The late Emmanuel Gyzis was born in Athens and studied law at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens and held a Masters of Law (LL.M.) degree from London. He was member of the Athens Bar Association, International Bar Association, International Society of International Law (ESIL), American Society of International Law (ASIL), British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Hellenic American Union, and Hellenic Aviation Society.

As a professional, he was the founder and Managing Director of the law chambers “EMM. GYZIS AND ASSOCIATES- Law Offices”.

Furthermore, he was entitled to the Supreme Court and practiced Aviation & Tourism Law over 46 years. He served as legal counsel to a number of airline companies, and he also participated in various lawmaking commissions related to aviation regulation in Greece. He wrote a score of articles and papers on aviation law published in international law and aviation journals.

Emmanuel joined the Hellenic Aviation Society in 2005 just one year after its foundation, and served as its Secretary General from 2012 till his passing last November.

But all the above, Ladies & Gentlemen, is nothing more than a typical account of one’s accomplishments and titles, and this can be carried on and on by citing very more things and awards.

But is that all? Well, there is always a flip side on a coin, and that is the Re-Count of one’s life!

There you meet the human, the man and the person, it contains merits and weaknesses, gratitude and unthankfulness, offer and denial, participation and withdrawal, giving and taking, forgiving and meanness, the pluses and minuses in a person’s life, that is, all of one’s character.

When I first communicated the sad news about Emmanuel, a long standing dear friend and aviation colleague, a foreign national, mailed back and asked, “Takis who was Emmanuel Gyzis?”

I said, he was our Secretary General for a number of years and a great benefactor and pillar of our Society, but above all, a sublime character and very good friend.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 12th Air Transport Research Society World Conference that took place in Athens in 2008 and hosted by our Society, probably has no match in its history until now, vastly owned to late Emmanuel. Actually, he gold plated his sponsorship without a second thought and offered an exceptionally memorable hospitality to all international dignitaries invited to the event, and all of that, at his own expenses.

He would constantly provide and contribute finances to various events and conferences, and he was the sole donor for our first Academic Awards presented to two Greek graduate and postgraduate students for their exceptional academic dissertations on aviation science. Moreover, he would contribute to charities with pecuniary and material means whenever needed either collectively or individually.

He would stand by all of us in the Society as a colleague and friend and was eager to help in every way if need be.

He would mobilize friends and acquaintances to back and participate in our events and always tried to enroll new members particularly among young aviation professionals.

He was a deep politically and democratic motivated person and stood against any injustice and inequality. He sympathized with all deprived people fighting for dignity and freedom and his concerns crossed borders.

You would know and love him through controversy and confrontation and mistake him due to his sharp tongue and free language, he was lawyer after all!

But at end of the day, no one could deny that Emmanuel Gyzis was carrying a child’s heart!