«HELLENIC SPELEOLOGICAL & EXPLORATION CLUB» (SPELEO)
The club was founded in 1982. The Statute was submitted for state approval on 10.3.1982 and sanctioned on 26.4.1982.
The founders were 23 speleologists, most of whom had been active members of the Hellenic Speleological Society (Speleology seminar, 6.3-28.5.1978). The idea of creating a new club, first expressed in a paper (in the club’s archives, now) by G. Dalamangas, was welcomed and supported wholeheartedly by the founding members. The main reason for creating it, as stated in the paper, was the need for a club “combining flexibility of operation and activities under fair competition”.
Members of the first provisional administrative committee were the following: N.Tsimtsilis, P.Romanas, H.Koniari, C.Papagheorghiou, H.Pavlidis, K.Zoupis and N.Pantasullas. The club members R.Gialessa, N.Dowacher, S.Karavassili, G.Kasimatis, D.Kobiliris, A.Pangratis, D.Loizos, S.Varthi, T.Patiraki, E.Latta, S.Gheorghiou, J.Karakonstanoglou, I.Efstathiou and K.Paleodimos also helped in many ways.
Special mention should be given to K.Zoupis, whose substantial contribution to the club set an example for future speleologists.
During its first few years, the club met in Mets, 21, Aristonikou st., in an almost crumbling building reconstructed by the members themselves. All members were active and helpful, and this was very important, considering the difficulties of the time. Next, the club’s limited budget was used for the purchase of speleological equipment. Funds were scarce, and the yearly subscription fee was a nominal 2,000 drs.. However, it didn’t take long for the club to take off.
Many speleological expeditions were organized. New members joined the club, and more equipment was bought. The older members’ experience in expeditions (including exploration, photography and mapping) was a great help to the new members.
This is a short history of the club’s first years. Since then, lots of new members have joined the Club, some of them showing exceptional capabilities. Our club was the first in Greece to create cave-diving and cave-rescue teams. These teams required special qualifications and equipment. In the past ten years, the Club has also successfully organized seminars for amateur speleologists.