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submitted by Karavitiko Symposium, Sydney on 02.04.2010

Con George Poulos. Navy Licence, (Ναυτικον Φυλλαλιον)

Photo Page.

Issued on the 8th August, 1946.

Con was 30 years of age.

Cons Obituary and Life Story

History > Documents

submitted by Peter (Panagiotis) Prineas on 16.04.2011

'Katsehamos and the Great Idea'

'Katsehamos and the Great Idea' by Peter Prineas.
Published by Plateia, April 2006.
Soft cover, 241pp., Bibliog., Notes, Index, Illustrations.
AUD $35.00 plus postage and packing.
Plateia 32 Calder Road Darlington NSW 2008 Australia
Email: plateia@ozemail.com.au
Ph. 61 2 93191513.

Peter Prineas Blogspot

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 25.11.2009

Beautiful illustrative flourish 3 from the book Life in Australia

The book Life in Australia is adorned with innumerable flourishes of this type.

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian World Heritage Fund on 09.11.2009

Life in Australia. I ZOI EN AFSTRALIA. Η ΖΩΗ ΕΝ AΥΣTΡAΛΙA

.jpg image of the Life in Australia (2009) book order form

Author: Sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos
When Published: 1916
Publisher: Australia Press
Available: Out of Print. Rare. Expensive.
Description: Hard cover, 310 pages.

To purchase the 2009 replica of the book:
www.kythera-family.net/LIA/orderform.pdf


December 9th, 2009 Launch of the book:

Message Board announcement

Download beautiful Invitation and LIA Launch flyer here:

LIA_Launch_flyer_1.pdf

Learn more about the venue, the MacLaurin Hall


More Information about Life in Australia:

Title page of Life in Australia

LIA Front red page.pdf

Pages 1-10, in English translation

Pages 1-10, in the original Greek

An easy way to track the various Greek families represented in the book.

LIA_NAMES_Index_pages.pdf

Life in Australia on display at Cafe Society exhibition at Inverell, April, 2004

Full length panel about the book, at the Inverell exhibition

A typical biographical entry. Nicholas P Aroney (i Liapos), and his son Peter Aroney

Articles & Press about Life in Australia

Excellent, comprehensive, 2008 article about the books pending publication.

LIA article_2008_Book_pending.pdf



The history of the publication of the book.

From,

Hugh Gilchrist's Australians and Greeks. Volume II. The Middle Years
Chapter XIV
Guides for the Greeks

pages 253-257.

Between 1915 and 1939 three Greek books were published in Australia. All had a similar purpose: to guide Australia’s Greeks and promote their welfare. What they also did was to raise comparisons between aspects of the Greek and the Australian way of life, as then lived.

I Zoi en Afstralia

I Zoi en Afstralia - Life in Australia—which appeared in 1916, was sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos, Sydney merchants and leaders of the Greek Orthodox Community
Sub-titled “An Encyclopaedic Book, with many Artistic Pictures, Biographical Notes on Prominent Citizens, Interesting Statistics, a full Commercial Guide, etc, etc”, it also recorded exemplary instances of successful Greek enterprise in Aus­tralia. Its aim, as stated by Kentavros, was “to provide useful information about Australia and the Greek community there, both for those already living in Australia and for those who come here in the future.” He firmly denied, however, any intention to stimulate migration, saying: “Not for one minute did we have that in mind, nor have we told a single untruth which might lead people to regard us as advocates of emigration.”

A hard-cover book of 310 pages, I Zoi in Afstralia was published in Sydney by the Australia Press. Its setting and printing, however, were done in Melbourne by the Australian Printing and Publishing Company Limited, which, directed by Efstra­tios Venlis, was printing Australia’s first Greek newspaper, Afstralia. Ten thousand copies were printed, of which the majority were to be donated to various official bodies concerned with Greek welfare at home and abroad. Today it is one of Australia’s rarest books.

I Zoi en Afstralia provided facts, figures and photographs of many aspects of Australian life: history, population, constitution, government, industry, transport, and communications with Europe. It outlined—very sketchily—the history of Greek settlement in Australia, especially in New South Wales, and of the activities of the Greek Orthodox Church and its Sydney and Melbourne Communities. Practical information was offered on Australian immigration policy, labour laws and business practices, and on the functions of the Greek Consulates. Some 215 brief biographies followed, in most cases adorned with photographs, of Greeks who had succeeded in Australia—most of them as shop-keepers in New South Wales—and who were praised for their industry, philanthropy and philhellenism.

Compilation of the book, Kentavros declared, had been no easy task; nor had its compilers received as much co-operation from their compatriots as they had hoped. Many of our compatriots refused or disregarded our requests for information—and efforts to identify every Greek in Australia had fallen far short of success. When attempts to elicit replies to letters proved largely futile the authors had visited Greeks wherever they could be found—a slow and costly process; a tour of New South Wales had cost about £1,500.
When the text was nearing completion, Kentavros wrote, “serious difficulties occurred, due to jealousy, indifference and misunderstanding”, and the outbreak of war in 1914 had created “insurmountable obstacles.

“For 14 months we laboured to produce this very difficult and expensive public­ation, and achieved what many thought impossible: the production of the first book in Australia, about Australia, in the Greek language.”
For its completion he gave credit to the patriotic faith and strong will of John D. Comino, and to the help provided by four Brisbane Greeks: Christos Frylingos, Emmanouil Meimarakis, Theodoros Kominos and Ioannis Mavrokefalos (John Black), and by TM. Mantzaris in Newcastle and Konstantinos Argyropoulos (Fisher) in Parkes, and also Greeks in up-country New South Wales, “without whose enthusias­tic subscriptions the book would never have published”. (Its price was not re­corded.) In a diplomatically-worded reference to the host country Kentavros added:
“On the whole, the laws of Australia, which are to be found in no other country, and the excellent results of their enforcement, have greatly contributed to our venture”; and no official obstacles had been placed in its way while Australia was at war.

The Andronicus brothers seem to have provided most of the book’s factual information, to which Kentavros added an account of his tour in 1914 of the New South Wales north coast. Greeks in other Australian states received scant mention, and were clearly beyond the authors’ financial resources. Despite its shortcomings, however, the authors felt that they had produced a work which Greek communities everywhere would value.
I Zoi en Afstralia's moral tone was lofty and its message specific: work, honesty, philanthropy, compliance with Australia’s laws, and devotion to the Hellenic father­land. Its biographical sketches were strenuously complimentary, although Kentavros disclaimed any intention to publicise individuals, saying the aim was to tell the truth about those who had created something good by honesty, industry and efficiency— and “to prod those who think that success comes through a philosophy of ‘easy come, easy go’, or who offer the excuses that the present is not a propitious time for achievement, or that Australians dislike foreigners, or that wages are too low and costs too high, or that nothing can be done unless one is supported”.

Writing of Australian immigration policy, the authors stated that persons with a knowledge of farming were preferred, but that anyone free from contagious disease and able to work was allowed entry except “people of Oriental origin” (Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Africans), criminals deported from other countries during the last five years, depraved or mentally retarded persons, persons considered to be a danger to public security, and a few other categories; migrants might be subjected to a language examination, but that was “very rare and confined to certain types of case”; anyone entering Australia without official permission, however, risked six months imprisonment and a fine. Intending migrants were told that if they applied to the Australian High Commission in London they could expect an answer within 15 days, whereas an enquiry addressed to Australia would not be answered within less than three months.

Advice on nationality was also offered, including a warning by Consul Maniakis that Australian nationality acquired by a Greek had absolutely no effect in Greece, and that a Greek who had not complied with his national obligations before leaving Greece would be prosecuted on his return there; indeed, that the only way to divest oneself of Greek nationality was to have it annulled by royal decree. Nor would a Greek be entitled to consular help unless he had paid his annual “residence fee” of eight shillings to the Consulate.

I Zoi en Afstralia conceded that a Greek could change his name in Australia without formality, but declared that it was better to do so officially and to announce it in the press. Many Greeks in Australia, it went on, had changed their name, but this was not advisable, because it could arouse suspicion, and could also create difficulties on return to Greece. “It is certainly true that long, unintelligible and not easily pronounced Greek names are an obstacle in foreign countries, especially in the British Dominions and among business people; but it is better to leave one’s name as it is, or at the most alter it slightly to make it sound more English, rather than replace it by something quite different.”

Among other practical counsel the authors recommended solicitors Harold I Morgan in Sydney, Eustace Flanagan (of Pavey, Wilson and Cohen) in Melbourne, and O’Shea and O’Shea in Brisbane, as legal advisers; and, for medical attention, Dr Howard Bullock and Dr Ramsay Sharp in Sydney and Dr Constantine Kyria­zopoulos in Melbourne.
“Indispensable guidance” was also given on how a Greek should behave in Australia. Many Greeks, it was stated, flattered themselves that they were superior to Australians in their level of civilization and in their commercial astuteness. On the contrary, I Zoi en Afstralia asserted, the Australians—with the few exceptions to be found in all countries—were superior to the civilized peoples of Europe. Greek migrants were therefore advised to preserve their own customs, but also to familiar­ise themselves with those of the host country. “Shouting, banging the table, gesticu­lating, rudeness, going about in gangs in the streets, and dirty attire” were things which aroused Australian dislike of foreigners, the authors warned, adding that this was not due to xenophobia. “The Australian, wherever he may be, eats, dresses, sleeps and walks with care and circumspection, and always prefaces his conversation with ‘Please’ and ends it with ‘Thank you’.”

Every Greek was urged to do his duty not only to himself and his family but also to his neighbour in trouble, to Greece, and to the Church, and to pursue the highest Christian ideals. Some had apparently fallen below this standard, for the authors added: “The worst aspect of all—not just for our compatriots in Australia now but for those who may come in future—is that some individuals—probably only a few— after working honestly for years and having made their money, evade their obliga­tions to other businessmen who have behaved honourably towards them, and think it clever to abscond from Australia, persuading themselves that they will never return.” On such persons, they warned, “the heavy axe of justice will inexorably fall, condemning them to six years jail and payment of all debts and costs."

Contrasted with such delinquents were those who had voluntarily returned to Greece to fight in the recent wars against Turkey and Bulgaria. On them I Zoi en Afstralia bestowed the highest praise, listing 23 by name and recalling that many had paid their own passages home to enlist, at great financial sacrifice; and somewhat acidly the authors noted that, although Greek law imposed imprisonment for eva­sion of the call-up, the Greek Government had made no proper arrangements to help men to return to Greece.
I Zoi en Afstralia's account of the discovery of Australia was imaginative, referring to “an ancient Chaldaean legend about a great continent to the south of India”, and to rumours brought back by soldiers of Alexander the Great, and to mention of Australia by the ancient geographers Aimilianos, Manilios and Ptolemy, and alleged Arab visits before the Dutch and Portuguese.

On firmer ground was Kentavros’s account of his ten day tour of northern New South Wales. Armed with a suitcase and a rug, he took the train to Taree and by various means reached Murwillumbah, calling on Greeks in the region’s towns, and travelling up the Manning River in the motor-launch Ariadne, operated as a ferry service by a member of the Comino family. A hired car and driver took him to Wauchope, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and other towns. He travelled by train to Casino and in a wildly driven buggy from Kyogle to Byron Bay, and ended his journey with a stormy voyage in a small steamer from Lismore to Sydney. Despite bumpy roads and occasional punctures, he found the scenery beautiful and his compatriots hospitable, and he was impressed by the region’s dairying and oyster-culture. Every Australian farmer is his own master, he declared, and he fears neither domination nor theft nor loss.

“A future edition”, Kentavros hoped, would show Australia’s Greeks “demon­strating the same intense love of their native land, as well as higher levels of commercial and social success”. And Charles (Kosmas) Andronicus, regretting that lack of space had precluded mention of many interesting aspects of Australian life, declared his intention to remedy this in the next edition. None eventuated, but I Zoi en Afstralia retains a unique place in the history of Greek settlement.

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian Historical Record on 26.10.2008

Government of Pireaus. Map.

ΝΟΜAΡΧΙA ΠΕΙΡAΙA.

Aκτή Ποσειδώνος 14-16, 185 31 Πειραιάς,
Tηλ: 210 4148516 Fax: 210 4134492
Γραμμή επικοινωνίας: 1570

www.nomarhiapeiraia.gr


Email, here



The Government of Pireaus is not confined to the seaside southern area of Athens, but extends to other parts of the mainland, and to other islands such as Aegina, Poros, Ithra, & Spetses. The islands furthest from the mainland which are adminstered by Pireaus are Kythera and Antikythera.

This map makes the administrative area of Pireaus very clear.

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian Historical Record on 23.10.2008

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922. The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance.

Author: Giles Milton
When Published: 2008
Publisher: Basic Books
Available: All major bookstores, Amazon.
Description: Hardcover & Paperback, 464 pages

Back cover of the hardcover version of the book pictured above.

Given the fact that so many grandparents and great-grandparents of the current generation of Kytherian's living in all parts of the world, were born, and grew up in Smyrna, this is a very important resource.

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 chronicles the Turkish invasion of Smyrna while warships of America and Europe bobbed in the harbor and made no effort to stop the slaughter of the city and its multi-national mix of people.

Utilizing reports from eyewitnesses and reports from the time Milton details the horrors of war rape, pillage, and murdering of innocents. The most nauseating part is that those aforementioned ships harbored there did not, in fact could not, help because of “orders” not to rescue the survivors.

The fate of thousands is unknown to this day because they disappeared into Turkey and were never heard from again. Over 100,000 Greek and Armenian civilians were flat-out murdered.

Smyrna, as well as most of her citizens, no longer existed. The name was changed to Izmir, and the rare survivors were forced into resettlement elsewhere. Were it not for the preoccupation with Europe post-World War I, this particular atrocity might have been averted.

In the aftermath, had more attention been paid to the divisive ideals that separated non-Muslim from Muslim, the current tragedy of fighting between those two groups might have been averted.

Paradise Lost is graphic in its honest and grotesque portrayal of battle, so it may upset the squeamish. However, this is an important book to read because it foreshadows the current situation and should make readers realize the importance of following a different course than the failed one from the past.

History lovers will love this book, and it should be mandatory reading for every politician in the nation.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Camden Alexander, 2008

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian Historical Record on 23.10.2008

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922. The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance.

Author: Giles Milton
When Published: 2008
Publisher: Basic Books
Available: All major bookstores, Amazon.
Description: Hardcover & Paperback, 464 pages

Paperback back cover pictured above.

Given the fact that so many grandparents and great-grandparents of the current generation of Kytherian's living in all parts of the world, were born, and grew up in Smyrna, this is a very important resource.

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 chronicles the Turkish invasion of Smyrna while warships of America and Europe bobbed in the harbor and made no effort to stop the slaughter of the city and its multi-national mix of people.

Utilizing reports from eyewitnesses and reports from the time Milton details the horrors of war rape, pillage, and murdering of innocents. The most nauseating part is that those aforementioned ships harbored there did not, in fact could not, help because of “orders” not to rescue the survivors.

The fate of thousands is unknown to this day because they disappeared into Turkey and were never heard from again. Over 100,000 Greek and Armenian civilians were flat-out murdered.

Smyrna, as well as most of her citizens, no longer existed. The name was changed to Izmir, and the rare survivors were forced into resettlement elsewhere. Were it not for the preoccupation with Europe post-World War I, this particular atrocity might have been averted.

In the aftermath, had more attention been paid to the divisive ideals that separated non-Muslim from Muslim, the current tragedy of fighting between those two groups might have been averted.

Paradise Lost is graphic in its honest and grotesque portrayal of battle, so it may upset the squeamish. However, this is an important book to read because it foreshadows the current situation and should make readers realize the importance of following a different course than the failed one from the past.

History lovers will love this book, and it should be mandatory reading for every politician in the nation.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Camden Alexander, 2008

History > Documents

submitted by Kytherian Historical Record on 23.10.2008

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922. The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance.

Author: Giles Milton
When Published: 2008
Publisher: Basic Books
Available: All major bookstores, Amazon.
Description: Hardcover & Paperback, 464 pages

Paperback front cover pictured above.

Given the fact that so many grandparents and great-grandparents of the current generation of Kytherian's living in all parts of the world, were born, and grew up in Smyrna, this is a very important resource.

Paradise Lost: Smyrna, 1922 chronicles the Turkish invasion of Smyrna while warships of America and Europe bobbed in the harbor and made no effort to stop the slaughter of the city and its multi-national mix of people.

Utilizing reports from eyewitnesses and reports from the time Milton details the horrors of war rape, pillage, and murdering of innocents. The most nauseating part is that those aforementioned ships harbored there did not, in fact could not, help because of “orders” not to rescue the survivors.

The fate of thousands is unknown to this day because they disappeared into Turkey and were never heard from again. Over 100,000 Greek and Armenian civilians were flat-out murdered.

Smyrna, as well as most of her citizens, no longer existed. The name was changed to Izmir, and the rare survivors were forced into resettlement elsewhere. Were it not for the preoccupation with Europe post-World War I, this particular atrocity might have been averted.

In the aftermath, had more attention been paid to the divisive ideals that separated non-Muslim from Muslim, the current tragedy of fighting between those two groups might have been averted.

Paradise Lost is graphic in its honest and grotesque portrayal of battle, so it may upset the squeamish. However, this is an important book to read because it foreshadows the current situation and should make readers realize the importance of following a different course than the failed one from the past.

History lovers will love this book, and it should be mandatory reading for every politician in the nation.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Camden Alexander, 2008

History > Documents

submitted by Spyro Calocerinos on 15.04.2008

"THE OLIVE TREE" Book by Manolis Dapontes

Congratulations to Manolis Dapontes for the publication of his sixth book. His new book is very important to Kytherian History, and the title is "Η ΕΛΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΑ ΛΙΟΤΡΙΒΙΑ ΣΤΑ ΚΥΘΗΡΑ". (The olive tree and the methods of extracting oil from olives).
It is significant that Manolis has identified the earliest "factories" with photographs, including photographs of the first vehicles in Kythera.
This book is an important part of Kytherian history and ensures that this History will not be lost.
It is written in Greek and is available by contacting MANOLIS DAPONTES, KYTHERA, HORA, 80 100 GREECE. TEL./FAX 27360 31208
or, MANOLIS DAPONTES,AGIOU LOUKA 39, ATHENS 11144,GREECE. TE. 210 2013304

History > Documents

submitted by Vikki Vrettos Fraioli on 21.03.2008

GREETINGS FROM THE RETURNING IMMIGRANTS-Greek Newspaper article

Seated from left to right: Ioannis Alfieris with his honorable wife Maria Chlentzos, Mr. Theodore Ath. Firos, and Mr. Panagiotis Koroneos “Lerios” standing is Mr. Semitekolos

John and Maria Chlentzos Alfieris made their first trip back to Kythera in 1951, after having immigrated to America in 1906. They took a train from California to New York, then embarked on a ship headed for Pireaus, Greece.
While in New York, they stopped at the SHIP-AHOY where they delighted in the hospitality of their compatriot, Mixalis Semitekolos. A news article was printed in a Greek Newspaper, possibly the San Francisco Greek-American Newspaper -The Promithiean. It appears the article was written by John Alfieris, but one can not be certain.

GREETINGS FROM THE RETURNING IMMIGRANTS

Years ago we left our homeland in search for a better life in a foreign country, America. But the desire to return to our poor island dominated our souls. We wanted to revive the carefree life of our childhood under Kythera’s emerald blue skies.
As years went by, our desire to return to our homeland increased. As immigrants in America, we kept our homeland in our hearts. We prospered in America. We benefited from its opportunities and civilization. We now love it as our own country. We are proud of our American citizenship just as we are of being born Greek.
We thank God for enabling us to fulfill our desire, for realizing our goal after so many years of keeping it strong in our hearts. Today we are happy in our homeland. Our love of Greece is equaled by our love of America.
With full hearts we send greetings to all our fellow Greek Americans, but especially to those in California where we have spent most of our immigrant years.
We send heartfelt, special greetings to our compatriot in New York, Mr. Mixalis Semitekolos. As we passed through New York, we met him at his famous restaurant, SHIP-A-Hoy, where Greece and America merge. He extended unbelievable hospitality to us. We thank him for everything and hope to see him in Greece very soon.

Athens, July 1951

Translatied from Greek to English by Peter Panaretos, then edited by Katherine Stathis.


See also:

Mike’s Ship-A-Hoy website.

History > Documents

submitted by Vikki Vrettos Fraioli on 21.03.2008

A Tale of Paliochora

A Tale of Paliochora
by George Koksma
Illustrations by Dimitrios Zaglanikis

Accursed Agios Dimitrios, known to us as Paliochora on the island of Kythira, today is still uninhabited, and in ruins. A woman’s ancient curse has come true.

Seven times in her long life, Kythira had been bereft of her children. Seven times pirates had left her like a bursting wind sack, but always-fearless pioneers reinhabited her again because the island has rich fields. As long as the pioneers were young and worked hard, they had no fear, but when luxury and old age weakened them, the cry “the pirates are coming!” became a nightmare.

For that reason, the Kythirians looked for a good hiding place, for an untaken fortress, where they could be safe and where they could make themselves invisible. Two hunters did find such a place. They told boastfully about the hidden valley, a place that nobody believed existed. They were so convincing that a group met, they found a high rocky precipice with a small, narrow entrance surrounded by higher cliffs. The old people came back with exaggerated fantasies. The dream of ages, an unfindable living place, was a reality! Nobody would ever try to find it!

Hadn’t generations lived on the island without knowing about its existence? They called the place Agios Dimitrios after their patron saint. Women and children hauled stones from the hills in the vicinity, and men built houses and churches. They used many stones to construct a high wall upon the narrow cliff top.
Freestanding, it protected the whole. Only one small entrance exited on the eastern side, no more than one meter wide, just wide enough for a donkey and one person. The wall constructed from stone and lime mortar, was more than thirty feet high and covered thirty strides from one side to the other. Behind fighting loopholes there were places for archers.
Who is he who will fight this fortress? Ram the gate? But there is no gate. Only a donkey that’s loaded can enter. Any attacker is a certain target for an archer, and the fall from the gap can take care of him.

Agios Dimitrios grew and spread all over the rock hill, like a Phrygian helmet on a warrior’s head. The little town was getting crowded and prosperous. On the staircase street there were many new houses and life was wonderful. Eight hundred people lived there with fifteen churches and twenty papades to perform weddings, baptize children, and bury the dead.
Some of the people had brought products of their fields to barter or trade. They built tables, planks upon supports, to display their extra produce. Many women and girls made the preparations for the feast. All of them took their places, poor or rich, old or young, women and men. If you were eating, there could not be a difference. There was always more than enough bread and wine because the wheat and grapes of Kythira are the best in the world. Also there was fish or lamb, sometimes even a bird or a rabbit. But these delicacies were meant for the chieftain or the notaries.
Eating, drinking, talking and laughing, and now and then singing, the joy of life had no end. Late in the afternoon they took their flutes and violins to accompany the age-old songs and dancing melodies. Warm and joyful, everyone, the young and old alike, took part because the Hellenians must dance till they can no more. This was Sunday, and the traditions of Agios Dimitrios remain as long as the sun shines.
The Kythirians feel safe and secure, because God and the Panagia protect them on their impregnable rock. There is one secret, however, about which nobody will talk. It concerns their hiding place, their cavern behind a perpendicular rock wall, the refuge for women, children, and weak people. The entrance is a rough, small opening, but low ladders lay ready for use, and behind the entrance there is a hidden backroom inside the bowels of the diamond-hard intestines of the island.

Of course, it is nonsense to assume that nobody outside of Kythira knows the richness of the island. Tales about its wealth are creeping like an oil-stain over the water in every direction, and adventurers paint their fantasy about the town, Agios Dimitrios, in the most variegated colors. These stories are reaching the countries on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, where their horrible leader, Chair-ed-Din Barbarossa, the man with the red beard, smells prey.

One black day he and his Algerian pirates sail off in order to bring death and misery to the island of Kythira. These devils catch fifteen men from the fishermen’s village where they land and line them up in a row. “Bring me to the hidden town,” says the red-bearded leader to the first prisoner.

“No, that I don’t know…” he says, but before he finishes his answer, a big curved sword splits his brain.
“Quick, you, the following one! Where can we find your hidden town?”

“Kythira has no hidden town,” says the next man, and those are his last words.
“Enough!” roars the super-devil. “We don’t have enough time to listen to the lies of these Christian dogs! Put six of them here in a row and cut their heads off!”

Sickened with horror, the remaining prisoners see how the blood of the men of Kythira runs to the sea like a brooklet. “Now you, there, quick, tell me!” But he cannot say a word, as he has sunken to the ground that is overflowing with blood.

The question has no need of repetition because the next prisoner says, “Why should ALL of us be slaughtered? I’ll bring you where you want to go.”
Meanwhile the pirates take more frightened prisoners and these are obliged to push the heavy weapons for warfare, rolling them on their clumsy wheels. Under the whiplashes, women and children pull with ropes, yokes and halters, the cannons and, the carts along the narrow little road, over the hills, and through the hot, narrow valley, till they are almost to the point of exhaustion. On and on they go in the direction of Agios Dimitrios.

But the people of Agios Dimitrios have seen the fleet coming, and men who were seafarers in their old days know these Algerians and sound the alarm. The chieftain and his councilors do not hesitate and set everyone to work for the defense. Two strong men bring all the sick ones, the old people, and women with young children to their secret cave. Without panic, they climb above the rope ladder and through the opening into the cave. The oldest ones and the children have been of assistance, but aren’t they all children of their own land?

As the pirates come into sight with their exhausted captives, hundred are safe in their hiding place, while others stand at their posts, ready to defend themselves, their beloved and their possessions.
The red pirate is content. He has lost twelve slaves, that’s all. Some of them have been beaten to death; others have fled away. But is has gone quickly, and before sundown there is time enough to fight again in the town. He gives orders to bring the cannons in position for the attack. The cannons are primitive, but they don’t miss their target. The big iron balls destroy the barricade on the east side of the wall, creating panic among the defenders. Their leaders try to keep them actively defending. But the balls continue falling, not only upon the defending wall, but also far behind it between the houses and through the roofs.

The panic grows anew, and the attacking pirates think that theirs is an easy game. But they are wrong. The rage of the Kythirians overcomes their fear, and their hate rises over their horror. Their arrows are worth more than the muskets of the pirates.

Fighting man against man, many a pirate have been killed, throttled by the desperate Greeks. Women are looking for arrows between the falling stone blocks, and if they are attacked, they are second to none to yield, until the red-bearded tyrant furiously stirs up his devils to extreme cruelty.

“Kill them, but quick, quick! You do not fight! Get going! No pity! Quick now, quick!” And quickly it goes. The resistance is broken down and the booty prize of men is collected on the little square behind the big wall. The profit of the enterprise is small, scarcely a hundred men. The rest are half or totally dead, says an officer. It makes no sense to bring them here.
“No, but something is stinking, Achmen!” snarls the red beard. “Where are the children? The Greeks always have dens full of children. And where are the women?”
“There are not many women, commander. We have locked them up in the main church.”

“Maybe so, but it remains a stinking fact—few women and no children? Impossible! They have, of course, a hiding place somewhere. Take all your men and start seeking. Before sunset I want to be away from here because the Venetians are strong and ticklish in these waters.”

The pirates comb out the neighborhood, set fires in the growth of tangled weeds, look in the neighborhoods of the town and in the little iron mine, but do not find even a trace of people. “Nothing to find, you say,” murmurs Barbarossa, “so you cannot find them? Well, then I’ll show you how we do such a thing!” He starts talking to the first of the prisoners. “Where are your women and children?” There comes no answer and a head rolls over the soil. “You don’t want to say something, eh?” roars the furious pirate. “We’ll find out who can maintain silence the longest!”

Everyone does understand him (eternal shame for Lesbos because this evil-doer Barbarossa was born there in Greece.) “There, you! Where are your women and children?” But the answer comes from the fifth man in the second line, from big and strong , known as Mitso. He has killed seven bandits and looks horrible, covered in his own blood and that of his enemies. His voice sounds mighty. “It makes no sense, captain of the pirates, to ask these poor men for things they do not know and then cut their heads off. I’ll tell you where the women and children are! Go to that low roof over there, that is somewhat higher than our platia, and then you can see the sea. There are the women and children—people we did not need for our defense. They went in time to the mainland, and what you see here is everything that remains—us!”

“Come here, close to me, you dog!” roars the captain. Slowly, slowly, Mitso Constantinou leaves his place. People of Kythira know only one fundamental law: Better to die upright than to live on your knees, but nobody will go quickly to the place where he knows that he will be killed. He keeps his head upright and his mighty trunk, and the red beard admires him. “You’re not afraid of me?”

“I’m not afraid of the devil, consequently not of you!” says Mitso. His wounds are bleeding, but he pays not attention to them, and you can read hatred in his eyes!
The red beard grins. Such an answer he likes. And it is a pleasure to see such a sight. A mighty ringleader he’ll be. Such people Barbarossa can use very well! But the prisoner must not yet know about his future. Red beard’s cruel grin returns. “Possible that you’re not afraid, but—“and he hits Mitso in his face. “You’re lying!”

When the blow no longer resounds in Mitso’s head, he hears red beard roar once more, “You’re lying! They are hidden here in the vicinity, and you’ll tell me where they are. Do not forget that I have the means to get you talking!”

Mitso’s eyes narrow and a little muscle on his face trembles. He knows that the moment of his judgment has come. If I would be free from these ropes, and we two stood face to face and alone, then you should know what it means to call Dimitrios Constantinou a liar. With my naked hands I would kill you in the time you need for breathing three times. You with your sword and whatever—“ But inwardly a prayer forms: “Highest and mightiest Panagia, excuse my boasting; I try to save my people.”

Precisely at that moment, it happens! He hears the faint, very, very weak sound of a weeping child. Is that now the answer of the Paangia, the Mother of God? Or is that fate, destiny? Are the women and children all to be killed by these devils? That would be horrible, but he is the only one who has heard that tiny voice.

The ransacking of the soldiers makes enough noise and tumult to cover up that faint sound of that he is sure. But, what if they hear it? No, no, nobody has such ears as he has. He is sure about that. But, if they would hear it? Something must be done! He has to do something! Nobody else. He has to draw their attention, the attention of the murderers of his flesh and blood. Nothing of his considerations is readable from his set face, but do these hill-hounds see how his heart thumps? Through his head whirs his prayer: Panagia mou, my Virgin, help us! Haven’t you got some little miracle or trifle to our advantage?”

Without waiting for a sign, he turns on his heels and marches arrogantly to the pirate leader. Everything inside him is tense because he is waiting for a sabre-cut. But, instead of that, the red beard grins to one of his lieutenants; “That fellow is well suited to be a survivor!” That is exactly the assistance that Mitso needs. Instinctively, he knows now what he should do to warn the people in the cave that the whining baby is able to betray them!

He starts laughing, a deep well-contented sound, but unreal, like the lie itself. Then he lifts his heavily bound hands and starts dancing. The Algerians look surprised and do not know what to think of this ridiculous show. Should they finish that stupid nonsense, yes or no? But Mitso dances wonderfully, wildly, and they leave him alone some while, until one of the pirates asks him why he dances. “Why? Well, man, I’ve good ears. I’ve heard what your commander said. I’ve saved my life, and for that reason I’m dancing!” He hums a melody as well, and tries to sing words, but that’s too difficult. But that is necessary; it has to be done. His overstrained nerves hear the voice of the nervous baby clearer and louder. “Panagia, how frightening! What can I do? Should I shout about something? Should I yell or shriek? Scream? What? My Panagia, help me, please! I have to warn them. They have to know that the child can be heard!

Then, all of a sudden, it is there! A simple melody that the Kythirians dance very often. Something like that was already in his head with the words as well! He tries it somewhat hesitantly, and then, with more movement, comes the warning, the song of a hunter behind a hare! But instead of calling the dog to bring him the prey that he had taken, he sings: “Skotose, skiele to lago sou and etse sosse to lao sou!” (Kill, dog, your hare, and in that way save your people!) He has found the message and the way to deliver it! He goes on dancing, draws attention to himself, and adds some other phrases to avoid suspicion. The pirates look mockingly, but most of them go on with their plundering. Mitso keeps singing his song of the hunter and the hare that should keep its mouth closed.
Fear fills the inhabitants of the cave. Women and children, sick and old people, seek the farthest corners of the irregular rock floor, where they cannot see the glowing entrance eye. There is some food, but who is thinking about eating when the barking muskets, the cracking of the collapsing houses, the screaming of the wounded or dying people is so close at hand?

Sometimes dim noises can be heard, if a dead or half-dead body falls into an abyss. Two old papades pray ceaselessly in one corner. Sometimes toothless old women mumble, but mostly everyone is silent, overcome by fear from the sounds outside.

The cavern commander tries to keep his eyes on the fighting on the rock and, if nothing special is to be seen, he makes his rounds through the whole hiding place, whispering, reassuring by saying something comforting. But that’s not simple. Everyone knows that there is no possibility for consolation when any second his own people may be killed. Even if the pirates should shrink back, never yet have the pirates lost in Kythira. There is only affliction and loss for Kythirians. Loss of all the beautiful and holy things they had made during hundreds of years. How many beloved humans will be missing after this day of judgment? Everyone knows that the fight is unequal. Cannons against arrows. Well-practiced fighters against farmers and laborers. There is only one thing the people in the hiding hole can do: be quiet and wait! For that reason time creeps, trying to drive them mad.

Sometimes a child starts whining, but that is never for long. From every side you hear: “Ssssst! Soppa! The Pirates!” And that’s enough! Coughing and other sounds are subdued with “Soppa” And so it goes on. Children are softly cuddled and pampered with whispered words and everything goes reasonably well, until a sucking child starts crying, simply the weeping of a child that has to be fed in the evening time.

Quietly, but hastily, the young mother unbuttons her blouse and gives the child her breast. Some seconds later everything is quiet again and the little one sucks contentedly. A nice little happening amidst black horror.

But suddenly, the child coughs, stops drinking and starts wailing. Milk continues to seep. Everyone holds his breath in fright. From all sides can be heard “soppa, soppa!” The mother tries to make the baby silent again with her beautiful full breast, but it doesn’t work, and it seems that the little one shouts all the more. Old people shudder and whisper the name of the Panagia. Bigger children creep to the place of the young mother with her crying baby. The mother, Marika, sees them coming and meets the children’s eyes—silent eyes, but their silence seems louder than her own child’s cries. No, they don’t say anything, but they are praying and pleading for their lives with their silent eyes. They say nothing, but they pray and plead for their lives, as still more come and join them.

Marika understands that her baby may bring the pirates to their hiding place. And then, what will be their fate? And that of herself? Torture, violation by those horrible men, and death, with the coming of the devil when the horror never ends. She tries to stop the penetrating screams to dampen them with her apron, but the little one struggles loose and screams hysterically. And of course there is danger that the other children will join in. The cavern commander, now at the entrance tries to mask the opening with his body. The sounds from the outside world have lessened and the shouting has stopped. Something peculiar is going on. Are they all dead? Have they surrendered? There still is some noise, but not from fighting or defense. Plundering continues, but something different is going on.

It seems that somebody sings a dance-song, but it can hardly be heard; it is too far away. “That crying baby behind you, take care that its yelling stops,” he says to one of the old men close by.

“Quick, I have the feeling that they can hear it!” The man has hardly gone when the commander hears the words “Skotose skile to lago sou, k’etsi sosse to lao sou.”

“Panagia mou, that is the voice of big Mitso. Why does he sing such a strange song? Dog, make the hare silent: dog, kill your hare. What does he mean by that? But that must be meant for here, in the cavern. They have heard the yelling of the little one, perhaps not the pirates yet, but Mitso has, and now he warns. No, the pirates have not heard because things are quiet yet.
He leaves his observation post and hurries to Marika with her crying baby. “Marika, on the other side they can hear the infant’s screaming. Mitso Constantinou warns with his song. Now he says, “Stop the child’s crying” We are all in deadly peril. Marika, the child must keep silent. Soppa, soppa, soppa, now, little boy.” He says it hurriedly and huskily. But how will the infant hear him, when the infant’s mother cannot silence him?
“Kyra Marika,” whispers a child next to her, “Kyra Marika.” Nothing else. What more can a little child say? Marika feels the horror rising like a jellyfish in her stomach creeping up to her throat. What do they want? What do these people mean for her to do to her own flesh and blood? As she wants to protect him, she presses the little one against her breast one, two, three seconds. But then the spasmodic struggle of the little boy becomes so wild and violent that she releases him to free him. The man in front of her stretches out his hands as if he wants to take the child from his mother, so that he can do the saving murder; but how can he? “Marika, Marika, do you hear me?” But what can she answer? As if she is seeking assistance, she looks around, but she sees only eyes-eyes like glowing stalactites all around her, glimmering in the dim twilight of the cavern. Imploring eyes, piercing like daggers, like arrow points! Her skirt acts like a screen against the little beam of light at the cavern entrance, as she keeps her hand over the mouth of her son. But that is no help. No, it doesn’t do any good. When the commander goes to listen for a moment at the entrance, he hears clearly, “Skotose skile to lago sou!”
“Do you hear it, Marika? The child has to be silent, has to stop crying!” Now she herself weeps, gasps. “Save your people, Marika! That’s what Mitso says on the other side. It’s not right that we all die for one little child, Marika! And your son will perish at any rate. Marika! Marika!”

Marika tries again, but she can hardly keep the strong child quiet. She holds up the baby in front of her as if she wants to say, “Strangle him, if you can!” But nobody takes over.

On the other side of the little square under the big wall Mitsos dances and sings his silly song with the hopeless, secret warning. Over his own voice, because he has such sharp ears, he hears Marika’s child. But one more second may be fatal. “Skotose skile! Kill dog!” he roars. Behind him stand his fellow sufferers with their bound hands. Do they understand what ‘s going on?
Little Vassily is one of them who continually feels resentment, then hate. Oh yes, he thinks he understands very well why Mitso in so happy. Mitso will become the slave driver, their executioner. And he was once one of the best men of their town. A dirty traitor he is. It’s no miracle that the holy saint didn’t save the town. Indignation and hatred overcome him, and with his fingertips he touches the dagger he has hidden in his wide trousers. Oh yes, when he bends a bit, he can touch it. He comes to a decision about his duty when he touches the steel. He will do justice and punish the scoundrel who is dancing to save his own skin, ignoring horrible misfortune. It’s good that the pirates pay Vassily no attention at all!

Slowly, he brings out the big knife and frees his hands from his bonds. Now he’ll do right and punish the devil who’s dancing in spite of their horrible fate! The pirates are still unaware. He turns like a tiger on his prey. Nobody reacts, none of the prisoners and none of the pirates. Vassily closes in on Mitso, who is facing in the direction of the cavern. In an instant Vassily’s hands are aloft and plunge the knife. Mitso scarcely feels the pain, so strongly does he feel his failure to save the women and children. As his warning flows away with his life he utters a scream so that everyone, prisoners, and pirates alike, freeze in horror.

In the cavern, Marika presses her child against her body, desperately pressing until the tiny form stiffens lifelessly. Then all is silent.
The next day a group of people follows the base of the crevasse and come into the open. The last person is a young woman who is clutching a bundle. She looks strangely lifeless. But there, where the cleft makes the last turn, there where the rest of the rock town is still visible, suddenly she comes to life.

She turns and shouts with an eerie, keening voice, “never will they rebuild you, Agios Dimitrios, because all the children that will be born within your walls will die before they are as big as my son is now. Damned are you, Agios ! Be damned until nothing remains of you!”

Thus ends this legend of cursed Paliochora on the island of Kythira, today still uninhabited, and in ruinous decay.

A Note from the Editor

Paliochora, once a thriving Byzantine town on the Greek island of Kythira, was attacked, sacked, and almost destroyed by the infamous pirate, Barbarossa in 1537. Never resettled, for many years it was inaccessible, except for the hardy who hiked the dirt trails, like the one from Trifilianika. Today her ruins can be reached by car from the newly carved road outside of Aroniadika.

Some forty years ago, when engineer George Koksma and his wife Anny were sent to the island by the World Council of Churches, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work helping to develop the roads, the plumbing, and the other comforts of civilization Kythirians take for granted today—including running water, electricity, harbors and yes, even trees.

In 1963 the Greek government showed their gratitude to this industrious and enterprising Dutch couple by awarding George the prestigious Golden Cross medal. The grateful Kythirians shared, in addition to their hardships, their inimitable openhearted hospitality, their unique culture and their fascinating and often droll lore. One can imagine talks told on summer afternoons over demitasse cups of Turkish coffee and on winter evenings with glasses of fiery tsipouro and raisins evolving into sessions with Mr. Trifilis, Panayiotis Zantiotis and Dr. Iannis Fardoulis, augmented by reading Dimitri Zaglanikis’s book (whose drawings appear herein), and subsequent historical sleuthing by Dutchman Tom Lagerwey, slowly revealing Paliochora’s secrets.

Today George Koksma, in the neighborhood of ninety-four years of age, retells the harrowing tale of the tragic fate of Paliochora, sometimes know as Agios Dimitrios or Agios Nicolas. He reminds us, however, that time has been fading his memory just as surely as it has been eroding the windswept rock city that was abandoned so long ago.

As to the future, George Koksma admonishes us that, unless we become better caretakers and stewards of the heritage, we, too will contribute to Paliochora’s final destruction. Her survival or extinction as an archaeological site is in our hands.

Anastacia Conomos Condas
Summer 2000

The Tale of Paliochora was retold by George Koksma (1907-2004) and translated into English with the help of Anastacia Conomos Condas (1936-2004). A Pamphlet was produced by the Kytherian Society of California and is available for a small fee upon request by sending an email to Vikki Vrettos Fraioli

Copyright 2000

See also:

Paliochora

Special Dutch ties to Kythira from 1960 through 1971

Biography of Anne (Tasia) Conomos Condas

Paliochora on Kythera - Reconstruction

History > Documents

submitted by James Gavriles on 14.01.2008

Atlas cafe 6-5-34 Nicholas Gavriles Highland Park, Michigan

One more menu from 1934. Some barbeque items on the menu. My Father had a large hickory wood fired smoke barbeque rotisserie. Driven with an electric motor and chains on sprockets to turn the spits.
It could cook up to 50 chickens at one time. This was quite the novelty back when he had it built for the restaurant. It is quite a common machine now, and often seen even in deli counters at grocery stores ,where they cook up chickens and spare ribs for ready cooked take home food.

History > Documents

submitted by James Gavriles on 14.01.2008

Atlas cafe menu 3-1-43 Nicholas D. Gavriles Highland Park, Michigan

A menu from my Father's restaurant in Highland Park , Michigan . #3 of 3 samples.
Restaurant opened in 1914. 2 blocks from the original Ford factory that produced the Model T and started the mass production of automobiles . My Dad's restaurant was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It was frequented quite often by Henry Ford ,who became a good friend of my Father. My Father retired in 1975, after 61 years in business.
Prices to die for now..

History > Documents

submitted by James Gavriles on 14.01.2008

Atlas cafe Menu 2-23-43 Nicholas D. Gavriles Highland Park, Michigan

A menu from my Father's restaurant in Highland Park , Michigan . #2 of 3 samples.
Restaurant opened in 1914. 2 blocks from the original Ford factory that produced the Model T and started the mass production of automobiles . My Dad's restaurant was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It was frequented quite often by Henry Ford ,who became a good friend of my Father. My Father retired in 1975, after 61 years in business.
Prices to die for now..

History > Documents

submitted by James Gavriles on 14.01.2008

Atlas cafe Menu 2-22-43 Nicholas D. Gavriles Highland Park Michigan

A menu from my Father's restaurant in Highland Park , Michigan . 1 of 3 samples.
Restaurant opened in 1914. 2 blocks from the original Ford factory that produced the Model T and started the mass production of automobiles . My Dad's restaurant was open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It was frequented quite often by Henry Ford ,who became a good friend of my Father. My Father retired in 1975, after 61 years in business.
Prices to die for now.

History > Documents

submitted by George Poulos on 01.12.2007

Letter of thanks and appreciation from the Aged Persons Home

Potamos, Kythera, to, George and Lorraine Poulos, Dover Heights, Australia.

Similar letters were also sent to Ms Linda Brennan, Matina & Manuel Samios, Dr Mitchell Notaras, Peter & Helen Mageros & family, The Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust, and the Protopsaltis brothers, Makras, George, Michael & John.

The letters were sent in response to receiving a container load of Hospital Equipment from Australia.

Do not ask what Kythera can do for you,
Or even, what Kythera can do for itself...
Ask instead,
What you can do for Kythera...


In the week beginning Monday the 17th September a large 20 foot (7 metre) container (the standard shipping variety) was unloaded on Kythera.

Inside was about $A80,000 (at new prices) of hospital equipment destined for use at the Aged Persons Home, Potamos. The equipment included a number of sophisticated "multi-part-moving" beds, of a variety rarely (if ever) seen on Kythera.

The Project to despatch the equipment had been a joint venture between a number of diaspora Kytherians, and a committed "Aussie" philo-Kytherian:

...George & Lorraine Poulos. (Lorraine was then Director of Aged Services at St. Lukes Hospital, Potts Point. She is now Chief Operations Officer, the Aged Care Television Channel, Australia-wide.)

...Ms Linda Brennan, St. Luke's Care, who co-ordinated the logistics, and arranged to have the equipment delivered to the Frutex factory.

...Matina & Manuel Samios, Bronte & Mitata, true Kytherians & philo-Kytherians.

...Dr Mitchell Notaras, London, who came to Australia, examined the equipment, and determined what type was most needed, and most useful for Kythera.

...Peter & Helen Mageros, & family, benefactors-extrordinaire for Kythera, who picked up the equipment from various locations, stored the goods & packed the container. The family also funded the US$6,500 to ship the container to Athens.

The Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust, who donated $A2,880, for Customs Duty & Port Charges (Athens), and

...the Protopsaltis family, George, Michael & John; Makras, Kythera, who funded the 1000 euro cost to ship the container from Athens to Kythera.

It is hoped that this visionary initiative might serve as a template for similar projects. Books, (first and second hand), musical instruments, & fire fighting equipment for example, could easily be despatched from Australia or America in the same way.

In the meantime is is hoped that the Hospital equipment that has arrived will provide a tangible benefit for the persons in the Aged Persons Home, for years, perhaps decades, to come?

The group involved in despatching the container also hope that it will provide a "psychological" uplift to the Board, Administrators, Nurses, carers, volunteers, and "friends" of the Aged Persons Home, Potamos, Kythera.

To view/download Congratulations Letter from the Oikos Eiyirias Kythiron, "Kasimateion", (Gerokomeion) - Aged Persons Home, Potamos, as a .pdf:

KasimateionCongratLetter.pdf

History > Documents

submitted by Life In Australia on 11.10.2007

Pages 1-10, in Greek, of the book, Life in Australia.

To view/download pages 1-10, in Greek, of Life in Australia, as a .pdf document, click below:

MD_v.Greek_p1-10.pdf


Author: Sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos
When Published: 1916
Publisher: Australia Press
Available: Out of Print. Rare. Expensive.
Description: Hard cover, 310 pages.

Gilchrist's background history of the book

Title page of Life in Australia

Pages 1-10, in English translation

Pages 1-10, in the original Greek

Life in Australia on display at Cafe Society exhibition at Inverell, April, 2004

Full length panel about the book, at the Inverell exhibition

A typical biographical entry. Nicholas P Aroney (i Liapos), and his son Peter Aroney

The history of the publication of the book.

From,

Hugh Gilchrist's Australians and Greeks. Volume II. The Middle Years
Chapter XIV
Guides for the Greeks

pages 253-257.

Between 1915 and 1939 three Greek books were published in Australia. All had a similar purpose: to guide Australia’s Greeks and promote their welfare. What they also did was to raise comparisons between aspects of the Greek and the Australian way of life, as then lived.

I Zoi en Afstralia

I Zoi en Afstralia - Life in Australia—which appeared in 1916, was sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos, Sydney merchants and leaders of the Greek Orthodox Community
Sub-titled “An Encyclopaedic Book, with many Artistic Pictures, Biographical Notes on Prominent Citizens, Interesting Statistics, a full Commercial Guide, etc, etc”, it also recorded exemplary instances of successful Greek enterprise in Aus­tralia. Its aim, as stated by Kentavros, was “to provide useful information about Australia and the Greek community there, both for those already living in Australia and for those who come here in the future.” He firmly denied, however, any intention to stimulate migration, saying: “Not for one minute did we have that in mind, nor have we told a single untruth which might lead people to regard us as advocates of emigration.”

A hard-cover book of 310 pages, I Zoi in Afstralia was published in Sydney by the Australia Press. Its setting and printing, however, were done in Melbourne by the Australian Printing and Publishing Company Limited, which, directed by Efstra­tios Venlis, was printing Australia’s first Greek newspaper, Afstralia. Ten thousand copies were printed, of which the majority were to be donated to various official bodies concerned with Greek welfare at home and abroad. Today it is one of Australia’s rarest books.

I Zoi en Afstralia provided facts, figures and photographs of many aspects of Australian life: history, population, constitution, government, industry, transport, and communications with Europe. It outlined—very sketchily—the history of Greek settlement in Australia, especially in New South Wales, and of the activities of the Greek Orthodox Church and its Sydney and Melbourne Communities. Practical information was offered on Australian immigration policy, labour laws and business practices, and on the functions of the Greek Consulates. Some 215 brief biographies followed, in most cases adorned with photographs, of Greeks who had succeeded in Australia—most of them as shop-keepers in New South Wales—and who were praised for their industry, philanthropy and philhellenism.

Compilation of the book, Kentavros declared, had been no easy task; nor had its compilers received as much co-operation from their compatriots as they had hoped. Many of our compatriots refused or disregarded our requests for information—and efforts to identify every Greek in Australia had fallen far short of success. When attempts to elicit replies to letters proved largely futile the authors had visited Greeks wherever they could be found—a slow and costly process; a tour of New South Wales had cost about £1,500.
When the text was nearing completion, Kentavros wrote, “serious difficulties occurred, due to jealousy, indifference and misunderstanding”, and the outbreak of war in 1914 had created “insurmountable obstacles.

“For 14 months we laboured to produce this very difficult and expensive public­ation, and achieved what many thought impossible: the production of the first book in Australia, about Australia, in the Greek language.”
For its completion he gave credit to the patriotic faith and strong will of John D. Comino, and to the help provided by four Brisbane Greeks: Christos Frylingos, Emmanouil Meimarakis, Theodoros Kominos and Ioannis Mavrokefalos (John Black), and by TM. Mantzaris in Newcastle and Konstantinos Argyropoulos (Fisher) in Parkes, and also Greeks in up-country New South Wales, “without whose enthusias­tic subscriptions the book would never have published”. (Its price was not re­corded.) In a diplomatically-worded reference to the host country Kentavros added:
“On the whole, the laws of Australia, which are to be found in no other country, and the excellent results of their enforcement, have greatly contributed to our venture”; and no official obstacles had been placed in its way while Australia was at war.

The Andronicus brothers seem to have provided most of the book’s factual information, to which Kentavros added an account of his tour in 1914 of the New South Wales north coast. Greeks in other Australian states received scant mention, and were clearly beyond the authors’ financial resources. Despite its shortcomings, however, the authors felt that they had produced a work which Greek communities everywhere would value.
I Zoi en Afstralia's moral tone was lofty and its message specific: work, honesty, philanthropy, compliance with Australia’s laws, and devotion to the Hellenic father­land. Its biographical sketches were strenuously complimentary, although Kentavros disclaimed any intention to publicise individuals, saying the aim was to tell the truth about those who had created something good by honesty, industry and efficiency— and “to prod those who think that success comes through a philosophy of ‘easy come, easy go’, or who offer the excuses that the present is not a propitious time for achievement, or that Australians dislike foreigners, or that wages are too low and costs too high, or that nothing can be done unless one is supported”.

Writing of Australian immigration policy, the authors stated that persons with a knowledge of farming were preferred, but that anyone free from contagious disease and able to work was allowed entry except “people of Oriental origin” (Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Africans), criminals deported from other countries during the last five years, depraved or mentally retarded persons, persons considered to be a danger to public security, and a few other categories; migrants might be subjected to a language examination, but that was “very rare and confined to certain types of case”; anyone entering Australia without official permission, however, risked six months imprisonment and a fine. Intending migrants were told that if they applied to the Australian High Commission in London they could expect an answer within 15 days, whereas an enquiry addressed to Australia would not be answered within less than three months.

Advice on nationality was also offered, including a warning by Consul Maniakis that Australian nationality acquired by a Greek had absolutely no effect in Greece, and that a Greek who had not complied with his national obligations before leaving Greece would be prosecuted on his return there; indeed, that the only way to divest oneself of Greek nationality was to have it annulled by royal decree. Nor would a Greek be entitled to consular help unless he had paid his annual “residence fee” of eight shillings to the Consulate.

I Zoi en Afstralia conceded that a Greek could change his name in Australia without formality, but declared that it was better to do so officially and to announce it in the press. Many Greeks in Australia, it went on, had changed their name, but this was not advisable, because it could arouse suspicion, and could also create difficulties on return to Greece. “It is certainly true that long, unintelligible and not easily pronounced Greek names are an obstacle in foreign countries, especially in the British Dominions and among business people; but it is better to leave one’s name as it is, or at the most alter it slightly to make it sound more English, rather than replace it by something quite different.”

Among other practical counsel the authors recommended solicitors Harold I Morgan in Sydney, Eustace Flanagan (of Pavey, Wilson and Cohen) in Melbourne, and O’Shea and O’Shea in Brisbane, as legal advisers; and, for medical attention, Dr Howard Bullock and Dr Ramsay Sharp in Sydney and Dr Constantine Kyria­zopoulos in Melbourne.
“Indispensable guidance” was also given on how a Greek should behave in Australia. Many Greeks, it was stated, flattered themselves that they were superior to Australians in their level of civilization and in their commercial astuteness. On the contrary, I Zoi en Afstralia asserted, the Australians—with the few exceptions to be found in all countries—were superior to the civilized peoples of Europe. Greek migrants were therefore advised to preserve their own customs, but also to familiar­ise themselves with those of the host country. “Shouting, banging the table, gesticu­lating, rudeness, going about in gangs in the streets, and dirty attire” were things which aroused Australian dislike of foreigners, the authors warned, adding that this was not due to xenophobia. “The Australian, wherever he may be, eats, dresses, sleeps and walks with care and circumspection, and always prefaces his conversation with ‘Please’ and ends it with ‘Thank you’.”

Every Greek was urged to do his duty not only to himself and his family but also to his neighbour in trouble, to Greece, and to the Church, and to pursue the highest Christian ideals. Some had apparently fallen below this standard, for the authors added: “The worst aspect of all—not just for our compatriots in Australia now but for those who may come in future—is that some individuals—probably only a few— after working honestly for years and having made their money, evade their obliga­tions to other businessmen who have behaved honourably towards them, and think it clever to abscond from Australia, persuading themselves that they will never return.” On such persons, they warned, “the heavy axe of justice will inexorably fall, condemning them to six years jail and payment of all debts and costs."

Contrasted with such delinquents were those who had voluntarily returned to Greece to fight in the recent wars against Turkey and Bulgaria. On them I Zoi en Afstralia bestowed the highest praise, listing 23 by name and recalling that many had paid their own passages home to enlist, at great financial sacrifice; and somewhat acidly the authors noted that, although Greek law imposed imprisonment for eva­sion of the call-up, the Greek Government had made no proper arrangements to help men to return to Greece.
I Zoi en Afstralia's account of the discovery of Australia was imaginative, referring to “an ancient Chaldaean legend about a great continent to the south of India”, and to rumours brought back by soldiers of Alexander the Great, and to mention of Australia by the ancient geographers Aimilianos, Manilios and Ptolemy, and alleged Arab visits before the Dutch and Portuguese.

On firmer ground was Kentavros’s account of his ten day tour of northern New South Wales. Armed with a suitcase and a rug, he took the train to Taree and by various means reached Murwillumbah, calling on Greeks in the region’s towns, and travelling up the Manning River in the motor-launch Ariadne, operated as a ferry service by a member of the Comino family. A hired car and driver took him to Wauchope, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and other towns. He travelled by train to Casino and in a wildly driven buggy from Kyogle to Byron Bay, and ended his journey with a stormy voyage in a small steamer from Lismore to Sydney. Despite bumpy roads and occasional punctures, he found the scenery beautiful and his compatriots hospitable, and he was impressed by the region’s dairying and oyster-culture. Every Australian farmer is his own master, he declared, and he fears neither domination nor theft nor loss.

“A future edition”, Kentavros hoped, would show Australia’s Greeks “demon­strating the same intense love of their native land, as well as higher levels of commercial and social success”. And Charles (Kosmas) Andronicus, regretting that lack of space had precluded mention of many interesting aspects of Australian life, declared his intention to remedy this in the next edition. None eventuated, but I Zoi en Afstralia retains a unique place in the history of Greek settlement.

History > Documents

submitted by Life In Australia on 11.10.2007

Pages 1-10, In English, of the book, Life in Australia.

To view/download pages 1-10, in English, of Life in Australia, as a .pdf document, click below:

MD_v.English_p1-10.pdf

Author: Sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos
When Published: 1916
Publisher: Australia Press
Available: Out of Print. Rare. Expensive.
Description: Hard cover, 310 pages.

Gilchrist's background history of the book

Title page of Life in Australia

Pages 1-10, in English translation

Pages 1-10, in the original Greek

Life in Australia on display at Cafe Society exhibition at Inverell, April, 2004

Full length panel about the book, at the Inverell exhibition

A typical biographical entry. Nicholas P Aroney (i Liapos), and his son Peter Aroney

The history of the publication of the book.

From,

Hugh Gilchrist's Australians and Greeks. Volume II. The Middle Years
Chapter XIV
Guides for the Greeks

pages 253-257.

Between 1915 and 1939 three Greek books were published in Australia. All had a similar purpose: to guide Australia’s Greeks and promote their welfare. What they also did was to raise comparisons between aspects of the Greek and the Australian way of life, as then lived.

I Zoi en Afstralia

I Zoi en Afstralia - Life in Australia—which appeared in 1916, was sponsored by Ioannis D. Kominos (John D. Comino) and largely written by Georgios Kentavros and the brothers Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos, Sydney merchants and leaders of the Greek Orthodox Community
Sub-titled “An Encyclopaedic Book, with many Artistic Pictures, Biographical Notes on Prominent Citizens, Interesting Statistics, a full Commercial Guide, etc, etc”, it also recorded exemplary instances of successful Greek enterprise in Aus­tralia. Its aim, as stated by Kentavros, was “to provide useful information about Australia and the Greek community there, both for those already living in Australia and for those who come here in the future.” He firmly denied, however, any intention to stimulate migration, saying: “Not for one minute did we have that in mind, nor have we told a single untruth which might lead people to regard us as advocates of emigration.”

A hard-cover book of 310 pages, I Zoi in Afstralia was published in Sydney by the Australia Press. Its setting and printing, however, were done in Melbourne by the Australian Printing and Publishing Company Limited, which, directed by Efstra­tios Venlis, was printing Australia’s first Greek newspaper, Afstralia. Ten thousand copies were printed, of which the majority were to be donated to various official bodies concerned with Greek welfare at home and abroad. Today it is one of Australia’s rarest books.

I Zoi en Afstralia provided facts, figures and photographs of many aspects of Australian life: history, population, constitution, government, industry, transport, and communications with Europe. It outlined—very sketchily—the history of Greek settlement in Australia, especially in New South Wales, and of the activities of the Greek Orthodox Church and its Sydney and Melbourne Communities. Practical information was offered on Australian immigration policy, labour laws and business practices, and on the functions of the Greek Consulates. Some 215 brief biographies followed, in most cases adorned with photographs, of Greeks who had succeeded in Australia—most of them as shop-keepers in New South Wales—and who were praised for their industry, philanthropy and philhellenism.

Compilation of the book, Kentavros declared, had been no easy task; nor had its compilers received as much co-operation from their compatriots as they had hoped. Many of our compatriots refused or disregarded our requests for information—and efforts to identify every Greek in Australia had fallen far short of success. When attempts to elicit replies to letters proved largely futile the authors had visited Greeks wherever they could be found—a slow and costly process; a tour of New South Wales had cost about £1,500.
When the text was nearing completion, Kentavros wrote, “serious difficulties occurred, due to jealousy, indifference and misunderstanding”, and the outbreak of war in 1914 had created “insurmountable obstacles.

“For 14 months we laboured to produce this very difficult and expensive public­ation, and achieved what many thought impossible: the production of the first book in Australia, about Australia, in the Greek language.”
For its completion he gave credit to the patriotic faith and strong will of John D. Comino, and to the help provided by four Brisbane Greeks: Christos Frylingos, Emmanouil Meimarakis, Theodoros Kominos and Ioannis Mavrokefalos (John Black), and by TM. Mantzaris in Newcastle and Konstantinos Argyropoulos (Fisher) in Parkes, and also Greeks in up-country New South Wales, “without whose enthusias­tic subscriptions the book would never have published”. (Its price was not re­corded.) In a diplomatically-worded reference to the host country Kentavros added:
“On the whole, the laws of Australia, which are to be found in no other country, and the excellent results of their enforcement, have greatly contributed to our venture”; and no official obstacles had been placed in its way while Australia was at war.

The Andronicus brothers seem to have provided most of the book’s factual information, to which Kentavros added an account of his tour in 1914 of the New South Wales north coast. Greeks in other Australian states received scant mention, and were clearly beyond the authors’ financial resources. Despite its shortcomings, however, the authors felt that they had produced a work which Greek communities everywhere would value.
I Zoi en Afstralia's moral tone was lofty and its message specific: work, honesty, philanthropy, compliance with Australia’s laws, and devotion to the Hellenic father­land. Its biographical sketches were strenuously complimentary, although Kentavros disclaimed any intention to publicise individuals, saying the aim was to tell the truth about those who had created something good by honesty, industry and efficiency— and “to prod those who think that success comes through a philosophy of ‘easy come, easy go’, or who offer the excuses that the present is not a propitious time for achievement, or that Australians dislike foreigners, or that wages are too low and costs too high, or that nothing can be done unless one is supported”.

Writing of Australian immigration policy, the authors stated that persons with a knowledge of farming were preferred, but that anyone free from contagious disease and able to work was allowed entry except “people of Oriental origin” (Chinese, Japanese, Indians and Africans), criminals deported from other countries during the last five years, depraved or mentally retarded persons, persons considered to be a danger to public security, and a few other categories; migrants might be subjected to a language examination, but that was “very rare and confined to certain types of case”; anyone entering Australia without official permission, however, risked six months imprisonment and a fine. Intending migrants were told that if they applied to the Australian High Commission in London they could expect an answer within 15 days, whereas an enquiry addressed to Australia would not be answered within less than three months.

Advice on nationality was also offered, including a warning by Consul Maniakis that Australian nationality acquired by a Greek had absolutely no effect in Greece, and that a Greek who had not complied with his national obligations before leaving Greece would be prosecuted on his return there; indeed, that the only way to divest oneself of Greek nationality was to have it annulled by royal decree. Nor would a Greek be entitled to consular help unless he had paid his annual “residence fee” of eight shillings to the Consulate.

I Zoi en Afstralia conceded that a Greek could change his name in Australia without formality, but declared that it was better to do so officially and to announce it in the press. Many Greeks in Australia, it went on, had changed their name, but this was not advisable, because it could arouse suspicion, and could also create difficulties on return to Greece. “It is certainly true that long, unintelligible and not easily pronounced Greek names are an obstacle in foreign countries, especially in the British Dominions and among business people; but it is better to leave one’s name as it is, or at the most alter it slightly to make it sound more English, rather than replace it by something quite different.”

Among other practical counsel the authors recommended solicitors Harold I Morgan in Sydney, Eustace Flanagan (of Pavey, Wilson and Cohen) in Melbourne, and O’Shea and O’Shea in Brisbane, as legal advisers; and, for medical attention, Dr Howard Bullock and Dr Ramsay Sharp in Sydney and Dr Constantine Kyria­zopoulos in Melbourne.
“Indispensable guidance” was also given on how a Greek should behave in Australia. Many Greeks, it was stated, flattered themselves that they were superior to Australians in their level of civilization and in their commercial astuteness. On the contrary, I Zoi en Afstralia asserted, the Australians—with the few exceptions to be found in all countries—were superior to the civilized peoples of Europe. Greek migrants were therefore advised to preserve their own customs, but also to familiar­ise themselves with those of the host country. “Shouting, banging the table, gesticu­lating, rudeness, going about in gangs in the streets, and dirty attire” were things which aroused Australian dislike of foreigners, the authors warned, adding that this was not due to xenophobia. “The Australian, wherever he may be, eats, dresses, sleeps and walks with care and circumspection, and always prefaces his conversation with ‘Please’ and ends it with ‘Thank you’.”

Every Greek was urged to do his duty not only to himself and his family but also to his neighbour in trouble, to Greece, and to the Church, and to pursue the highest Christian ideals. Some had apparently fallen below this standard, for the authors added: “The worst aspect of all—not just for our compatriots in Australia now but for those who may come in future—is that some individuals—probably only a few— after working honestly for years and having made their money, evade their obliga­tions to other businessmen who have behaved honourably towards them, and think it clever to abscond from Australia, persuading themselves that they will never return.” On such persons, they warned, “the heavy axe of justice will inexorably fall, condemning them to six years jail and payment of all debts and costs."

Contrasted with such delinquents were those who had voluntarily returned to Greece to fight in the recent wars against Turkey and Bulgaria. On them I Zoi en Afstralia bestowed the highest praise, listing 23 by name and recalling that many had paid their own passages home to enlist, at great financial sacrifice; and somewhat acidly the authors noted that, although Greek law imposed imprisonment for eva­sion of the call-up, the Greek Government had made no proper arrangements to help men to return to Greece.
I Zoi en Afstralia's account of the discovery of Australia was imaginative, referring to “an ancient Chaldaean legend about a great continent to the south of India”, and to rumours brought back by soldiers of Alexander the Great, and to mention of Australia by the ancient geographers Aimilianos, Manilios and Ptolemy, and alleged Arab visits before the Dutch and Portuguese.

On firmer ground was Kentavros’s account of his ten day tour of northern New South Wales. Armed with a suitcase and a rug, he took the train to Taree and by various means reached Murwillumbah, calling on Greeks in the region’s towns, and travelling up the Manning River in the motor-launch Ariadne, operated as a ferry service by a member of the Comino family. A hired car and driver took him to Wauchope, Port Macquarie, Kempsey and other towns. He travelled by train to Casino and in a wildly driven buggy from Kyogle to Byron Bay, and ended his journey with a stormy voyage in a small steamer from Lismore to Sydney. Despite bumpy roads and occasional punctures, he found the scenery beautiful and his compatriots hospitable, and he was impressed by the region’s dairying and oyster-culture. Every Australian farmer is his own master, he declared, and he fears neither domination nor theft nor loss.

“A future edition”, Kentavros hoped, would show Australia’s Greeks “demon­strating the same intense love of their native land, as well as higher levels of commercial and social success”. And Charles (Kosmas) Andronicus, regretting that lack of space had precluded mention of many interesting aspects of Australian life, declared his intention to remedy this in the next edition. None eventuated, but I Zoi en Afstralia retains a unique place in the history of Greek settlement.

History > Documents

submitted by George Poulos on 12.09.2007

Anglo-American Bank Passbook of my great-grandfather Theothosios Koroneos.

In 1928 the Anglo-American Bank opened a sub-branch in Potamos, Kythera.

In 1931, it declared bankruptcy with considerable loss to Kytherian investors.

Unbeknown to me until 2007, my great-grandfather was one of those who sustained losses as a result of the collapse.

History > Documents

submitted by Dean Coroneos on 12.09.2007

Triunduphilos Theothosios Belos Re-entry Permit.

Australia 1930.

Triunduphilos emigrated to Australia in 1928 with his cousin Evangelos (Jack) Vanges, who settled in Nyngan, NSW.

He could not adapt to Australia and decided to leave in 1930.

This certificate, issued by the Australian Government allowed him to return to Australia, within a period of two years, without having to re-apply for residency.