Michael Agelasto and George Dromocaitis
The story below is pulled from:
“Biographical Notes on Z.Dromocaitis”
Dromocaitis [Mental] Hospital – 1887 – 1987+15;
115 Years of Contribution to Public Welfare
(Athens 2001, pp 33-35)
The author is the former General Director of Dromocaitis Hospital.
George or Zorzěs Dromocaitis was born in Kampos/Chios between 1805 and 1810.
The origins of Dromocaitis family were in Constantinople. Some of them came to Chios, most probably before 1453 [Fall of the Byzantine Empire]. Zorzěs is apparently the last descendant of the Chios branch.
During the 1822 events his father was among the Chiot notables held hostage and then hanged by the Turks [Jacob Dromocaitis is on the list of the memorial obelisk in Chios Town].
Zorzěs himself was taken by the Turks to Constantinople in order to be sold as a slave. It was his uncle, Michael Agelasto, who incidentally found him there, bought him free and took him under his wing.
Years later and after having worked as employee with several commercial companies, Zorzěs Dromocaitis became a successful and wealthy merchant. In the course of his business expansion he settled in Beirut, where he lived and worked for several years, making a large fortune. In Beirut he married Tarsě Frangopoulos, sister of another wealthy merchant, Stamati Frangopoulos. Dromocaitis had a close and fruitful cooperation with his brother-in-law, expanding his business further to Alexandria and Marseille.
In 1859, having already accumulated a very large fortune, he decided to quit commercial business and moved to Marseille, where he has been living for the next 12 years. In 1871, his wife’s severe illness triggered his decision to return to his home island, Chios. [His wife must have died there short time later].
Zorzěs Dromocaitis died in Chios 20 December 1880. He willed the sum of 500.000 francs for the construction of a mental hospital in Athens [still existing as one of the biggest mental hospitals in Greece] which, according to his will, had to be named after himself and his wife: “Zorzěs and Tarsě Dromocaitis Mental Hospital”. He also willed another sum of 300.000 francs to be placed with the National Bank of Greece. The interest income of that sum should be used to cover the running costs of the Greek High School of Chios [at the time being still under Turkish rule!]
-George Agelasto, Dec. 2009
Additional notes on George Dromocaitis:
A copy of his will is in the UK National Archives: J 121/3728, Testator: Dromocaiti, George; 1881. A bequest was assigned to National Bank, Greece.
Giorgio Dromocaiti retired 31 Dec 1857 from partnership with S.N. Frangopulo, A. Nicolopulo &
P. Maximus, under the firm G. Dromocaiti in Marseille (London Gazette, 3 Jan 1860)
George Dromocaiti, banker, Chios, invested in Bank of Alexandria, Ltd. (London Gazette, 28 Feb 1874)
He contributed to rebuilding a school on Chios, around 1840-60, as mentioned in:
G. Chassiotis, L'instruction publique chez les Grecs : Depuis la prise de Constantinople par les Turcs jusqu'a nos jours : avec statistique et quatre cartes figuratives pour l' annee scolaire 1878-1879
(Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1881, p 431)
Dromokaiteion Psychiatry was founded by G. Dromokaitis from Pyrgi of Chios in 1887
Photos (left to right) : George Dromocaitis, his statue at hospital, his wife’s statue at hospital
The text from the book: