Argentina honors its two Greek National Heroes at the island of Hydra

10 June 2021
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On Friday, June 11, 2021, the Ambassador of Argentina to Greece Mr. María Lucía Dougherty de Sánchez will be in Hydra in order to attend events in memory of the two National Heroes of Argentina, the Greeks Nikolaos Kolmaniatis and Samuel Spyros.

These events are held in collaboration with the Municipality of Hydra following a relevant proposal of the Mayor of the Island Mr. Georgios Koukoudakis.

Nikolaos Georgiou Kolmaniatis was born in Hydra in 1784. The Hydraeans had a special status from the Turks, a peace treaty that included paying taxes to the Bey of Hydra in the form of sending 50 Hydraean sailors each year to staff the Ottoman fleet. Kolmaniatis will be among the Greeks of the Ottoman fleet and will be distinguished in the naval battles against the Cossacks in the Black Sea and the other blood-stained adventures in the Mediterranean. The young sailor of the Ottoman fleet, however, was a warm-blooded Greek and this played a decisive role in his life. 

While in Constantinople, news reached him that someone had insulted his newlywed wife in Hydra. He had to defend her honor. Without wasting time, he escapes from the ship, arrives in his island and kills the man in a duel. He fled to escape the consequences of deserting the Ottoman Fleet there wondered in many places, even enlisting to the Russian Navy before going to Argentina. There he met Michael Samuel Spyrou, from Mytilene or according to other sources from Spetses, who had arrived in Argentina in 1810 with his two brothers.

The country was in turmoil in those years, because it wanted to shake off the Spanish yoke. Kolmaniatis, who had changed his name to Nicolas Jorje, meaning Nicholas Georgiou, met along with Spyrou in Buenos Aires with the Irish Admiral William Brown, who had been assigned to organize the Argentine fleet. The two Greeks, offered great services during the naval battles of the Argentine fleet against the Brazilians for the expulsion of the later, who had occupied the province of Banda Oriental, the modern Uruguay. Spyrou was killed rather early, in 1814, when he chose to blow up the warship La Carmen, after evacuating it from her crew, so as not to fall into Spanish hands. Kolmaniatis died in 1866.

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