Photographer's Note

In the main square & garden of the town,Kanari's Statue.He was born on the Aegean Sea island of Psara as a son of Michael and Maria Kanaris. His exact year of birth is unknown. The official records of the Hellenic Navy give it as 1795 but modern Greek historians believe that 1793 is more probable. Michael Kanaris, his father, had served several terms as the island's Elder. Constantine was left an orphan at a young age. Having to support himself he chose to became a seaman, like most members of his family since the beginning of the 18th century.
Constantine gained his fame during the Greek War of Independence (18211829). Unlike most other prominent figures of the War, he had never been initiated in the Filiki Eteria (Friendly Society). The Friendly Society, founded at September 14, 1814 in Odessa by three traders, was mainly responsible for planning the revolution against the Ottoman Empire and recruiting supporters for it. Its founders being members of the Freemasonry, they had adopted their methods of initiation, organising and assuring secrecy from it. By early 1821, it had gained enough support to declare a revolution. This declaration seems to have surprised Constantine, who was absent at Odessa. He returned to Psara in haste and was there when the island joined the Revolution on April 10, 1821.

The island formed its own fleet of ships and the famed seamen of Psara, already known for their successful naval combats against pirates and their well-equipped ships, proved to be effective at full naval war. Constantine soon distinguished himself as a fire ship captain. Notably at Chios, where on the night of June 6/June 7, 1822 forces under his command destroyed the flagship of the Turkish admiral Pasha Kara-Ali in revenge for the Chios Massacre. The admiral was holding a celebration, while Kanaris and his men managed to place a fire ship next to it. When the flagships' powder keg caught fire, all men aboard were instantly killed. The Ottoman casualties consisted of 2000 men, both naval officers and common sailors, as well as Kara-Ali himself. Constantine led three further successful attacks against the Turkish fleet in 1822-1824. But during this last year, the fate of both Kanaris and his island took a turn for the worst. He was famously said to have encouraged himself by murmuring "Konstanti, you are going to die" every time he was approaching a Turkish warship on the fire boat he was about to detonate.
Egypt was namely a province of the Ottoman Empire at the time but its viceroy Mohammad Ali (17691849), had earned enough power to act independently from the Sultan and had formed his own army and naval fleet. It was headed by his adoptive son Ibrahim Pasha (17891848). The later had hired a number of veteran French officers - who had served under Emperor Napoleon I and were discharged from the French army following his defeat - to help organise the new army. By 1824 it counted 100,000 men and was both better organised and better equipped than the Sultan's army. Sultan Mahmud II offered to the viceroy the command of Crete, if he agreed to send part of this army against the Greeks. They quickly reached an agreement.
Following the end of the War and the independence of Greece, Constantine became an officer of the new Greek Navy reaching the rank of Admiral and later a politician.
Kanaris served as Minister in various governments and then as Prime Minister from March 11- April 11, 1844. He served a second term (October 27, 1848 December 24, 1849) and a third (May 28, 1854 July 29, 1854). In 1862 he was one of the few War of Independence veterans that helped in the bloodless revolution that deposed King Otto of Greece and put Prince William of Denmark on the Greek throne as King George I of Greece.

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Additional Photos by GALANTIS LOUKAKIS (greek) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 960 W: 0 N: 548] (7594)
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