Dear Mr. President (Prof. F. M. Raimondo), Dear colleagues,

I couldn't imagine a better birthday gift than this medal for my eighty years, which I celebrated this year! Therefore, I feel the need to express my special thanks to the members of the Prize Committee who nominated me, the members of the Board and Council who approved the Committee's proposal, and all of you who are participating today in this highest honor bestowed upon me, to receive the gold medal of OPTIMA. I am deeply moved when I remember that exactly forty years ago (in 1983), in a similar hall, here in Sicily, in Palermo, I received from Prof. Werner Greuter, the silver medal of OPTIMA for the best publication of the year 1982! I dedicate this medal to my teacher, my Doctor father, and my husband, Prof. Emeritus Dimitrios Phitos, with whom I have shared life and the science of botany for fifty-four (54) years, as well as to our dear friend Prof. Werner Greuter, the soul of OPTIMA, with whom I first met during the organization of the first OPTIMA meeting in 1975, in my hometown, Heraklion, Crete. It is worth mentioning here that out of the seventeen (XVII) OPTIMA meetings held to date, I have attended sixteen, only missing the third (III) in 1980 in Madrid, Spain, due to serious health reasons. I hope that we all remain well and meet again at the next OPTIMA meeting...

Thank you very much once again!


 Georgia Kamari

Professor Emerita of the University of Patras, Vice President of OPTIMA, General Secretary of the Hellenic Academy of Agriculture