γράφει ο ΣTEΛIOΣ K. XAΛKIAΣ
Aναπληρωτής Πρόεδρος του Συνδέσμου των Aπανταχού Kαρδαμυλίων
Hello!This is the Overseas Greek writing to you for the first time from our well-loved newspaper Kardamyla.
Our newspaper Kardamyla has been going strong for over 62 years, playing the vital roll of updating us all on current developments both in our hometown, and between ourselves, whereever we may reside. It is our hope that this newspaper continues its illustrious course into the future. Among the steps being taken are an internet site presently under construction and this English segment for those of us raised or living abroad.
The kardamylians’ global accosiation (Syndesmos Apantachou Kardamylion) is the doyen of the institutions supporting and serving our people since 1957. The Founders, composed of the leading shipowners of the period,realized that as they themselves had left Kardamyla either to attend to their rapidly expanding shipping interests or to seek a new life abroad, an organization was needed to encompass those of us living abroad with our hometown, Kardamyla.
The efforts of the Kardamylians’ Global Accosiation (Syndesmos Apantachou Kardamylion) were centered around social activities, choroesperides, and this newspaper. It is important to remember, that through the efforts of individuals, important investments in schools, culture, medical facilities and others have been made over the years. Indeed, save for the roads and open air theater, and now the new port, all else is either gifted or is maintained by Kardamylians.
As with all endeavors of 64 years of existence, mistakes have been and setbacks have had to be overcome.The previous genera-tions did a magnificent job of keeping us united and tied to our homeland. Now, it is our turn to take over this heavy responsibility.
The Kardamylians’ Global Accosiation does not manage a large amount of money. Our sister entity, the Kardamylian Foundation, was created to bring together a critical mass of funds so that a yearly amount of money would be available to contribute to worthy local requirements.
Both institutions are complementary and we look forward to continued joint efforts in favor of Kardamyla.
Serious efforts are being made to stem the outflow of our young people; we are making every effort that this be successful.
We are financially supporting families and students from other areas to come to live in Kardamyla to assure that our schools will not be closed due to lack of students.
We have contributed to the distribution of computers to enable all students to follow internet schooling during the recent closures.
We are lobbying to avoid the closure of public services such as the post office and the bank.
Our efforts have become more important since the downgrading of Kardamyla from a municipality, as our local representatives have no authority nor funds with which to operate.
We must support our local authorities with our presence and contacts. Our premier presence in the Greek shipping world gives us strength, but we also require a large membership to reenforce the importance of Kardamyla when speaking to governmental authorities. Therefore, it is not just a question of our contributing, it is also a question of our joining the Syndesmos in its vital efforts
Kardamyla, today, is a town in transition. The attractions of the big cities leaving the heartland underpopulated is a world-wide phenomenon which has naturally affected us. In our case it is not only the attraction of Athens and Piraeus, but also the city of Chios (Chora), affected us. To this we must add our emigration abroad, mainly the United States where I doubt there is a major city without our presence.
But what about those of us whose life is now centered abroad? What is Kardamyla to us? We are citizens of the US, the UK, and of many other countries. Where does our parents or grandparents birthplace fit into our lives?
First and foremost, we must understand that Kardamyla, and Greece, is a motherland. Our families culture travelled with them from here and was adapted to our new home. Whoever we are is influenced by that fact. We should build on the qualities bequeathed to us by our heritage and build upon that. Each family has its own character but I note two common threads in Kardamylians, love of family and a strong desire to advance in whatever area we choose.
Furthermore, we do not lose the right of citizenship and belonging no matter how many generations we have lived abroad. Few countries offer that. Our identity is perfectly defined, we are children of our parents hence we are Kardamylites, Chians and Hellenes and no one can take it away from us. It is only for us to lose.
Kardamyla offers us fantastic scenery, beaches, mountains coupled with safety and security including excellent medical services which are unparalleled even in the most expensive of the trendy islands. We will soon have a first-class harbor and promenade where we will have attractive facilities for boats.
What we need is your interest and participation.
We look forward to hearing from you regarding ideas that would attract you and your families. Walking trails? football (soccer) academy? small boat handling course for Greek waters? Greek classes? Assistance with general information? Tennis court?
Our ancestors have been oppressed, isolated, enslaved, and massacred yet we have produced a world class merchant marine, businessmen, academics and heroes out of proportion to our size.
We must be doing something right.