HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY

The island of Nisyros lies in the middle of Dodecanese islands complex covering an area of about 42 km2. Several other islets “belong” to Nisyros namely, the islet of Ag. Antonios, Gyali, Pacheia, Pyrgousa or Pergousa, Candeleousa or Candeliousa, and Strongyli. The distance from the south coastline of Kos is 10 n. miles, while from Krios promontory of Asia Minor (ancient Knidos) the distance is 9 miles. The permanent residency population of Nisyros reaches 1000, spread to four villages, Mandraki (capital), Nikeia, Emporeios, Pali, and as for the main occupation of Nisyros population same ish pumice and perlite extraction from the two mines located on Gyali islet, and tourist related activities as well. Only few of the inhabitants deal with stock farming, agriculture, and fishery. The relatively infertile and completely arid soil, forced many Nisyrians to emigrate, during 18th an 19th century to the famous and booming centers of Diaspora Hellenism of that time, to Constantinoupolis and in general to the coastline of Asia Minor, to Odessa, to Romania, to Egypt, and to the coastline of North Africa, even to the long distant Manchuria. Later in the years, to Australia, to the United States of America, and to Canada. A great number of Nisyrians live nowadays in Attica, Rhodes, and Kos. The difficulties of life, which many Nisyrians encountered, in combination with the rather developed patriotic feeling, contributed to the foundation of community associations at the places of their new residence. Thereby, there are traces of such Nisyrians Associations in Constantinoupolis back at the 19th century and later in Egypt and the United States.

The aim of all those associations was the support to the recently arrived compatriots and the offer of financial assistance to the “small” motherland for the coverage of basic needs. There are remarkable examples of this said assistance to Nisyros: the financing of the construction of School buildings, the Municipal Baths, water reservoirs, payment of expenses for the operation of schools, payment of expenses for doctor residence, supply of medicines, clothing, food supplies immediately following the of the War, etc. The good patriots of Diaspora preoccupied dearly with the cultural inheritance of Nisyros, since early ages all and the pertinent initiatives always evolved within the framework of these said associations. Later they realized the necessity of the foundation of a society, the exclusive aim of which would be the protection and dissemination of every historic and folkloric element of our island. As an expression of the interest and anxiety of the Nisyrians of Attica, the Nisyrian Studies Society was founded in 1961 with headquarters in Athens. At the end of the text the establishing record of the Society is provided. It is a non-profit scientific organization, it is administrated by a seven member Board, and since the summer of 2001 it operates under the honorary presidency of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Nisyrian Studies Society has been honoured with the Praise of the Academy of Athens in recognition of its developing achievements.

The current Board consists of the following members:

1. Konstantinos Diam. Hartofilis, President

2. Nikolaos Kon. Plakas, Vice President

3. Eirini Pan. Katsimatidis, General Secretary

4. Ioannis Kon. Nikolopoulos, Treasurer

5. Giannis Nik. Koumentos, Member

6. Nikolaos I. Michalos, Member

7. Nikolaos Pan.-Ioan. Nikolopoulos, Member

Scientific Committee

1. Gena Aggeliki, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

2. Diatsigkou-Nikolopoulou Eugenia, Archeologist, Msc (OXON)

3. Zachariadis Theodosis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

4. Kalivas Stathis, YALE University. Member of American Academy of Arts & Sciences

5. Kourouni Mairi, Univeristy of Piraeus

6. Oikonomidis Georgios, Teacher of Literature

7. Sakellaridis N. Ioannis, National Technical University of Athens & Rutgers University, USA

8. Sakellaridis Neoph. Nikolaos, University of Thessaly, Larissa

9. Skourtou Eleni, Aegean University

10. Tsirpanlis Zacharias, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

The representatives of the Society are:

1. Georgios Nik. Sakellaridis, Nisyros

2. Georgios Ioan. Koumentos, Rhodes

3. Nikolaos Kon. Sfakianos, USA

4. Κonstantinos G. Sarris, Kos

It is all Society Members’ conviction that it is an obligation and fulfillment of a holy debt towards their Nisyrian ancestors, to absolutely preserve whatever they created because this is the intellectual wealth and heritage which they will bequeath to the newer generation. Therefore, any effort and any exertion to this direction are imperative.