Diamantis Palaiologos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diamantis Palaiologos, also known as Mantos, was born in 1948 and grew up in Palio Klima of Skopelos. During his studies as an electrical engineer in Athens, he studied at the School of Dora Stratou. In 1973 he moved to Vancouver, Canada where he studied Maths at Simon Fraser University.

  

During his studies there together with his wife Christine Palaiologou and other Greeks of Diaspora they created the dance group ROMIOS, which gave performances throughout Canada and received very good reviews. Their preoccupation with dancing became professional since they often danced at Greek restaurants, earning the necessary student pocket money.

 

After his studies he returned to his homeland and his island where he taught at the High School of Glossa as a Math teacher . For several years he was the director of the school, which he tried with hard work and passion to turn into an experimental school.  The school and the students were his soul. His professional zeal was not only restricted to the class hours but also he was always a mentor for his students, showing empathy towards their concerns and advising them about their future, even after their graduation.

 

He was one of the founding members of the Cultural Association and was involved zealously with the cultural life of the island. He taught with love and passion traditional dances for 28 consecutive years, at no personal benefit. He organized the dance group of Glossa which repeatedly excelled nationwide. His whole life was full selflessness and political reflection and he supported, with  the passion that characterized him, everything he considered to be to the benefit of the island and the village. During his tenure at the Board of the Association and as a dance teacher he had to confront entrenched and deeply rooted attitudes, in order to upgrade culturally his village, which he finally managed to do.

 

 Diamantis and Christina never ceased to love and explore the wealth of Greek traditional dances enriching their knowledge with dance workshops, conferences of International Organizations of Dance teaching etc. Many generations  of Glossa inhabitants loved traditional dances through the glance of Mantos and Christine, learning first to love the rhythm and then to dance. The family tradition continues today, after conveying to their children Chris, Theodore and Nafsika their love for traditional dances and their active civic participation. In 2004 Nafsika Palaiologou, faithful to family tradition, takes on the teaching of traditional dances to primary school children, thus adding a new kernel to the dance group and she continues to this day with adults and children groups. In March 2010 Glossa, education, culture and dance lost a worthy child, whose contribution was important in all areas.

 

Below is an excerpt from the eulogy of his old students as illustrated by his colleague and friend, John Alevizos in http://mpalkoniaigaiounews.info

 

" Our Beloved Sir, we, your students, express our grief and pain through these words  for your great loss. Looking back on our childhood what first comes to our mind is your image. You taught us our first steps in dancing . But with whom will we now dance Tamzara and who will we be proud of dancing Zorba and Evdokia ? We are sure that today the angels are waiting to dance with you. What to remember first of you as a teacher at school? Your jokes in class? Your efforts to transmit us your valuable knowledge? Your anxiety about the development of our village and our school? Your obsession to expand our horizons? Above all, however, what we will never forget, is that as many  years that have passed since we were school students, and as far away from our home we have been, you have always been truly  interested in our progress and close to us for our personal our problems as a second father. With your advice, experiences and encouragement you have been a teacher for all of us in our lives. "Have a good trip teacher!!!!!!

 

An extract follows with Diamantis Palaiologou, from a  TV programme  of public broadcasting , probably in 1983 for Halloween in Skopelos . To view the entire video click here