WORLD COUNCIL OF CRETANS
The World Council of Cretans ( W.C.C. ) or otherwise known as Παγκόσμιο Συμβούλιο Κρητών was officially established in 2003 however the idea of its inception dates back to the 1969.
It was in 1969 that the Pancretan Association of Attica invited all the Cretans around the globe to Athens to have the first ever Cretan Congress with over 1000 international delegates from America, Canada, Germany and Australia in attendance.
In 1983 the President of the Pancretan Association of America Mr. Manolis Iliakis took the initiative to invite the other Presidents around the globe for a founding meeting in Rethymno Crete. The Meeting was held at the Holy Archdiocese of Crete and was also attended by Mr. Stelios Koukouvitakis, President of the Pancretan Federation of Australia, Mr. Giorgos Kourgerakis, President of the Federation of Cretans of Germany and Mr. Pavlos Antonakis, President of the Pancretan Union of Africa. After many deliberations and negotiations they formed the first official body named the World Confederation of Cretans or in Greek ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΑ ΣΥΝΟΜΟΣΠΟΝΔΙΑ ΚΡΗΤΩΝ with Mr. Manolis Iliakis from the USA as the first inaugural President.
This attempt lasted until 1990 were unfortunately Greek Politics played an integral role in dividing the Cretans Globally and thus disbanding the World Confederation and thus distancing the Cretans amongst themselves.
Many years passed until 1995 were the first inaugural council for Hellenes Abroad convened in Thessaloniki were the Cretans were bought together again on a global scale, hosting an informal get together at the headquarters of the Pancretan Association of Macedonia. Stronger and more vibrant communication began from this point, were all delegates involved promised to return to their countries and draft proposals to formalise the unification of the Cretans worldwide.
Correspondence was exchanged amongst the Federations expressing their views on how and what needs to happen to unify the Cretans globally and officially but lay the foundations so that finally the Cretans can begin running a stabilised presence on a global scale.
It wasn’t until 2003 Stavros Semanderes from the USA, Giannis Epitropakis from Europe , Antonis Tsourdalakis from Oceania and Manolis Paterakis from Greece who had previously met through the Council of Greeks Abroad ( SAE ) finally sat down in December 2003 and wrote the constitution of the newly formed World Council of Cretans and registered the organisation formally in Rethymno Crete.
Mr. Stavros Semanderes from the Pancretan Association of America was elected first President hence stabilising the organisation having learned from the mistakes made from the predecessors in the past so that the same issues don’t arise. Following Mr. Semanderes the presidency was moved from the USA to Europe in 2008 were the position was elected to Mr. Giorgos Aerakis . Mr Aerakis was instrumental in making the organisation known to the Cretans in Crete. Following Mr. Aerakis the Chairmanship was then moved to Oceania and Mr. Antonis Tsourdalakis was elected President from Australia and New Zealand in August 2011 who lobbied the Greek Government to formally recognise the organisation and thus bring the WCC much closer to the Governor and the Region of Crete, hence ensuring the successful financial future of the Council with programs and events funded by the Region of Crete.
The organisation has since gone from strength to strength thus creating history by hosting World Conventions in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013. Finally in August 2014 and after a successful 3 year term Mr. Antonis Tsourdalakis handed the reins to the next President who was elected from the USA, a wealthy construction magnate Mr. Manolis Velivasakis.