Devotion and discipline as taught by the Lady of Ro


Despina Achladioti known as the Lady of Ro was a Greek patriot born on the island of Kastellórizo in 1890. Before the start of World War II, in which her home island was ravaged repeatedly, Achladioti sailed with her husband and mother to the nearby deserted island of Ro where they lived off of a few goats, chickens, and a vegetable garden. Her two companions died only years after their arrival. Achladioti personally rowed her mother’s remains back to Kastellórizo for burial.

Achladioti’s most renowned deed is that every day she would fly a Greek flag over the island even though the island was not formally part of Greece (as with the rest of the Dodecanese controlled by Italy) till 1948. This made her a Greek hero, especially when Greece nearly went to war with Turkey in the 1970s, because that flag would be easily visible from Turkish soil. She raised the flag every day, regardless of the weather, from the time she arrived on the island until her death on May 13, 1982 at the age of 92. Despite not having veteran status, she was buried on the island with full military honours.


How close to Turkey are the islands of Ro and Kastelorizo? Have a look at the map below.

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