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Ioannis K. Mavrokefalos (Black)

This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" :

Anybody who has visited the great city of Brisbane has become acquainted with, and enjoyed, the warm hospitality of the charming Greek settled there, Mr. I. K. Mavrokefalos. At the age of 13, he worked in Patra. After a period of two years there, he departed for Vra_la, in Roumania, where he was employed in an English commercial office. By reason of a supervening illness, he was forced to return to his homeland of Ithaca, where he met a fellow Greek, who had returned from Australia. Receiving reliable information from this man, he decided to visit Australia.

Arriving in Australia in 1883, he initially worked as an employee in various small businesses. Having, however, the advantage of knowing the English language, together with his own native abilities, after many adventures he was not slow in settling permanently in Brisbane, where his splendid shop stands today.

Mr. Mavrokefalos is now in his fiftieth year, the oldest and the richest of the Greeks of Brisbane and possessor of a large amount of real estate. He is always ready to co-operate towards any end, national or of general benefit, and is a valued protector of his fellow Greeks.

His commercial name is “Black” and he is known not only commercially by this name, but also socially by fellow Greeks and by his numerous Australian friends and acquaintances.

This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" published in 1916 by John Comino. It is an important book as it was one of the first Greek books published in Australia for the Greeks back in the homeland. If they needed any more convincing of the golden opportunities awaiting them in Australia, it probably helped create interest amongst young Kytherians and other Greeks. Each of the men portrayed in the book paid for the honour, which, considering their reputation for thriftiness, must have made the decision a hard one for many a Kytherian.

The Kythera-Family.net team, with the support of the Nicolaus Aroney Trust and other generous sponsors, has undertaken to transcribe the entire book for the website and to translate it into English for the non-greek-speaking diaspora community. We hope to also produce a printed version of the translation of Life in Australia sometime in 2005.

For valuable information about the historical background of the publication of Life in Australia, please read the entry by Hugh Gilchrist I ZOI EN AFSTRALLIA in the History, General History section.

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