Pachos & Yiorgos Papastefanou

 

Mastro Pachos Papastefanou with his son, Yiorgos, in their workshop in Perama, Piraeus, early in the construction of the “Faneromeni’s” deckhouse.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

Pachos Papastefanou, together with his son, Yiorgos, is the spirit of “Faneromeni’s” rebirth. Mastro Pachos came from a family of shipwrights from the island of Symi. He was a very capable and intelligent worker who loved his line of work pursued it with enthusiasm. And he was a great character, always with a smile and full of old stories about caïques. We became very fond of each other, and I found a lot of pleasure in his company outside the work at hand.

I remember with nostalgia all the wonderful meals we had together in Salamina and Piraeus, and never will I forget those evenings in the famous taverna Vasilenas.

Of course I know all of Mastro Pachos’ family, and I consider Yiorgos, who is continuing admirably in the steps of his father, a personal friend.

Here I include brief biography of Mastro Pachos written by his son, Yiorgos Papastefanou:

MASTRO “PACHOS PAPASTEFANOU” 1923-2007

Mastro Pachos Papastefanou was born in the Hatzikiriakio district of Piraeus. His parents were from the island of Symi, but they left the island when it fell under Italian occupation. His father, Mastro Yiorgis Agrioudis (his Symian nickname), had a shipyard (tarsana) in Symi and was considered one of the best shipwrights on an island noted for ship building. In the family’s next place of residence, the Hatzikiriakio district in Piraeus, Mastro Yiorgis had a shipyard at the location that is today called Mikrolimano. In Mikrolimano he built the wooden boats popular at that period.

When the authorities prohibited shipyards in Mikrolimano, the family moved to Perama, another district in Piraeus. There Mastro Yiorgis started another shipyard where he built all types of traditional wooden boats.

From his father, Mastro Pachos learned the craft of the shipwright. He was quite talented in his own right and built boats of all the traditional styles, from 2 m rowboats to 24 m caïques. During his long career he built over 200 boats, some of which are still plying the Greek seas.

Mastro Pachos had two children, a boy and a girl. His son, Yiorgos, first studied naval architecture and then decided to continue his father’s traditional shipyard, still active today in Perama. Yiorgos worked with his father for many years and together they built many types of boats: rowboats, koutoules, trechantiria, peramata, varkalades and others. They also performed repairs and alterations to old boats.

One alteration was to the perama “Faneromeni” purchased by Nikos Riginos. “Faneromeni” was almost totally rebuilt. Everything had to be ripped away. Practically the only original part to remain was her hull. “Faneromeni” was re-built by Mastro Pachos and Yiorgos Papastefanou along the lines of traditional naval architecture.

Mastro-Pachos was one of the best shipwrights with tremendous experience and empirical knowledge of his craft despite the fact that he only completed grammar school.

Today Yiorgos Papastefanou, who holds a degree in naval architecture, still maintains the traditional shipyard in Perama, Piraeus, where traditional wooden boats are built and maintained.

THE FAMILY CRAFT AND THE TRADITION IN THE CITY OF PERAMA CONTINUES…