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SymiVisitor Symi’s Neoclassical Architecture and Le Oeil de Boeuf (Ox Eye window) page 13


ISSUE 132 | Spring 2009

INSIDE ISSUE 132 Editorial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Puzzle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 28 Real Estate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 31

Anti-Smokers being Anti-Social page 15

Symians in Tarpon Springs are Symi’s Extended Family

The people of Symi were instrumental in building the sponge industry and contributing to the creation of businesses and the civic community in Tarpon Springs. Now the joining of Tarpon Springs and Symi on November 8, 2008 reunites families and a desire for reconnecting with their families.

St. Michael’s Shrine page 2

Tarpon Springs Artist Chris Still Dives Deep page 9

Winter in Symi James Colins • page 21

Out & About page 24

“This article in The Symi Visitor is about my grandfather” said Tarpon Springs lawyer Charles Samarkos as he looked through an October 2008 edition of the newspaper, “he built the boat the “Symi” that this article is about.” His mother in law is Symian from the Balaskas family. Throughout the weekend of November 8th and 9th, 2008, Symians in Tarpon Springs sought out the visitors from Symi. They approached Symi’s Vice Mayor Ilias Haskas and his wife Emily, and Symi Visitor’s Nikos Halkitis asking if they knew of their relatives and friends still living in Symi. “He has the supermarket.” “He’s just started the electronic shop.” “He lives in Nimborio.”“Do you know my cousin?”“We were in the army together”…were just a few of the descriptions heard over the two days of celebrations, there were many more.

“I want Symians in Symi to know that Tarpon Springs is their extended family, and I want you to send a message through your newspaper that they are welcome here anytime. We will treat them as family.” said an enthusiastic first generation Symian. There is tremendous excitement about the Sister City link between Tarpon Springs and Symi. It was a historic occasion. In part because the

Mayor Michael Eaccarino with his wife

signing of the Sister City agreement also took place on November 8th; the Feast Day of Archangel Michael of Panormitis and the historic 75th anniversary of Tarpon Springs’ Taxiarchis Symian Society. Nearly 500 people attended the signing and dinner dance at the Spanos/ Pappas Community Centre, a state of the art community and recreation centre. Maria Angeliadis used her technology acumen to set up the computer-projection system to show the film about Symi produced by Symi Island’s council, which made some guests nostalgic and longing for return to the island in 2009. Vasile Faklis served as Master of Ceremonies,

and his mother Katie Faklis and Maria Pantellis (featured in the March 2008 issue of Symi Visitor) led the audience in singing the national anthems of the US and Greece. City officials in attendance from Tarpon Springs included Mayor Beverley Billiris who presided over the official signing of the Sister City agreement, and city commissioners Peter Dalacos and Chris Alahouzos. Also present was U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis, who holds an elected position in the U.S. Congress in Washington, the nation’s capital. Dignitaries from the Church included, Reverend, Father Michael Eaccarino (who hopes to visit Panormitis Monastery as part of the Sister City pro-

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