Memorial to Nicolas Jorge

This plaque commemorates Hydra-born captain Nikolaou G. Kolmaniati (Nicolas Jorge Colmaniatis). After immigrating to Argentina in 1811, he enlisted in the navy as a sailor and eventually reached the rank of rear admiral. Today he is honored as a national hero in Argentina.

Nikolaos Georgios Kolmaniatis was born in Hydra on December 6, 1786 and was the son of Michalis Georgiou and Maximinas Mastradika. He was enlisted in the Ottoman Navy at a young age, after all (at the beginning of the 19th century) Greece was under the Turkish yoke. When he learned that a compatriot had kidnapped his wife, he deserted and returned to Hydra. He called this man into a duel and killed him by stabbing him. After this development, he was forced to leave his island, as he was a murderer and a deserter and his death sentence was certain. He wandered through various countries (Malta, Naples, Italy) and then left for Argentina. where he arrived, according to the prevailing version, in 1811. Already in 1810, the Argentine war against Spain had begun.

He began his naval career in Argentina in 1814, under the orders of Benjamin Franklin Seaver. He took part in the decisive battle of Martin Garcia between 10 and 15 March 1814, under the orders of the Irish Guillermo Brown, who had organized the Argentine Navy.

His action in the following years was impressive. From November 1815 he was in charge of the “Dolores” boat on the Paraná River. He then took part, inter alia, in the Santa Fe campaign (1818-1819), in the campaign against the so-called Republic of Entre Rios (1821), and in the Brazilian War (1825-1828), in which he was repeatedly distinguished. He also acted in the years of the Argentine Confederation (1835-1852). Then he seems to have completed his military action (1852). In 1857, he was demobilized, but in 1860, President Santiago Derqui recognized him as an “active naval colonel” and appointed him to the Ejercito National park, Paraná.

In 1861, however, he retired permanently. He had married Bibiana Anetegui. Nikolaos Georgios Kolmaniatis, died in Moron, August 24, 1866.

Translated from Michalis Stoukas, “Greece and Argentina: Unknown relations between the two countries,” Protothema, 29/12/2019.

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