honored at the time by government officials at the port of Saigon, but also at his death, with the presence of the Vietnamese Ambassador to Greece, Mr Nguyen Manh Cuong, who talked at his funeral and expressed the gratitude of the government of Vietnam for the services that he offered to the people of Vietnam.

   He survived three shipwrecks with a ship-refrigerator of shipowner Livanos in the 1960s when a crew of 3 survived, he and two others holding onto a pontoon. In the 1970s he survived the Garden City shipwreck, an Amsterdam ship, where me and my mother went there, to visit him, a thing that had remained deeply engraved in my memory. In the same shipwreck were Captain Thanasis, his best friend, associate and brother. The third shipwreck was in the 1980s, with their own ship IOANNIS, where he was again aboard with Captain Thanasis. He also survived a plane crash, when one of the propellers of the aircraft caught fire and the pilot made a forced landing.

   Somewhere there was also the great leap that characterized the course of modern Greek shipping, where captains and engineers became shipowners. So, along with Captain Thanassis, they bought their own ships by plowing the seas, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Red Sea, UK Condiment, West Africa, transporting all kinds of goods.



    S/S KALLIOPI (he gave the name of his beloved mother)

   My father taught me to be a fighter, to take risks, to be fair and at the same time tough, and never to give up, but to always go ahead with every price. I remember when I was student, returning with my father from a business trip in West Africa after many months. I had become ill with malaria, and because of the lack of suitable medicines and food, due to the difficult political conditions there, I was exhausted to a dangerous degree. Then my father told me a phrase that became a trust for me, "The pain, make it one with your skin so that it will not hurt you." When I understood what this meant, it became the secret of my own success.

   The main legacy left by my father is a spiritual heritage, a heritage of spirituality and a legacy of experiences. Spyros Kritikos was not only a father to me, but also friend and associate, I lived with him experiences that go beyond the experiences of the average person. That is why, with his death, a part of me died, because I am flesh from his flesh and blood from his blood.

   I want to thank for their important help and support my family, my wife and my daughter, especially I want to thank Nika Maria, my mother in law, who has helped me tremendously over my father's care the last difficult days, my colleague Damigos Lefteris for his help, Dora Ivanova, who was my father’s guardian angel 24 hours per day in the last one and a half year, the medical team who mainly provided humanitarian care, Vasilis Chandrinos Pulmonary Manager of B Pulmonary Clinic Seimanoglio Hospital, Manoli Sevdali specialist pathologist and Mpoygia Marina, his physiotherapist.

   Father, Captain Spyros or Mastro-Spyros, i hope a good last big trip. You are sailing from the port of Piraeus, as before, but this time for the heavenly port, where there at the docks I already see that your beloved mother Kalliopi, grandfather Vangelis, my mother and your beloved wife Neni, your Nenaki , your beloved brother George, who together grew up as orphans and together with Captain Thanasis, Captain Thodoros and so many others in commercial shipping.

Have a nice trip

I am not afraid

Just like before, you will reach your destination.

Your son and your only child


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