submitted by James Victor Prineas on 01.02.2008
Dear Friends of Kythera,
our presentation evening on the 14th of January was a great gathering of Kytherians young and old, as well as a few “xeni” who were interested to see the most enthusiastic group of ex-islanders in the country and the website which they have helped make so successful. According to a leading member of the Castellorizian community, who was also in attendance, the Castellorizian Club auditorium had never been so full, and the conservative estimate was an audience of at least 350. Some flew in from as far afield as Queensland, others didn’t get back to Newcastle until 1am in the morning after the evening, which finally came to a close at 11pm, two and a half hours after the official program ended.
For those of you who were not in attendance, the program was introduced by Angelo Notaras, who is the Website Team Leader in Australia. He initially gave the prize for oldest member of the audience to 92 year old Peter Haniotis, but had to revise it as the night went on as more mature Kytherians revealed themselves to him. In all there were at least 4 over-90s there, and the youngest member was my own son Louie. As Angelo pointed out, the huge range of ages in the audience was indicative of the enthusiasm of the Kytherian community, the brilliant work of the Kytherian Association of Australia, as well as the communicative power of Kythera-Family.net.
First to speak was Kytherian Association President Victor Kepriotis, whose support along with other committee members has helped make the site the success it is. Victor pledged the continuing support of the association and commended the website team on their hard work.
Next to the podium was Peter Coroneos, Chief Executive of Australia’s Internet Industry Association, which provides policy input to government and advocacy on a range of business and regulatory issues relating to the internet. He commended the site on its user-friendly design and state-of-the-art programming, making it unique in its genre, as only major commercial internet portals such as Microsoft’s usually invest as much time and energy in their websites.
He described the site as “one of the most unique and compelling non-commercial uses of internet technology we have yet seen”.
After Peter’s eloquence it was left to me to give a brief history of the site and give the audience a live tour of the site. With more than 850 entries on the site I had an abundance of examples to choose from. Question time went on for over a half an hour, which gave me a chance to show the intricate programming which went into many of the invisible yet essential parts of the site.
Angelo Notaras rounded off the evening with an appeal to those in attendance to support the site in one of three ways: to contribute entries to the site to make it an even more valuable resource; to engage one of our young enthusiastic collators to interview a favourite family member - on or off the island - which would provide more material for the site, give the family themselves a “hard copy” of one of their relative’s lives, also helping support the upkeep of our collation team; the third way to support the site was to pledge funds to the website taskforce the expenditure of which Angelo revealed would not only be audited by an independent body and under the scrutiny of the Kytherian Association of Australia, but also be run in the tradition of a Kytherian-Australian Cafe with “no wastage”.
Equal to the enthusiasm shown for the formal evening program was that of the social intercourse enjoyed after the last speech. It was a chance to meet old friends and to make new ones. I was particularly delighted to see so many young people of Kytherian descent offering their support for the site.
Many people are to be thanked for helping make the evening as successful as it was. While the full list would exceed the restrictions of this article, I would like to make special mention of George Poulos, Alexandra Ermolaeff and her sister Tatiana and brother Evan who helped set up the presentation. But the evenings’ most important individual helper was Eleni Malanos, whose organisational talent was proven yet again to be of the highest standard.
James Prineas, Website Team Leader Europe
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