A Santorini Shipping Dynasty
Sigalas was the name of a maritime family from Oil in the north of Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece, with shipping and trading activities which can be traced back to the late 18th century, operating a number of sailing ships. The name Sigalas is today linked with a vineyard and hotel on the island.
Capt. Georgios Sigalas and Mme. Kadio G. Sigalas Capt. Georgios Alexandros Sigalas (1867-1947) and his wife Kadio had continued with sailing ships, each of which he had commanded, but at the start of the 20th century began to invest in coastal passenger ships serving the Cyclades from Piraeus.
From 1922, when freight rates and ship values were depressed, with the support of the Nomikos and Alafouzos families, also of Santorini, they began to invest in steamships of First World War vintage, moving their office to Piraeus in order to better manage and develop their shipping enterprises. Capt. Sigalas continued to sail as master on his ships and it is understood that he was given the affectionate nickname of “Karvounaki” – “a little piece of coal” – because he had started business transporting coal from Santorini to Russia. After an initial joint venture with Alafouzos which lasted until 1929, the business of George Sigalas & Sons was established.
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