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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 Alexandra Ermolaeff on 04.12.2003

(03) Dimitrios Aronis-Beys: Stamatina Aronis Papadominakos

(An extract from the memoirs of Prof. Manuel J. Aroney)

[[picture:"matergrand.jpg" ID:837]]
My maternal grandparents Theodore and Eleni Aronis

Another well-known family in Aroniadika was that of Theodore and Eleni Aronis (Papadominakos). Theodore was a relatively tall man with a moustache, distinguished looking and with a reputation for honesty and fairness to the extent that the villagers would often call on him to adjudicate in local disputes. ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Alexandra Ermolaeff on 23.12.2004

(04) Dimitrios Aronis-Beys: Mackay – The Early Years

(An extract from the memoirs of Prof. Manuel J. Aroney)

From 1923 to 1926 Dimitrios Aronis, now widely known as Jim Aroney, was a cook in the Townsville Cafe located in Flinders Street West. He became naturalized as an Australian citizen on the 7th of September 1925 – in the certificate of naturalization he is recorded as James Aroney (also known as Moustakos). The Townsville Cafe, owned by his cousins Cosmas (Charlie) Marendy and Peter Hlentzos in partnership with my father, ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Alexandra Ermolaeff on 24.02.2004

(05) Dimitrios Aronis-Beys: Mackay – My Home Town

Andy & Evangelia

(An extract from the memoirs of Prof. Manuel J. Aroney)

[[picture:"evangalia2.jpg" ID:814]]
Evangelia Aroney (nee Lukas): The beautiful girl in the photo that uncle Andy fell in love with.

Andy bought a house in Macalister Street barely three hundred yards from ours and within close walking distance to the Niagara Milk Bar; this was in addition to a two-storey investment property in Wood Street which ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Alexandra Ermolaeff on 04.12.2003

(06) Dimitrios Aronis-Beys: The Spectre of War

(An extract from the memoirs of Prof. Manuel J. Aroney)

The strong conviction existed within the Greek community that our presence in Australia was greatly resented by many Anglo-Celtic Australians. A legacy of bitterness had been left by the “Report of the Royal Commission into Social and Economic Effect of Increase in Number of Aliens in North Queensland” – the Ferry Report of the 21st of June 1925 which contained outlandish generalisations such as “the Greek residents ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Thodoros Magonezos on 29.11.2003

St.Theodore's massacre

On the 12th of May we celebrate St. Theodore.

Once upon a time on the eve of the day there used to be a huge celebration, and people would come from all over the island to join in. In the evening sales men would arrive and spread their goods under the trees. They brought farming products, tools and home made produce, and even animals, on which they would stick a flower to show that the animal was for sale. Mini “tavernas” were set up under the trees and the roasts would soon be ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Thodoros Magonezos on 29.11.2003

St. Cosmas Treasure

The church of St. Kosmas near Drimona was once very small, and so the Priest Metaksas decided he wanted to restore it and make it bigger. He therefore left the island to petition for the money. At that time the sea was still swarming with pirates. Metaksas travelled first to Athens and from there to Konstantinople. There he chanced to go to a hospital and there he explained his business. A badly wounded patient called him to his bedside and said quietly: “I hear you wish to build a church on Kythera. ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Thodoros Magonezos on 21.11.2003

The real naming of Amir Ali…and Mavrogiorgi

It was at the time when the Turks were on the island. Amir was one of them, a warrior of their army. One night he went down to the spring, but for some reason his horse slipped and fell, bringing him down with it. The rest of the Turks however assumed that the locals had somehow played a part in the act, and they ransacked a few houses, taking the men, one of whom (Giorgi) they killed as revenge.
When the locals heard they began to say “Poor black Giorgi” (mavro=black), black being a ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Thodoros Magonezos on 21.11.2003

Captain 17

It happened about a hundred and fifty years ago. They said the man was on drugs, and everyone agrees he wasn’t from the island.
So the story goes he set off from Aroniadika to go to Kalokairines, where a christening was scheduled to take place. It must have taken him about two hours. The story goes he stayed the night near or in the church and the next morning early before the christening was due to begin he started to ring the bells… The people assumed the christening had started early ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Maria Kominou on 01.11.2003

The origin of the name Kominos

The origin of the name Kominos goes back thousands of years, as far back as Mesopotamia. The name was then Komninos, it was changed to Kominos much later.
The Komninos family were merchants in the time of the Byzantium, and the Byzantium was where they settled. They were considered very high up in the aristocracy, and at one time there is supposed to have been one on the throne. They remained in that high position until the Turks took Constantinople, at which point those who survived scattered ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Rowan Parkes on 18.12.2003

Memories of '43

Late on a Wednesday evening I sat down with Mrs Pavlaki in the kitchen in her daughter’s apartment in Potamos. The electricity had been wiped out in the area, so we sat in candlelight, talking and remembering. Mrs Pavlaki must surely be one of the most humorous people I know, her tinkling laughter and sparkling eyes flashed and filled the kitchen, as she burbled over everything from her mother's cooking to the hungry years of '43. The very idea that I had come to hear some stories from her seemed ...

History > Oral History

submitted by James Gavriles on 27.08.2003

Demetrios Gavriles Family - journey to America

I can only give some account of the immigration of the sons of Demetrios Gavriles of Logothetianica, coming to America, from what I recollect, having been told. Some of it may be myth, and some of it may just not be correct, as they are all gone and unable to verify.

My grandfather Demetrios, who family nickname was "Boukiouros", was some sort of sponge diver and also some sort of treasure hunter from Logothetianica. He used to tell my grandmother he was going sponge diving, but in ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Eleni Malanos on 26.07.2003

Anna Coroneo

- A Short Story about My Mother.

This article was written for The Kytherian under The Kytherian Cinema Supplement The Picture Show Men – August 2001 and was then adapted for The Greek Australian VEMA in March 2003.

Anna Coroneo was born in Pitsinathes, Kythera in May 1928. When I think how hard things are for us today, I have to remember how hard things were for our parents then. Yes, you might say things were simpler, less complicated and less competitive ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 12.05.2005

Paul Panaretto

Twenty four year old Vrettos Dimitri Panaretto sailed into Sydney in 1892 and within a couple of years had acquired his own oyster saloon at 197 Oxford Street. Sometime in the late 1890s he and his younger brother, Ioannis, moved on to Moree where they can be credited with the establishment of one of the very first Greek Oyster Saloons in country NSW. Over the next few years they branched out into a number of nearby towns, installing fellow Kytherians as managers.

[[picture:"paneratos.jpg" ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Peter Tsicalas on 13.08.2003

Archie Caponas

Below is an abridged version of the entrepreneurial activities of the Kytherian Archie Caponas extracted from the book ‘Greeks and Other Aliens around the Tweed and Brunswick’, which is the first volume of the opus on Greek settlement of the Northern Rivers region of NSW by the entrepreneurially challenged Peter Tsicalas. The limited number of hardcopies produced were left with all his local libraries and Historical Societies, but can be obtained through inter-library loan. Peter intends the ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Mary Hope on 05.08.2003

Comino, Nick and Margarita

Nicholas (Nick) Comino, together with his sister, Melpomeni, arrived in Australia on the SS Cephee on 29 February, 1924. Nick had been born on the island of Kythera, a small island off the tip of the Peloponnesian peninsula in Greece, on 30 August, 1893, one of eight children of a small landholder. The family's means of survival, like that of most of the islanders, was subsistence farming together with the sale of a few crops such as olives, walnuts, almonds and pears. Eking out a living was an ongoing ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Peter Haniotis on 06.06.2003

2. Expectations and Achievements

This is an exerpt from Peter Haniotis book "Expectations and Achievements” which is available for $40 from
Peter or Vicky Haniotis
40 Eastern Avenue
2032 Kingsford
Australia
Tel. +61.2.9662 49 09

Many thanks to Mr. Haniotis for his kind permission to let us display parts of his book on this site.



New Dreams
The time of our departure arrived. On the 10th January 1937 fifteen of us left Kythera for Piraeus ...

History > Oral History

submitted by Peter Haniotis on 06.06.2003

1. Expectations and Achievements

This is an exerpt from Peter Haniotis book "Expectations and Achievements” which is available for $40 from Peter or Vicky Haniotis
40 Eastern Avenue, 2032 Kingsford
Australia
Tel. +61.2.9662 49 09

Many thanks to Mr. Haniotis for his kind permission to let us display parts of his book on this site.


Preface
At the ripe old age of 84, I realise my time is running out. With the idea of leaving my children and grandchildren ...

History > Oral History

submitted by James Prineas on 03.07.2003

The Bronze Head

My grandmother's side of the family - the Haniotis - have a house on a generous piece of land right in the middle of Mitata. I always thought that they had accumulated their wealth through their merchant business exporting oil and honey to Piraeus and St. Petersburg. Until my uncle Nicko (Loudzis) told me another story.

My great -grandfather had land up on Paliokastro - the mountain between Mitata and Paliopoly, where the Athenians and the Spartans battled it out a couple of thousand ...