HS Eugenios Eugenidis
One might plausibly argue that it was but natural that the sailing ship "Eugenios Eugenides" should come to be connected to Greece, a country celebrated for its islands with a shoreline of 16,000 km., a country whose fate has been intertwined with a deep knowledge of the sea, of her moods and of ways to cope with them. Let us not forget that praise to the seamanship of Greeks, of mariners, shipbuilders, fishermen and traders alike, to the daring and ingenuity of our people, to their constant search for that which is new can be found in writings as early as the epics of Homer. And as to the historic sailing ship "Eugenios Eugenides", the elegant three-masted schooner built in 1929, she too has a luring story to tell. She starts her life as "Sunbeam II" in a famous shipyard, somewhere in rainy Scotland, and then come pleasure cruises in the warm Mediterranean waters to be followed by clandestine missions to rescue resistance fighters in the Second World War. After the war she is taken to the North Sea, where under Swedish ownership, she acts as a training vessel, and then she reaches sunny Greek waters to be used for the tryingof marine cadets in Hydra. These past years, the ship has remained silent, moored at Phloisvos, waiting for better days to come, which seem at last to have arrived. The Navy has taken on it a rescue operation of distinct nature Eugenios Eugenides back to life, to see to it that it is repaired and refitted. Ami more than anything else to blow new life into a vessel neglected for so long.
And it is this same wish that gave life to the exhibitioni presenting "Eugenios Eugenides" which was organised with great care and will be housed for several months in the historic battleship-museum "Averoff". The exhibition reassembles piece by piece the vessel's rich history, through historical information and documents, objects and the reminiscences of different persons tied to the sea and to the life of the ship itself, bringing to the marina of Phloisvos the scent of times past.
We believe that the Greek sailing ship "Eugenios Eugenides" does indeed set sail for a new destination and that its prospects for the 21st century are bright: to take once again to the sea routes as a seaworthy training vessell of our Navy and as a delight to our seafaring nation carrying, under the Greek flag, a message of friendship to the peoples of the world, to seas and havens of safety and cooperation.
Both Eugenios Eugenides, the great patron and astute businessman, and his sister Marianthi Simou, who accepted to support the purchase of the vessel on the part of the Greek state in 1965 with the property of her brother, would have been proud to see "Eugenios Eugenides" revived and once again in commission.
It is my hope that the Greek State, and in particular the Navy, as well as all those - be they bodies or natural persons - who are sensitive to the seafaring destiny of Greeks will need to work together in harmony to allow "Eugenios Eugenides" to become an important piece in the seafaring culture of not only Greece but of Europe and of the world in general.
Chairman of the Eugenides Foundation