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Oral History

History > Oral History

"History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity."
Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), Pro Publio Sestio

There are many categories in this section - they are now visible in the navigation on the left. By choosing any one of them you can view the entries, and by clicking on the add to... links at the top right of each category page, you can easily submit your own entry.

Please note! There are dozens of historic and fascinating photographs to be found in the Kythera Cultural Archive section of this site.

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History > Oral History

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 18.03.2008

George Nicholas Comino

The Australian part of George Comino’s story begins in 1954. He vividly remembers the day, 1st April 1954 when he stepped off the ship the Fairsea at Circular Quay Sydney. He was met by his brother Peter who was his sponsor. Peter had driven all the way from the Southeast Queensland town of Laidley in his brand new Holden sedan car. For the first four months after his arrival George worked with his brothers in their Café, the Central Café at Laidley. When the drapery shop next door to the ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 19.11.2007

Jim Panos (Zacharias Panaretos)

While I was living in Melbourne during the 1980s I enrolled in a Greek language course with the CAE. Our teacher was Nina Black a well known personality in the Greek community as well as in the wider community. It was through her that I learned her brother-in-law, Jim Panos was Kytherian and that he lived in Hobart. When I explained that I also had Panaretos forebears she immediately claimed me as a relative! My sister and her husband lived in Hobart too. So when I flew over to Tasmania to spend ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Toni Risson on 31.10.2007

Vasiliki's Story.

Daughters of Aphrodite: Cafe Brides

Chapter 5, Aphrodite and the Mixed Grill.

Kytherian-born, George Kentrotis, left Fratsia in 1925, when he was 21. He returned from Australia at the age of 53 to find a wife. Vasiliki was a beautiful 25-year-old from Fratsia. She had an aunt who used to tell people’s fortunes by tipping the dregs of their coffee cups out onto a saucer. Vasi recalls that when she was a teenager, her aunt ‘read’ her cup and told her that ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Peter Makarthis on 15.06.2007

Sunday Sensation - Horse in Cafe

Sunday Sensation

Not something new on the menu of S.Peter & Co Cafe in Otho Street on a Sunday afternoon in January of 1925 but an event more closely related to the fabled bull in the china shop. On this occasion a horse through the café.

This report is taken from The Inverell Times of Tuesday 6th January 1925.

Sunday Sensation



A mild sensation was created in ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Gaye Hegeman on 08.03.2007

Charalambos Emmanuel Leondarakis (Harry Londy)

In August 2005 when we travelled to Kythera to attend the "Discover your Roots" event at Hora, we stayed in the village of Fratsia. It was our habit most evenings to wander down to the main square to buy a cool drink or have a light meal. There was always someone new to meet. "Come and meet Harry" someone said, "he is from Brisbane too!"

Every year in April Harry flies to Kythera to spend the summer in the house where he was born. The rest of the year he resides in Brisbane ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Alfred Vincent on 23.08.2006

Nicholas Laurantus. An Interview. 1978.

An Interview with Nicholas Laurantus.

By, Takis Constantopedos, & Alfred Vincent

Περιοδικό, Tο Γιοφύρι, 3-4, (Σύδνεύ, 1978)

The periodical, The Yofiri, 3-4, pp. 15-17, Sydney, 1978.

The original inteview was conducted in both Greek and English, and written up in both Greek and English. In the words of the interviewers this was done to capture the authentic essence of Laurantus's character. Here, the Greek text ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Clarence River Historical Society on 30.05.2006

Brinos Notaras reflects on the Olympic Relay of ‘56.

“the sparks from the magnesium were a real hazard”

"My recollection of the Relay was that I replied to an invitation in the newspaper to participate by the old Orara Shire Council, (now Ulmarra Shire) and the conditions were that we should be able to run a mile in six minutes.

I was duly selected to participate, but due to a misunderstanding I was allocated Dirty Creek Range, a steep climb on the road, the crest of which was the Orara ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Clarence River Historical Society on 30.05.2006

Spiro Notaras, carried the Torch into the City of Grafton

"Even today I realise the honour the Council placed on me to carry the Torch.

My involvement with the Olympic Torch Relay commenced in early 1956, when Councils ‘YiI asked for potential runners who could run one mile in under six minutes to nominate.

At the time I was involved in various sporting organisations, firstly the Woolgoolga Surf Life Saving Club which in the summer months I competed in beach sprinting, swimming and rowing. In the winter I played rugby ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Jim Comino on 19.03.2006

old papa from Merriwa writes from ////

Papa always had photos of Anna /Helen/ the daughters of Mary his Sister who theo and Andrew bought out from Kythera and they worked in his shopin Merriwa until theo introduced Helen to Con in Oberon and Anna to Theo Coronios in Scone. These girls Mother Mary [Theo and Andrews sister] was married to Panayiotis Mavromatis, who passed away in Tottenham, where he was in some sort of partnership in a business there.
Theo Comino and Andrew fought a bitter court case over this which cost them some ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Kythiraismos, Newspaper on 25.02.2006

Remembering Kythera's WWII occupation.

APRIL 2003
Edition number: 247
From the archive of the newspaper "Kytherian Idea"*
*Original name of "Kythiraismos", Newspaper.



A Remembering from Kythera's occupation

(An article from the recent editon of the Greek Orthodox Archiocese of Australia)

Kythera is an island that divides the Ionian, Aegean and Cretan seas in the southernmost part of the Peloponnese. ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Pat Heaney on 19.11.2005

Peter Pentes. Victory Cafe. Some stories.

1. I recall that Peter had the cafe during the war. I am sure he had it in 1940. It became the Victory Cafe after the War.

2. Peter was extremely generous. He was always good to us as kids. If we needed to, he would let us book things up and pay him later.

3. I would often see swagmen at the back of Peter's shop. He would give them a free feed. Peter was always kind and generous.

4. I remember Peter, one time, becoming very excited. He had just ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Marion Brown (nee, Johnson) on 14.11.2005

Oral History by Marion Brown (nee, Johnson). Kytherians in Gilgandra.

As told to George C Poulos, Friday 4th November, 2005.

I was born on the 22nd January, 1921, in Cumnock, in New South Wales. My father was Bill Johnson.
Our family moved to the Gilgandra district when I was 4 years of age. Initially we lived out on the land - near Curban. When we moved into Gilgandra, our family lived in a house opposite the old school.

I married Albert "Bertie" John Brown, and we came to own 3 bakeries in Gilgandra. One was located in ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Archie Kalokerinos on 03.10.2005

Archie Kalokerinos. Medical School, Internship, Ship's Surgeon.




The relaxation of entry requirements into the faculty of medicine resulted in a record number of enrolments. Three hundred students, more than twice the usual number, crowded into the lecture theatres of the Old Medical School and hoped to eventually be tagged with the title of ‘Doctor’. There were, however, some major hurdles to overcome. Six years of study would ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Archie Kalokerinos on 03.10.2005

Archie Kalokerinos. Parents and Childhood.




According to family folklore, my father’s family originated in Constantinople, about 1500 AD. During the next 400 years there are records of Kalokerinos men in Crete and the little island of Kythera that is situated between Crete and the mainland of Greece. Movements seemed to be random in nature but were probably initiated by three factors -business, trade ...

History > Oral History

submitted by George Poulos on 29.09.2005

Theo Corones. His life. 1926-1998.

As a young man in his 20's. Taken whilst he was acting as a groomsman at his Uncle Dimitri's wedding.

Theothosios Triunduphilos Koroneos, Theo Corones, was born in Karavas, Kythera, on the 29th January 1926.

He died in the North Queensland coastal town of Bargara, on the 13th September 1998.

His parents were Triunduphilos Theothosios Koroneos Belos from Karavas, and ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Joyce Wrigley on 15.09.2005

Joyce Wrigley remembers the Gilgandra flood of 1955.

This is my account of a night (24th February) during the Gilgandra flood of 1955.
It was written on the 23rd of February, 2005.
I am 86 years old.

Can't believe it is now 50 years since we had that awful flood - not easily forgotten.

It was my husband Leo and my 15th wedding anniversary. It had been raining for over a week with hardly a break, and now there was a couple of fine days to try and catch up on our jobs. The police had heard of a big ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Stella Aird (nee, Kelly) on 08.12.2006

ABC cafe, Gilgandra, memories....

My first memories of the shop were growing up with lots of people around all the time – the watchdogs we had ( which would jump the back fence every time there was a storm) and of course sitting on top of the woodheap to watch the movies (for free) as we got older. The other thing was that we shared a common lane with the Western Stores and there were stables at the back on the riverbank where the country folk used to bring their horse and sulkies into town and leave them out the back in the ...

History > Oral History

submitted by George Poulos on 07.12.2006

The milkshakes always taste better......

in the other Kytherian Cafe.

When I was young, I spent a great deal of time working in the Gilgandra Fruit Mart.

Gilgandra Fruit Mart, 1960's, complete with milkbar, counter, and stools

Every so often I would feel like a milkshake. I was allowed to make one, and drink it whenever I liked. Which I often did.

But I always felt ...

History > Oral History

submitted by George Poulos on 28.08.2005

The infant telepathic disc-jockey. Perplexing Theothoros Kritharis.

When my father, Con George Poulos moved to the central western New South Wales town of Gilgandra, we lived in a house in the upper part of Myrtle Street. The house had a large lounge room, with gramaphone player against one wall. It was the type of gramaphone player which had an arm which picked up records, placed above the central mechanism, and played them sequentially. The records were "78's".

Kytherian visitors would often come to visit us in the house. One such visitor was Theothoros ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Con George (Tzortzo)Poulos on 28.08.2005

Con George Poulos, and George Peter Psaltis.

Lose Con's truck,....and almost lose their lives - in the Gilgandra flood, 1955.

In 1955, we owned a very large Federation style house on the Western end of Myrtle Street, (the furthest end from the main street - Miller Street), in Gilgandra NSW. It was in the highest part of Gilgandra.

In January 1955, a great deal of rain fell in Gilgandra. Throughout January and February, rain fell consistently. By 23rd February 1955, monsoon rains made it inevitable that ...