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Nikolaos I. Yiannikos

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

At the age of 18, Mr. N. I Yiannikos, who hails from Stemnitsa in Gortynia, left the desks of the fourth class of gymnasion and moved to Athens to pursue university studies. In October 1906, bringing with him all the talents of a strong intellect and clear judgement that were his by nature, he enrolled in the School of Philosophy of the National Unversity of Greece, at the period when Nikolaos G. Politis was Chancellor of the University.

For three continuous university years, hearkening to the teaching of the greatest professors of Greek letters, he acquired and formed a full awareness of the internal intellectual self through study and observation. A lover and admirer of the ancient Greek spirit, he probed deeply into the study of ancient Greek authors in particular. To this is due in a great part the analytical abilities of his sense of judgement, his subtle discursive abilities and his rich powers of argumentation, his mild manner and his persuasiveness – all qualities that characterize Mr. Yiannakos. During his student life in Athens, he was taken on as a senior employee at the Inspectorate at the Central Directorate of the Attica Railway Company, serving subsequently as accountant in the machine-shop section in the same company until the end of May 1910.

In July of that year, spurred on by the thought of imagined, but deceptive visions of enrichment, he abandoned this promising career and moved to South Africa. Fortune smiled on him at the beginning, albeit ironically, wherefore he was compelled to seek his future on another continent of the planet Earth. Arriving in Australia, therefore, in May 1914, in a short while he had taken up the reins of the management of the first Greek newspaper to see the light of day, in Sydney, entitled Okeanis. This paper ceased publication a few months ago, for reasons completely unconnected with Mr. Yiannakos’ desire and management. He intends, after matters have been restored, to resume this noble struggle and so meet once more his numerous subscribers and readers, who have such pleasant memories of the charm and fruitfulness of his pen.

What marks him out as a journalist is his particular comprehension of moral principles. Never has he paid regard to particular groups or persons. Rather, he has always directed himself to the masses. Calm and phlegmatic, in a spirit of tranquility and the power of a self-confidence based on a clear conscience, he has always stood firm by the side of the true, the right and the just.

So it is rightly to be admitted that the Greek community of New South Wales has found, in the character of this young journalist, the power that will give it well-being, a measured rhythm and harmony.

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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