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Petros Michelides

(Factory Proprietor)

Consul of All the Russias and
French Consular Agent in Western Australia

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

Mr. P. Michelides, Russian Consul and French Consular Agent in Western Australia, was born on Castellorizo, in 1882. Completing his primary education at his local school, he migrated at an extremely young age and settled, together with his family, in the flourishing Egyptian city of Suez. There he pursued his higher education. Moreover, he also acquired a perfect command of Arabic, English, French and Italian. He also distinguished himself in his position as a higher employee of a commercial house in Suez.

He came to Australia about 12 years ago, where he became involved in the tobacco and cigarette industry. Thanks to his intense energies and his rare commercial acumen, he has succeeded in creating a secure business and in making this an important commercial factor among the Greeks of Western Australia.

Immediately after his arrival in Western Australia, he was employed by the government of the United Colonies of Australia as official interpreter to the Migration Department. In this capacity, he rendered, and continues to render, enormous numbers of services to Greek migrants.

During this period, he was appointed by the French Government as the administrative secretary of the French Consulate in Western Australia. Upon the demise a year ago, of Mr. Gawler, he was promoted to the position of Consular Agent for the French Republic. Finally, in May 1912, by order of the Imperial Russian Ukaze, Mr. Michelides was appointed Russian Consul for Western Australia.

Besides these positions, Mr. Michelides is also a translator for important commercial and banking houses in Western Australia and, in fact, translates documents for the well-known house of Dalgety and Sons, who are the agent for the well-known French company, The Ocean-Going Steamship Company.

Mr. Michelides showed particular concern and interest in the establishment in Western Australia of a branch of the Greek national body, Hellenismos, which has fared so splendidly during the course of its career among the Greeks of Western Australia. This body, in recognition of Mr. Michelides untiring noble efforts on its behalf, appointed him President of the Western Australian branch.

Yet, it is as an important member of society that Mr. Michelides has shown himself a champion of every matter of national or communal concern. The Greeks of Western Australia should most certainly do honour to a man of the talents of Mr. Michelides who lives in their midst.

Mild in his behaviour and refined in his ways, Mr. Michelides is an extremely pleasant member of the international community of Perth. He is an invaluable friend and a splendid individual. Amiable and charming, unresting, of great experience, the possessor of much useful knowledge, a skilled manager of money and endowed with rare gifts, Mr. Michelides today stands at the enviable peak of his activity. He is respected and honoured by Greeks and foreigners and does great honour to the name of the Greeks of Australia.

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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