Kostas Bouyouris – A eulogy to one of the strongest “turtlers” of ARCHELON
The news that Kostas Bouyouris passed away unexpectedly, at the age of 56, brought great sadness to all those who knew him as a member of ARCHELON. Memories from the first years of our common path, when he was still studying agriculture, started flowing effortlessly.
- I remember him as a volunteer in Zakynthos and Crete, and later on, when setting up the Society’s volunteer program with Katharine Butterworth (1931-2018). He was one of the strongest "turtlers". We will always remember him. (Dimitris Margaritoulis)
- We met as volunteers for the first time in Zakynthos in 1989. We became close from the first moment, while in our tasks, or in social life together with the other Greek and foreign volunteers. It was hard not to love him as a human being. He believed in what we did. He had a passion for work. He had ideas. He was always in a good mood and had a great sense of humor. (Dimitris Dimopoulos).
- I remember him in Zakynthos, during seasons of tension. It's been over 30 years now since the time we were being attacked by bullies trying to make us quit the sea turtle beaches. Kostas was there – going strong. Then in Crete, when we were setting up the new sea turtle project. Kostas was there, bringing energy, fun and his bright smile in the face of every difficulty. In between work, we made trips to mountains and valleys. (Nikos Charalambidis)
- I first met him in the fall of 1994, when I was working as a volunteer in Rethymno. I learned then that he had "set up" the Rethymnon project, he had found the first office for ARCHELON there, he had persuaded the first landowners to let us host our volunteers on their land. But what impressed me was that I met a very sweet man, with a huge smile, a calm voice, who dreamed of the future. The future he had decided to have on Crete. And he "enslaved" me at once. (Aliki Panagopoulou)
- Costas was a brotherly friend for me, the kind of friend you get when you share a lifelong project like ARCHELON with them. He taught me generously, not only how to coordinate the Society’s project on Crete, but also how to sing karaoke or do a dowsing. (Thanos Belalidis)
- I'm so sorry to hear the news. He was a man in the fullest of ways. I remember him at the "turtle parties" we organized in our house to share the New Year’s vassilopita. We had said that all should bring some finger food. I remember Kostas having brought vegetables in the oven but very juicy, almost like a soup.. (Anna Kremezi Margaritouli).
Many years have passed since then. Kostas went on and specialized in ecological and sustainable agriculture, rural development and organic & biodynamic agriculture. He has created projects that built bridges between agriculture and tourism in Crete, leading the way in connecting local food production with tourism businesses on the island since 1995.
He continued to help and support ARCHELON, even though he pursued his dreams as an agronomist, not as a “turtler”. But once a “turtler”, forever a “turtler” and Kostas showed us this in every way. He found the perfect olive grove, owned by Grecotel, that became our home for ten years. He helped in the implementation of the Management Plan for the protection of sea turtles in Crete. It was his inspiration to replace the usual “wall” of the Rithymna Beach Hotel, right in the heart of the loggerhead breeding habitat in Rethymno, with rocks and natural vegetation found in the dunes.
Kostas implemented diverse, leading, social projects in every place he worked, be at ARCHELON, at Grecotel, and at the organization he recently created for sustainable nutrition. He was always a pioneer. He continued to have a passion for his work, a work that had to do with nature, with the protection of nature for a better life for humans. He had a vision and principles. His meetings with the old "turtle companions" continued both on a friendly and a professional level.
- We met again after many years. With a few extra pounds and less hair. The energy, the fun and the smile were the same. Especially the smile. Both with families and children who did not manage to coordinate in order to get together. The classic course of love relationships that last for years and are renewed with sparse, random but always cordial meetings. And one day the news break and everything we had built collapses. All of it? No! Kostas' bright smile will always be there. (Nikos Charalambidis)
- I feel our "turtle family" became poorer. I will always remember him smiling (Kostas Teneketzis)
- We did not see each other for many years but Costas always had a place in my heart and remained a person I wanted to be like - because he had managed to make a living doing what he loved and without losing any of what he was. I followed his example, I wanted to tell him that, but I did not manage to. Yesterday I learned that he left us. So young, but still with that smile. And I will remember him like that. (Aliki Panagopoulou)
- I mourn the loss of Kostas primarily out of personal interest. Because I will be deprived of our conversations, his smile, the “rakes” we shared. I am sure that he is already in a wonderful new state. Until we meet again Kosta. Our world is much, much, much poorer without you. (Thanos Belalidis)
- I will remember him forever. A man who left a positive mark on the planet. Goodbye Kosta. (Dimitris Dimopoulos)
- Bon voyage, my friend and companion in the search for meaning. We remember you with love! (Thomas Arapis)
Everyone who contacted us send their warm condolences, love and hugs to his family and colleagues.