Our microcosm is still expanding!
Last week marked the 35th anniversary of the foundation of ARCHELON. We were planning to celebrate this a bit later, but suddenly the actual date was reminded by some of the newest members. The first wishes appeared, followed by an explosion of messages and posts and a colorful cloud of wishes from friends and members. Happy birthday ARCHELON!
The first statutes of the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, as it was known then, were signed by 21 persons on the 20th of November 1983. Dimitris Margaritoulis, Anna-Kremezi Margaritouli and Thomas Arapis are three of them that remain actively involved to the day.
So, it has been 35 years!
With a lot of walking, many sea turtles, nights on the beach, nesting, 4-wheel motorbikes, tags.
With great successes, threats, dangers, some failures, petitions, sweat, blood and appeals.
With travels, conferences, presentations, skills, awards, schools, colouring books, information kiosks, reports, camp sites, invoices.
With careers, collaborations, research, huge number of romances (some weddings as well) oppositions, ‘envies’, degrees, suitcases (sea turtle education kits), calipers , PhDs.
With T-shirts, stickers, data sheets, table games, motorbikes, inflatable boats, automobiles and one property.
With presidential decrees, appeals, courts, arrests (but no convictions).
With rescues, releases, strategies, loving souls of volunteers, celebrations, parties, retreats, joint dinners in tavernas, deaths.
We grew older with ARCHELON and with us grew older many thousands of volunteers and friends who passed by. They all left a small stone on the road for ARXHELON to reach this point. We will grow older with thousands of volunteers who are yet to come and will leave their mark on this path.
35 years of concerns, efforts and results! Many people, with different personalities and different ways. We have existed in each other’s lives for many years. Some of us became close, others we never came to know on a personal level, but we have been travelling down the same path. Different people, with a common denominator, we have found ourselves in the same great story!
Our story has indelibly touched many more people than we can imagine. Each one has their own story of meeting with the Society, especially with the sea turtles they met, the large loggerheads and the others, the greens with the white belly.
It is an amazing story, the story of ARCHELON. Thanks to the will, the persistence, the patience, the joyous spirit, the attitude, the resistance, the influence, the contribution of so many people and our good luck, ARCHELON made it to here and it seems we are getting ready for continuing the journey further.
We continue with respect to each other, focus and responsibility, based on the knowledge and experience gained. Sea turtles are our starting point and direction and through them we come to touch the many social and environmental challenges of the world.
Let’s try to answer this: ‘who would we be without ARCHELON?’
(This article is made up of texts spontaneously shared by ARCHELON’s BoD members and staff for the 35 years anniversary)