WE THE EREIKOUSIOTES
Our island is in the north western side of Greece and from the very beginning of time was called…. MARLERA or RAGOUSSA or EREIKOUSA .
It is on the very end of Greece by Albania and Italy, and that makes it a very important passage through the Mediterranean along with the island of Othonoi and Mathraki.
From ancient times this island was used by all kinds of different seaman.
Merchants and pirates and travelers from all the countries stopped short and got protection from rough waters in the quiet and very well protected bay of PORTO from the very strong north winds of MAISTRO.
in the year 1290 a monk named AGIOS NEILOS O EREIKOYSIOS had a monastic life in the island for about 12 years…..his remains still there …
the people in Ereikousa came to the island from Othonoi around the 1670 s.
first they came to Othonoi after the occupancy of CRETE from the Turks in the year 1669.
many Cretans left and moved to the Eptanisa in CORFU and other islands.
some people say that we are the sons and daughters of pirates who the stayed in Ereikousa from time to time…that is so wrong i say….
No pirates would ever build houses and produce fruits and vegetables or work in the boats and go fishing for living.
The people who came to live there first of all were well educated and very good workers.
They build good housing and they were friendly and very well together as a community in these small places.
years ago when i was in Ereikousa for one summer i discover in the cemetery two stones that they were from two different graves ..one said on top…BASILIS KATEHIS ANASTOS 1777….
Notice the year!
And the paratsoukli !
The other said….. NIKOLAOS MANESIS BLAKIS 1800…
I say they used their paratsoukli for people to see the difference between so many KATEHIS and so many MANESIS…
so in the year 1777 having so many people and of coerce this person had live some years of his life
i say that Ereikousa was full of life and as an organized community that’s how they started and in the 1700s they had about 75 merchant ships..
for the above ships we have details from the Greek government ,the British, the Italians and the French
After the start of the war between the Russians and the FRENCH all the ships were loosing grounds and the Ereikousiotes lost them all slowly .
Some were taking by the French navy and others lost their business because of the wars in the region.
After the years of depression ,the people started to do work on the island as agricultural work with the olive trees and their gardens , as well as fishing with smaller boats.
I grew up in Ereikousa and I remember everything since the 60s.
I remember KAKOKAIRIA and FOURTOUNAS like no other.
I remember the 6 kafeneia …all of them busy back in the days.
I remember the nice people… the good women.
The school and teacher DAMASKIS.
The boat ….KAIKI … of ANDREAS NAPPAS.
The boat of BARBA GIOSYFIS BLAKIS.
The boat of SIDARI of GIORGIS AND MARIETA.
The boat of my uncle PERIKLIS KALAMARIS
And GIAZIMIS ,my father’ s boat MITSIS KANATAS
All of these people along with some of their workers as sailors on those boats always amazed me for the job they have done for years and years.
They went through hell for one kilo beef, for one frantzola bread , for the flour, the corn, for the chickens and all the things the people needed back then.
AND UNTILL TODAY NO ONE ….. I mean nobody … no individual or club or society or even the Church or any government officials has ever given any
Thoughts of appreciation or just a small little placate to say THANK YOU
To show them that we know what they went through for us.
They were almost drowned every day in the sea and we never said or give any thanks to them.
Some or most of them have past away allready, but some still here with us.
Maybe it is not too late for us.
As I like to go on …..I remember the women.
Those heroes too……
What they did?
Well they did everything.
I mean everything.
They worked as just as good as the men.
They dinged the ground, the brought watter, they cut wood, and they picked olives. They baked bread, they cocked, and everything else that does not come to my mind right now.
Did we ever give any appreciation to them yet all these years ?
Of COERCE NOT.
Not us. How can we realize what we have not done . we are so busy making money and trying to make more and more every day . our mind is occupied with so much thinking that we forget what we owe to the WOMAN of EREIKOUSA.
I FEEL SO ASHAMED.
The only thing I have done for the KAPETANEOUS and THE women of Ereikousa is a little poem for each one of them.
That’s all just a poem.
I AM SO SORY
KOSTAS KATEHIS KANATAS
But I still remember….
I remember so many things , different than today.
So many people , different than today.
Ereikousiotes were going from one coffee shop to another with out the fear of anyone to say … why did you go there !
From BARBA STEFANIS to ANDREA NAPPA….
FROM BARBA STAMATIS to TATSIS KOKOROS,
Every one was buying OYZO to all others.
The church was full every Sunday.
We were draping the TRATA at night in PORTO and BRANGINI.
We waited for the mail man to call every name and give the letter to each of us.
We waited for the boat to come and run to the MOLO to help unload and take home the goods ANDREAS OF GIOSYFIS brought for us.
We played in the sea with the watter,we played soccer in the MEGALO LIVADI…
We hunt and fish as I remember from very young age.
We snorkel and scuba dive .
KOSTAS KATEHIS KANATAS