submitted by Matina Kasimatis on 15.09.2004
Vasilios Georgiou Kasimatis (Basil George Casimaty)
1903-1962 Café proprietor, fish merchant, fruiterer, property owner and farmer, was born on the 2nd of February 1903 at Kythera, Greece, third son of Georgios Grigoriou Kasimatis.
Basil was educated to primary school level.
He arrived in Australia in 1922 to join his two brothers Gregory and Anthony as a partner in their fish shop and restaurant.
In 1929 he returned to Greece to look after his ageing parents. While in Greece he married Panagiota (Nota) nee Tzoutzouris in 1935. They travelled to Australia just prior to the outbreak of World War II.
Soon after his return Basil left the Casimaty Bros partnership and went into business on his own at the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool streets, the “Californian Fruit Shop”, known to all as “Cocky’s corner” because of the talking cockatoo he kept there. He sold confectionary and hand picked top quality fruit.
During the forties he purchased the property “Stockman” (Kempton) where he ran fat cattle and fat lambs while his wife took over managing the fruit shop.
Basil was the first person to bring Greek films to Hobart. He was president of the Greek Community (1958-1960) and president of Olympia Soccer club for about a year until his death. He is remembered as a popular and extremely generous supporter of Olympia despite having no knowledge of the game.
Basil was 5’4’’ with a swarthy complexion and wavy hair streaked with grey. His lined face was constantly alert, yet he was forever searching for the glasses which he had propped up on his head and forgotten about.
Basil was of the Greek Orthodox religion. Survived by his wife Nota he is buried with his father at Cornelian Bay cemetery.
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