Jun 20, 2005

Sudden was the death of Nikos Goudas in Kalamaki, Athens, Greece.

Unexpected and sudden was the death of Nikos Goudas in Kalamaki, Athens, Greece.
He was the brother of Spyros Peter Goudas the owner of Goudas Foods. 

Nikos was born in 1938, in the beautiful town of Kalamaki, which is located near Athens.
He graduated from a mechanical engineering school, where he later served his country in the Greek Air Force. 

Nikos Goudas married Zaharoula and went to Saudi Arabia as chief engineer of a company called Arhirodon, which was involved in the construction of massive sea ports in Africa and the Middle East. 

He was blessed with 2 daughters named Marinella and Litsa.
In the 1980's he returned with his family in tow to Greece, where he established his own taxi business. 

In the later years that followed he married off both daughters to gentlemen named: Ilia Nikolinako and Dimitri Zahouliti, of whom he was always very proud. 

He frequently visited his brother, Peter, in Canada. On more than one occasion, he used his engineering skills to move all canning and packaging machinery from one location to another.
He was well liked by all the employees of Goudas Foods, and will be missed.

He was also present when Peter Spyros Goudas was awarded The Entrepreneur of the Year, in 1993. 

Nikos Goudas holding Niki Stamatakos at the above event.


He had the pleasure of becoming a grandfather of 3 beautiful kids:
Nikiforo, Eleanna, and Panagiotaki, whom he loved dearly and spent wonderful times with. 

The premature and sudden death left a huge void; not only for his spouse, children, sons-in-law, grandchildren, brothers, sisters,and other relatives but also with neighbours and friends.
His passing also caused great heartache in the town of Kalamaki, Greece, where he was very well respected.

In addition, his friends in Canada also feel immense grief. 

His memory will remain infinite. 

Mr. Peter Spyros Goudas attended the funeral, with great sorrow and made the following statement: 

I would like to thank all who honoured the memory of my beloved brother with sincerest gratitude. 

Niko's memory will remain forever carved in our hearts and minds, not only as a brother and friend, but as one exceptional person. 


The Trip to Kalamaki - 2005 

It was Monday, June 20; suddenly the office became still, employees were whispering among themselves, should they or should they not tell him what happened, when is the right time to convey such news. 

Finally, the group entered his office and informed him that his brother, Nikos, had just passed away. 

Spyros Peter Goudas has to drop everything and make arrangements to immediately fly to Athens, Greece to be an integral part of the preparations for his beloved brothers burial. 

It had been many, many years since he last visited his homeland.
The occasion enabled him to meet many people, old friends, schoolmates, family members and new additions to the family.
The circumstances were not ideal.
He was attending his brothers funeral and there were contradictory feeling occurring; there were moments of intense sadness juxtaposed with flickering moments of happiness upon meeting familiar faces, most of whom were related to Nikos who was quite popular and well-liked and who for years had been a permanent fixture in Kalamaki.
The occasion seemed to be a reunion but with one person missing. 

With all the preparations and arrangements, Spyros Peter Goudas did not realize that Nikos was gone forever.
The sadness in his heart after the burial was unimaginable. 

Spyros recalls that his sister-in-law gave him the key to the house that night because he had mentioned that since he could not sleep, he would like to take a walk around the town of Kalamaki.
However, nothing was the same any more.
The small familiar homes and roads no longer existed; they were replaced with high rise apartment buildings and modern roads. Consequently, Spyros Peter Goudas felt an even deeper sense of loss in addition to the loss of his brother.
He remembered that he once played an important role in the construction of buildings in Athens more than half a century ago. Now this small town overlooking the Saronikos, a little Peyton Place, had become a part of Athens. 

He took a taxicab to the next town of Old Faliro. It was now 1:00 a.m. In former years the Town Square was always full of people eating ice cream or sitting in the cafeteria in the square socializing. But today, there was no one.
He then asked the taxi driver to take him to the next town of Glifada. The results were the same here also. 

He stopped at a kiosk to have an ice cream and out of curiosity asked the vendor where everyone was. He was told that since the airport had been relocated to another town, the businesses in the area lost the tourist attraction factor and the loss of business forced hotels and similarly related businesses to become senior citizens homes and private residences. 

Spyros took the opportunity (since the taxi driver was very willing) to go back to Kalamaki.
He asked the driver to stop at his old school. Upon arrival there, he exited the taxi and went up to the metal bars facing the schoolyard.
He held onto two of these bars and suddenly, in his imagination, he heard children noises coming up from everywhere, he visualized children playing and the names he had forgotten for years, came to his mind. 

It was as if he had gone back in time. He was surprised at himself that he could still remember so many names and faces of his old classmates. Suddenly, Mrs. Aphasia rang the school bell and all the children ran into the schoolhouse.
That was a very happy memory. Even Nikos was evident there in his school uniform.
Spyros eyes were filled with tears.
He stood there for sometime until the driver came to him and enquired as to whether he was okay. 

He returned to the taxi and he asked the driver to chauffeur him around until the late into the morning.
In fact the driver was very happy to accept the offer of chauffeuring him around for the next few days. 

During the next day Spyros decided to visit the coffee shops and enquired as to whether there were any old timers present: someone responded yes but upon further investigation that individual became a Kalamaki resident in 1990, not long enough to be considered an old timer. Another individual was from 1970, and therefore did not qualify either.

Finally, Spyros shouted if there were any residents of Kalamaki from the 1940s and 1950s To his surprise some one suggested: Don t look here, go to the cemetery, and shout there, you will probably get a better response

Spyros, however, does not give up! At another coffee shop, he was finally able to find some people from the same time period. He sat down with them and began to remember the old days with great nostalgia.
They subsequently ended up calling their friends and before he knew it, it was 3:30 a.m.
He certainly enjoyed this moment, speaking and spending time with some people he went to school with, or had known from the air force. 

Among them were: Spyros Delilambros Kostas Lintis, Raimondos Papamanolis (Παπαμανώλης Ραϊμόνδος), Alekos Pisiridis, and Takis Kalitzeris. 

In photo Spyros Peter Goudas and Raimondos Papamanolis (Παπαμανώλης Ραϊμόνδος) and the book cover of the old Kalamaki (ΤΟ ΠΑΛΙΟ ΚΑΛΑΜΑΚΙ).

Raimondos Papamanolis (Παπαμανώλης Ραϊμόνδος) holds a Bachelor in Journalism, and another in Social Sciences.
He is the editor of the first newspaper of Kalamaki.
He worked as a representative at the Ministry of Foreign Letters, and later as a representative of Commercial Affairs in Greece.

Distinguished as a person with many interests and talents, he also utilized his inclination to sports into establishing various athletic organizations, among which the Organization of Athletes of Alimo is even today widely successful and recognized in Greece. Another initiation was that of the Organization of Car Enthusiasts, where he facilitated bike/cart/car races.

His friend Raimondos Papamanolis knows Kalamaki very well and he actually wrote a book about the old Kalamaki and how things used to be.
He gave copy of the book to Spyros as a present and upon scanning the pages, Spyros was humbled.
He congratulated him for the research and documentation within the pages of his book which portray Kalamaki up to three centuries ago. 

When the time had come to leave Kalamaki and eventually Greece, Spyros upon entering the aircraft and settling in, broke down emotionally and collapsed into tears the realization that Nikos was gone forever finally sunk in. 

One of the flight attendants noticed his demise and offered him the opportunity to move to the back of the aircraft and confide in them. He was comforted and supported by the whole crew.
(A special Thank You is extended to the crew of Olympic Airlines for their kindness.) 

Upon his return to the office he confided to us that in his mind everything happened so suddenly and so quickly, he felt as if the whole thing was... JUST LIKE A DREAM. 

A book titled, A Trip Back Home, written by Peter Spyros Goudas and Sofia Papadhimitri.


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