News of Tilos

Paul Nuttall - Candidate for local election 2010

I first came to Tilos with my wife in the summer of 1990 and was immediately taken with the peace, quiet and natural beauty of the island. The first stay was sadly only for a few days but over the following years we spent many happy holidays getting to know the island

and more importantly, the local people who always offered a welcoming hand and increasingly made us feel at home. It was during one of our late-night discussions with one of the supermarket owners when the suggestion that we move and set-up home on Tilos was first put forward: ‘Eleni, Pavlos, you should come to Tilos, you are island people,’ was the comment made. At that time, it was out of the question for us to consider moving away from our home, work and family in Manchester, England.

Many years later we had the opportunity to alter our way of life culminating in us packing our van and heading for Tilos with little or no plan for the future and no employment prospects. We arrived safely after a very interesting drive across Europe and set up home in our small apartment we had secured the previous autumn. March 4th, 2000 was the start of our new lives on Tilos.

After two weeks settling into life on our deserted island we realized we had to find employment, firstly to finance our stay and secondly to give structure to our lives which is vital in order to maintain sanity on a relatively-isolated rock in the Aegean. We quickly identified a vacant shop and decided to open a business on Tilos. Three fun-filled and extremely stressful months passed before we opened the doors to Kosmos Gift Shop and Internet Services.

Our business gave us the chance to remain on the island and to really get to know the local people. From the start we received nothing but help and encouragement in our endeavours which we really appreciated. We soon realized we were among friends and to some extent we could relax into our new way of life. Help was always on hand and we lost count of the number of times support and advice was given.

A couple of years passed and we decided to buy land as part of our commitment to Tilos. We decided this was the place we wanted to be and we were prepared to sever our ties with England. Kosmos Studios were then designed, planned and built on our land. Once again we experienced help and support which was vitally needed for our undertaking and we considered we owed a vote of thanks to many people on the island and in nearby Rhodes.

An opportunity has recently arisen (October, 2010) when I was approached by Tassos Aliferis, the Mayor of Tilos. He asked if I would stand as a candidate in the local elections in support of himself, allied to PASOK, the present Socialist ruling party. I considered this could be one way to repay the help and kindness I had received over the preceding 10 years of residency on the island. I am honoured and greatly surprised to be considered as a candidate for the local island committee. I answered in the affirmative and am now running for selection in the early November elections.
Tilos is a small island with its own inherent problems, the smaller the island, the bigger the problems to be faced. Tassos Aliferis has worked hard to improve the local infrastructure, transport to and from the island and in the procurement of grants and funds from across Europe. He has his detractors and has been accused of making mistakes – which to me, makes him human. Tasos is running for Mayor once again in 2010 and I am proud to support him in his campaign. For many years I was a union representative in England whilst working for ‘The Guardian’ newspaper and I hope to be able to draw on this experience in helping Mr Aliferis and the residents of Tilos in continuing to improve our beautiful island. There is much work to be done, in difficult circumstances but drawing on positive comments from our visitors and guests this year, I am sure with the leadership of Tasos Aliferis, Tilos can continue to be a jewel in the Aegean.

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