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Funeral of Kritikos Spyridon


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    An emblematic personality of Greek Commercial Shipping

   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, when his beloved mother Kalliopi died during the occupation leaving him orphan. During these years of Germans occupation, Eleni, a young girl, his smaller sister died and from the whole family only he and his brother George remained. Together they made career to Greek Merchant Navy. 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 chief engineer where he made his first barge on the legendary liberty ships. 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, medicine supplies, 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, a cargo-passenger vessel at the sea area of Amsterdam port. In the same shipwreck were Captain Thanasis, his best friend, associate and brother. The third shipwreck was in the 1980s, with his 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, he bought his 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)

   Concerned indeed, he expanded his business activities in the tourism sector in the Dodecanese by establishing a hotel unit, a car and motorcycle rental business and a number of tourism businesses.

He remained active until the end of his life.


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