FOR GREEK SCROLL DOWN
A fond farewell to Vicky Drakopanagiotaki, acting Vice President of the "Ithaca" Greek Cultural Society
You left us unexpectedly beloved Vicky, leaving the Greek community of Birmingham speechless with your untimely and unjust death. You were open, always smiling, and heartily loved Ithaca and the community, and you continuously participated in social events. You left us on December 29, 2023, exactly one year before you married your beloved Apostolis. Your loss is unbearable.
I met Vicky in September 2021 when she and her partner Apostolis came to the greek dancing lessons. The situation at that time was difficult for the whole world as everyone was trying to recover from the lockdowns of the coronavirus disease and rebuild their social life, always under the uncertainty of getting sick or being locked up again in the face of a new wave of cases and restrictions. Traditional Greek dances have the "difficulty" of bringing people together and requiring physical contact, characteristics contrary to the conditions of the time. The classes were held at a Community Center in Ladywood, which also didn't help, as I was reminded every time I passed by the flowers on the church railings 20 meters away, in memory of a child who had been shot.
In the darkness of that time, Vicky's arrival was like the arrival of spring which brings with it the growing of the day and the desire to go outside. Vicky had incredible energy, a constant smile and was an excellent dancer. She completed the team, gave energy, and we were able to do new dances like Fourlana which was one of her favorites.
Vicky gave everything she had to her fellow human beings. Professionally, she was a highly trained scientist in the fields of special education with expertise in the autism spectrum, but also in psychotherapy. With this scientific training she served the local community. In her free time she participated in the actions of Ithaca supporting the Greek community.
Given all these virtues, it was no surprise that she became a member of the board of directors of Ithaca, taking the position of Vice President. She was instrumental in the organization of many events such as the annual Vasilopita and Tsiknopemti evenings, but also in the establishment of the monthly Speedfriending Café. She had foresight in seeking out new collaborations, culminating in co-hosting “An Enchanted Evening”, an event that combined Greek traditional dances and Greek music with European sounds performed by the Harborne Orchestra.
Her loss is great for all of us. Apart from these events, she was an excellent friend and we spent many moments together, either in evening outings in the city center, or in gatherings at our houses where she really liked the table settings, or in the dinners where we celebrated our name days, birthdays, and all other important moments of Romiosini and when we didn't miss an opportunity to dance.
Rest in peace our blessed sister. In your memory, the dance department of Ithaca will from now on be called "Vicky Drakopanagiotaki".
6 January 2024
Brief Biography: Vasiliki Drakopanagiotaki was born in 1984 in Athens. She studied Classical Philology at the University of Patras and did extensive postgraduate studies at the Universities of Birmingham, Newman and Sherwood in England, specializing in psychotherapy and the spectrum of autism. She worked in Birmingham as a special educator and psychotherapist for 15 years.