The Maniatakeion Foundation Pays Tribute To The Late Professor Fotis Litsas On The 10th Anniversary Of His Death

Friday, January 4, 2008

On April, 1st 2008, the Maniatakeion Foundation held an event to honor the late Professor Litsas on the tenth anniversary of his death. The event took place at the Foreign Press Association Ballroom in Athens.

Professor Litsas hailed from the Stavros township in Trifyllia and had lived in Chicago, USA, since 1971. This multitalented man, a scholar of the Greek Diaspora and of Hellenism, passed away on March 5th, 1998, leaving behind a considerable body of patriotic, social, and spiritual work. It was to his accomplishments and to the quality of the man which all of the evening’s speakers addressed.

The first speaker was Evangelos Sorongas, Adjunct Professor of Communication and Media at Athens University. He had been a close friend of Fotis Litsas since 1971. He spoke about his contribution to the Greek community in Chicago. He closed his remarks talking about how much more Professor Litsas, who was only 55 when he passed away, had to offer.

The next speaker, Eleni Tagonidi Maniataki, a writer and the Vice Chairman of the Maniatakeion Foundation, gave a retrospective account of his work, paying special attention to the period 1968-1971, when he taught literature at the Koroni High School. It was during from his tenure at the high school and his life in Koroni that Professor Litsas was largely inspired to write one of the most valuable and tender books about the town, Koroni: Portrait of a City, written and published ten years later in 1982. Mrs. Tagonidi-Maniataki also mused about the promise of the man and the example he set by his life.

The last speaker was author Christos Repppas, publisher of the annual Messinian Chronicles. He spoke about his reminiscences of Professor Litsas, related unknown anecdotes and interesting episodes from his student years, from his work as a writer and a teacher, and from his unwavering dedication to Greek values, both in Greece and in the United States.

The next part of the program included an audio-visual show on the life and work of the late Professor, from the archives of Christos Reppas, and readings from his book Small Odysseys by actress Elena Arvanitis and by Giorgos Ziovas.

The event was moderated by television journalist Natali Kakkavas. The event was very well attended. Among the guests were the Metropolitan of Messinia, His Holiness Mr. Chrysostomos, members of the Litsas family, Mr. Elias Kalioras, MP from Phthiotis, Ambassadors Spyros Aliagas and Spyros Dokianos, the Vice President of the Council of State Mr. Michalis Vrontakis, former MP from Chalkidiki Vassilis Pappas, Koroni mayor Thodoris Salantis, Androusa mayor Aristomenis Papdopoulos, and Nestoras mayor Anastasions Tsoronis, musicologist Panayiotis Mylonas, former Areios Pagos Judge Georgos. Arvanitis, historian Christos Arvanitis, Professors Konstantinos Niarchos and Iossif Hassid, businessman Christos Maniatakis, ENE President Panayiotis Michalos, businessman Antonis Lykiardopoulos, Kostas Kirkorianos and Chicago friend Manolis Gianakakos. Also present were attorneys Giorgos Diamantakism, Konstantinos Poulios, and I. Theodoropoulos, Koronian Association President Vassilis Apostolopoulos, Northern Suburbs Messinian Association Vassilis Nasopoulos, Chora Cultural Association President Evgenia Kokkevi, and Charakopian Association of Attica President Maria Mathiopoulou. In addition, the Director of the Omogeneia News Agency Elias Eliopoulos, journalists Mary Paraponiaris, Vassilis Rouvalis and Giannis Tsouanopoulos, psychologist Dimitris Bossinakis and many others.

The Maniatakeion Foundation is a non-profit institution dedicated to cultural, social, and development activities for Koroni and the region and takes great pride in supporting events that showcase the region, bring together its diverse population, and invite more people to become familiar with its culture and beauty.