More Sponsors! Our website has been online for more than 6 years now. By "our" I mean "the whole Kytherian community's". Kythera-Family.net, now with it's 14,747 entries, has no rival when it comes to community cultural archiving. No other community, Diaspora or otherwise, not the Castellorizian, the Jewish, or even the Irish has anything like a major online depository where their communities can directly contribute memories and more. It's easy to forget our humble beginnings - of course we started with ZERO entries - or that, without the generous support of our patrons and sponsors, none of it would have been possible. Three new sponsors approached us this week - the Laiki Bank, the Faros-Wilson Family (John, Dara, Jack, Madeline, & Tessa), and Cos & Tony Psaltis. Many thanks to all of them! This is a good opportunity to again thank all of you who have given financial support to the project. The list is long, so rather than give it inadequate space here in this newsletter, we've created a page dedicated to our sponsors: http://www.kythera-family.net/sponsors. If you're not on the list but would like to be, just send George Poulos a mail at g.poulosATkythera-family.net or call him in Sydney on (+61) 2. 9388 8320. >Extra Christmas Present You might recall that we are preparing to introduce a redesign of the site with dozens of new features to further the cause of inter-Kytherian communication. The way things are progressing, it should be online in late December, so even if your Christmas stocking is lacking this year, you'll still have a huge present waiting for you online, from your extended Kytherian Family (.net). From a sunny, calm Pelagia, James Prineas .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ >Launch of republished Life in Australia (1916/2009) The Kytherian World Heritage Fund, announces another Kytherian World Heritage (mega) Event. The launch of the recently published books, Life in Australia (1916) in GREEK, and Life in Australia (1916) in ENGLISH. To download a superb 4-page brochure about the event, as well as how to purchase these books, go to: http://www.kythera-family.net/LifeInAustralia Would you please forward this notice to ALL Hellenes and Philhellenes on your email list, who you think might be interested in attending the event. George Poulos .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ Message board Topic >Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos This is to inform everyone who had the privilege to have known and loved my father, Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos born Karavas 1939, that he has lost his battle of the past one and a half years, to pancreatic cancer. Nick has left behind his loving wife of 51 years Patricia, his 6 children (he had fathered 7 children, but lost Athens, his second daughter in June 2007 they are now buried side by side in the cemetery of Karavas ) Angela the first born, Leone, Sophia, Rose, Lucky, George the youngest and a long string of grand children and great grand children of which are living in Australia, Greece and Denmark. At a tender age of just 12 years old, Nick was sent to a foreign country, that country being Australia, he did not know the language and vaguely knew his uncle and aunty to whom he would be living and working with for the next many years. Mean while Nick met Patricia, fell in love and started a family never giving up with the dream of one day returning home to Kythera, he is in fact one of the few that did make the dream come true in June of 1978. Nick was a kind, generous and loving person and has left an impression on all those who have been fortunate enough to have met him. He has helped many people in his life, and always had time to give a helping hand and it came from deep within his heart. Nick was a hard working man, he was not a materialistic man; the simple things in life are what counted to him. He will be deeply missed, Kythera, Platia Ammos will never be the same without him. Nick, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend - you live on within us all - may you rest in peace. Your loving family. .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ >LIFE IN KYTHERA....BACK IN THE DAY by Maria of Lourandianika Remembering my days in Kythera brings only memories of happiness, laughter and joy. However, such was not always the case. Reading my journal from that time again, I found that the idyllic life of my memories wasn't quite accurate. There were days of boredom, staying inside our family home in Louradianika, as I listened to the rain. This was so difficult for a 15 year old girl with a life so restricted, knitting a jumper and matching cardigan and wishing for the days to pass. How I wanted the weather to clear as this would mean that I would be allowed to go hunting with my rifle. I would never return home without several quails, which made for a wonderful meal. I loved the thrill of competition with my father and was proud when my kill was greater than his. Back then I always assumed that my grandfather, whom I adored, had founded Louradianika. However, the truth was that his father before him, a Greek Orthodox Priest, had built the first home further up the hill, where finally 7 homes were built, all to be occupied by family members. A cousin, Uncle Andreas, also a priest and known as Papa Mihali, gave the first sermons at the family Church. Seeing the ruin of the house today brings to mind the time when I walked inside the ruins, sensing a life long past and what stories it could tell. How important it is for us to attempt to maintain these old ruins, as they make Lourandianika (and Kythera) what it is… an island full of history. A little known fact was that at times the Priest would be sent to live in a village far from his home to give sermons and religious guidance. Speaking to a close relative, I was searching for answers to unanswered questions. It was explained to me that the occurrence where the father was required to work in a village far from his own, meant that a child would be placed with close family or friends, so as not to disrupt their education. Such sacrifices were made out of necessity, not want. This is a subject not spoken of freely, but the family unit remained strong at all times. As I turn to my journal to assist me with memories of so many years gone by, I find many memories shattering like a piece of glass. I do not understand why I have chosen to remember only happy times, when in reality, all families face problems. Why would I expect that our families would not experience the same problems? Sanitation was a matter which had to be faced. My father had sent funds to erect a toilet at his family home in Kato Livadi, but this luxury was not available at Louradianika. We would need to go to a stone hut built well away from the house, armed with a small shovel when nature called. We would have to dig a trench along the inside walls and then use the dirt from the ground to complete the task. Such was life back then. My mother took my sister and myself to a school where girls worked on looms, making beautiful blankets, runners and so many other items for sale. Girls would enter the school for three years. During that time, as they worked, they were paid by being given one dress and two pairs of shoes each year. No money was ever paid. They were permitted to leave the school twice a year. Two blankets were made of different textures for my sister and me… a gift from my grandmother and my beautiful blue-eyed blond aunt, whom I adored. An aunt who cared for her parents in her home when it was no longer possible for them to continue living in Louradianika, as their village was too isolated. They needed a home where their needs could be addressed. In the 10 months I spent with her, not once did I hear her raise her voice or utter one word not spoken with love. Olive-picking season was upon us. My Aunt Katina, who was my father’s sister, was such a gentle soul. My father wanted so badly to bring her to Australia to live with us. One day, she decided not wait for the truck which was to pick up everyone to be taken to the Vroulea. It was delayed and so she set off on foot, putting her ladder over her shoulder and marching off to begin her work, as she felt time was being wasted. Seeing this little lady, with her scarf on her head, braving the cold and the winds and marching off alone, is a memory which I will always treasure. What an exceptional person she was! Within my father’s family, she was my favourite aunt and I, in return, was her favourite niece. I watched all my aunts on their ladders, clearing the heavily laden branches of their olives, many falling onto the sheets spread on the ground to collect them. Always the mischief maker, I could not resist going around to where my aunts were on their ladders. I saw that their stockings were held by garters below their knees. I would pull down their stockings and as I ran away, laughed at their expressions. When they scolded me, I would laugh even more. I could see from their expressions that they were also having great difficulty not to laugh. They would scold me, telling me not to do this again, but as quickly as they fixed their stockings, I would go and pull them down again. It was then decided that I should climb a ladder and work also, as this was the only way they could keep an eye on me. I preferred to play with my lamb which had adopted me after its mother rejected it, having given birth to twin lambs. From then on, I was always seen walking with my lamb beside me. Having seen the slaughter of the sheep on the island, I kept a very close eye on my lamb so that she would not face the same fate as many before her. Reflecting on the hardships I personally experienced in daily living, has allowed me to speak openly of the life faced by our Kytherian families all those years ago. My experience may be confined to Kato Livadi, Upper Livadi and Louradianika, but I do feel it is important that we speak of such hardships. For me, however, nothing will ever change my deep passion for Kythera. That love came from living on an untouched island of such beauty. The island is where my heart belongs and its beauty will never fade. Maria (Marcellos) Whyte 4 Trinity Crescent., Sippy Downs Queensland 4556. .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ > Nicholas Aroney (Anastasopoulos) Nicholas Anthony Aroney (Anastasopoulos) was born in Aroniathika, Kythera, on 14th February 1899. An only child, his mother died very early in his life; his father was far away in America. For some years Nick was in the care of his grandmother in Kythera; but it was a life of poverty. In 1914, at just fifteen years of age, he boarded a German ship bound for Australia. War intervened and they were to go no further than Batavia in Java. Nick was forced to find another ship to take him to Sydney. The long and tortuous trip was to end in 1914 in the small country town of Warren in New South Wales where he took up employment working for an uncle. Times were difficult; wages were very low, but through hard work and frugality, Nick was able to accumulate some capital. In 1919, he bought, together with his first cousin Nicholas Aroney (Papadominakos), the "New York Cafe" in the town of Nowra, 161 kilometres south of Sydney. More details about this part of his life can be found in Robyn Florance's book, "A Touch of Greece in Junction Street. Greek Cafe Owners of Nowra". Years later, in 1936, they were to move to Wollongong, 80 kilometres further north, as proprietors of the "Spot Cafe". This, in turn, was sold in 1940 and Nick Aroney moved to Sydney where for some years during the war he was employed in the famous "Hotel Australia". He became the senior partner in a number of businesses in Sydney, notably the "Coronet Restaurant", the "Chicken Grill", and "St James Milk Bar"; he acquired as well substantial real estate interests. Somewhat late in life, in 1962, Nick married Natasha, a lady of beauty, style and culture who had grown up in Vienna. Together they ran a small clothing manufacturing enterprise. It was a very happy marriage. They built a fine home in the prestigious suburb of Pymble and they made several trips to Greece, visiting on each occasion the beloved island of his childhood. Nick Aroney died in Sydney on 12th July 1986 at the age of eighty-seven years. Nicholas Aroney left behind a trust fund, which since his death has funded dozens of important projects related to Kythera and Greece. Without his generous legacy Kythera-Family.net would not have been possible.' /> More Sponsors! Our website has been online for more than 6 years now. By "our" I mean "the whole Kytherian community's". Kythera-Family.net, now with it's 14,747 entries, has no rival when it comes to community cultural archiving. No other community, Diaspora or otherwise, not the Castellorizian, the Jewish, or even the Irish has anything like a major online depository where their communities can directly contribute memories and more. It's easy to forget our humble beginnings - of course we started with ZERO entries - or that, without the generous support of our patrons and sponsors, none of it would have been possible. Three new sponsors approached us this week - the Laiki Bank, the Faros-Wilson Family (John, Dara, Jack, Madeline, & Tessa), and Cos & Tony Psaltis. Many thanks to all of them! This is a good opportunity to again thank all of you who have given financial support to the project. The list is long, so rather than give it inadequate space here in this newsletter, we've created a page dedicated to our sponsors: http://www.kythera-family.net/sponsors. If you're not on the list but would like to be, just send George Poulos a mail at g.poulosATkythera-family.net or call him in Sydney on (+61) 2. 9388 8320. >Extra Christmas Present You might recall that we are preparing to introduce a redesign of the site with dozens of new features to further the cause of inter-Kytherian communication. The way things are progressing, it should be online in late December, so even if your Christmas stocking is lacking this year, you'll still have a huge present waiting for you online, from your extended Kytherian Family (.net). From a sunny, calm Pelagia, James Prineas .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ >Launch of republished Life in Australia (1916/2009) The Kytherian World Heritage Fund, announces another Kytherian World Heritage (mega) Event. The launch of the recently published books, Life in Australia (1916) in GREEK, and Life in Australia (1916) in ENGLISH. To download a superb 4-page brochure about the event, as well as how to purchase these books, go to: http://www.kythera-family.net/LifeInAustralia Would you please forward this notice to ALL Hellenes and Philhellenes on your email list, who you think might be interested in attending the event. George Poulos .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ Message board Topic >Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos This is to inform everyone who had the privilege to have known and loved my father, Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos born Karavas 1939, that he has lost his battle of the past one and a half years, to pancreatic cancer. Nick has left behind his loving wife of 51 years Patricia, his 6 children (he had fathered 7 children, but lost Athens, his second daughter in June 2007 they are now buried side by side in the cemetery of Karavas ) Angela the first born, Leone, Sophia, Rose, Lucky, George the youngest and a long string of grand children and great grand children of which are living in Australia, Greece and Denmark. At a tender age of just 12 years old, Nick was sent to a foreign country, that country being Australia, he did not know the language and vaguely knew his uncle and aunty to whom he would be living and working with for the next many years. Mean while Nick met Patricia, fell in love and started a family never giving up with the dream of one day returning home to Kythera, he is in fact one of the few that did make the dream come true in June of 1978. Nick was a kind, generous and loving person and has left an impression on all those who have been fortunate enough to have met him. He has helped many people in his life, and always had time to give a helping hand and it came from deep within his heart. Nick was a hard working man, he was not a materialistic man; the simple things in life are what counted to him. He will be deeply missed, Kythera, Platia Ammos will never be the same without him. Nick, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend - you live on within us all - may you rest in peace. Your loving family. .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ >LIFE IN KYTHERA....BACK IN THE DAY by Maria of Lourandianika Remembering my days in Kythera brings only memories of happiness, laughter and joy. However, such was not always the case. Reading my journal from that time again, I found that the idyllic life of my memories wasn't quite accurate. There were days of boredom, staying inside our family home in Louradianika, as I listened to the rain. This was so difficult for a 15 year old girl with a life so restricted, knitting a jumper and matching cardigan and wishing for the days to pass. How I wanted the weather to clear as this would mean that I would be allowed to go hunting with my rifle. I would never return home without several quails, which made for a wonderful meal. I loved the thrill of competition with my father and was proud when my kill was greater than his. Back then I always assumed that my grandfather, whom I adored, had founded Louradianika. However, the truth was that his father before him, a Greek Orthodox Priest, had built the first home further up the hill, where finally 7 homes were built, all to be occupied by family members. A cousin, Uncle Andreas, also a priest and known as Papa Mihali, gave the first sermons at the family Church. Seeing the ruin of the house today brings to mind the time when I walked inside the ruins, sensing a life long past and what stories it could tell. How important it is for us to attempt to maintain these old ruins, as they make Lourandianika (and Kythera) what it is… an island full of history. A little known fact was that at times the Priest would be sent to live in a village far from his home to give sermons and religious guidance. Speaking to a close relative, I was searching for answers to unanswered questions. It was explained to me that the occurrence where the father was required to work in a village far from his own, meant that a child would be placed with close family or friends, so as not to disrupt their education. Such sacrifices were made out of necessity, not want. This is a subject not spoken of freely, but the family unit remained strong at all times. As I turn to my journal to assist me with memories of so many years gone by, I find many memories shattering like a piece of glass. I do not understand why I have chosen to remember only happy times, when in reality, all families face problems. Why would I expect that our families would not experience the same problems? Sanitation was a matter which had to be faced. My father had sent funds to erect a toilet at his family home in Kato Livadi, but this luxury was not available at Louradianika. We would need to go to a stone hut built well away from the house, armed with a small shovel when nature called. We would have to dig a trench along the inside walls and then use the dirt from the ground to complete the task. Such was life back then. My mother took my sister and myself to a school where girls worked on looms, making beautiful blankets, runners and so many other items for sale. Girls would enter the school for three years. During that time, as they worked, they were paid by being given one dress and two pairs of shoes each year. No money was ever paid. They were permitted to leave the school twice a year. Two blankets were made of different textures for my sister and me… a gift from my grandmother and my beautiful blue-eyed blond aunt, whom I adored. An aunt who cared for her parents in her home when it was no longer possible for them to continue living in Louradianika, as their village was too isolated. They needed a home where their needs could be addressed. In the 10 months I spent with her, not once did I hear her raise her voice or utter one word not spoken with love. Olive-picking season was upon us. My Aunt Katina, who was my father’s sister, was such a gentle soul. My father wanted so badly to bring her to Australia to live with us. One day, she decided not wait for the truck which was to pick up everyone to be taken to the Vroulea. It was delayed and so she set off on foot, putting her ladder over her shoulder and marching off to begin her work, as she felt time was being wasted. Seeing this little lady, with her scarf on her head, braving the cold and the winds and marching off alone, is a memory which I will always treasure. What an exceptional person she was! Within my father’s family, she was my favourite aunt and I, in return, was her favourite niece. I watched all my aunts on their ladders, clearing the heavily laden branches of their olives, many falling onto the sheets spread on the ground to collect them. Always the mischief maker, I could not resist going around to where my aunts were on their ladders. I saw that their stockings were held by garters below their knees. I would pull down their stockings and as I ran away, laughed at their expressions. When they scolded me, I would laugh even more. I could see from their expressions that they were also having great difficulty not to laugh. They would scold me, telling me not to do this again, but as quickly as they fixed their stockings, I would go and pull them down again. It was then decided that I should climb a ladder and work also, as this was the only way they could keep an eye on me. I preferred to play with my lamb which had adopted me after its mother rejected it, having given birth to twin lambs. From then on, I was always seen walking with my lamb beside me. Having seen the slaughter of the sheep on the island, I kept a very close eye on my lamb so that she would not face the same fate as many before her. Reflecting on the hardships I personally experienced in daily living, has allowed me to speak openly of the life faced by our Kytherian families all those years ago. My experience may be confined to Kato Livadi, Upper Livadi and Louradianika, but I do feel it is important that we speak of such hardships. For me, however, nothing will ever change my deep passion for Kythera. That love came from living on an untouched island of such beauty. The island is where my heart belongs and its beauty will never fade. Maria (Marcellos) Whyte 4 Trinity Crescent., Sippy Downs Queensland 4556. .._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _ > Nicholas Aroney (Anastasopoulos) Nicholas Anthony Aroney (Anastasopoulos) was born in Aroniathika, Kythera, on 14th February 1899. An only child, his mother died very early in his life; his father was far away in America. For some years Nick was in the care of his grandmother in Kythera; but it was a life of poverty. In 1914, at just fifteen years of age, he boarded a German ship bound for Australia. War intervened and they were to go no further than Batavia in Java. Nick was forced to find another ship to take him to Sydney. The long and tortuous trip was to end in 1914 in the small country town of Warren in New South Wales where he took up employment working for an uncle. Times were difficult; wages were very low, but through hard work and frugality, Nick was able to accumulate some capital. In 1919, he bought, together with his first cousin Nicholas Aroney (Papadominakos), the "New York Cafe" in the town of Nowra, 161 kilometres south of Sydney. More details about this part of his life can be found in Robyn Florance's book, "A Touch of Greece in Junction Street. Greek Cafe Owners of Nowra". Years later, in 1936, they were to move to Wollongong, 80 kilometres further north, as proprietors of the "Spot Cafe". This, in turn, was sold in 1940 and Nick Aroney moved to Sydney where for some years during the war he was employed in the famous "Hotel Australia". He became the senior partner in a number of businesses in Sydney, notably the "Coronet Restaurant", the "Chicken Grill", and "St James Milk Bar"; he acquired as well substantial real estate interests. Somewhat late in life, in 1962, Nick married Natasha, a lady of beauty, style and culture who had grown up in Vienna. Together they ran a small clothing manufacturing enterprise. It was a very happy marriage. They built a fine home in the prestigious suburb of Pymble and they made several trips to Greece, visiting on each occasion the beloved island of his childhood. Nick Aroney died in Sydney on 12th July 1986 at the age of eighty-seven years. Nicholas Aroney left behind a trust fund, which since his death has funded dozens of important projects related to Kythera and Greece. Without his generous legacy Kythera-Family.net would not have been possible." />
kythera family kythera family
  

Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive > November 2009

16968: Newsletter Archive

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 01.12.2009

November 2009

Dear Friends of Kythera,

my colleague George Poulos refers to it as "the Mega-Event". A Kytherian occasion which will again draw all of us who love our island together. The launch of the republished "Life in Australia", first published in 1916 with biographies of scores of Greek-Australians businessmen from that era - the majority of them of course Kytherians - takes place on December the 9th in Sydney. Published under the auspices of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund led by Angelo Notaras and George Poulos, and the Kytherian Association of Australia, the handsomely bound books - one each in English and the original Greek - are treasures in themselves. Add to that the fact that the function will bring more Kytherians together than a dozen Sunday Markets in Potamos, and you have a recipe for memorable gathering. Please join us there if you can - you can find details here: http://www.kythera-family.net/LifeInAustralia
Many of the Kythera-Family.net team will also be in attendance (including myself), so it's a good chance to discuss the site as well. For those of you who can't attend, you can of course still purchase the book(s). Here's the link to the order form:
www.kythera-family.net/LIA/orderform.pdf

>More Sponsors!
Our website has been online for more than 6 years now. By "our" I mean "the whole Kytherian community's". Kythera-Family.net, now with it's 14,747 entries, has no rival when it comes to community cultural archiving. No other community, Diaspora or otherwise, not the Castellorizian, the Jewish, or even the Irish has anything like a major online depository where their communities can directly contribute memories and more. It's easy to forget our humble beginnings - of course we started with ZERO entries - or that, without the generous support of our patrons and sponsors, none of it would have been possible. Three new sponsors approached us this week - the Laiki Bank, the Faros-Wilson Family (John, Dara, Jack, Madeline, & Tessa), and Cos & Tony Psaltis. Many thanks to all of them! This is a good opportunity to again thank all of you who have given financial support to the project. The list is long, so rather than give it inadequate space here in this newsletter, we've created a page dedicated to our sponsors: http://www.kythera-family.net/sponsors. If you're not on the list but would like to be, just send George Poulos a mail at g.poulosATkythera-family.net or call him in Sydney on (+61) 2. 9388 8320.

>Extra Christmas Present
You might recall that we are preparing to introduce a redesign of the site with dozens of new features to further the cause of inter-Kytherian communication. The way things are progressing, it should be online in late December, so even if your Christmas stocking is lacking this year, you'll still have a huge present waiting for you online, from your extended Kytherian Family (.net).

From a sunny, calm Pelagia,

James Prineas
.._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _

>Launch of republished Life in Australia (1916/2009)

The Kytherian World Heritage Fund, announces another Kytherian World Heritage (mega) Event.

The launch of the recently published books, Life in Australia (1916) in GREEK, and Life in Australia (1916) in ENGLISH.

To download a superb 4-page brochure about the event, as well as how to purchase these books, go to:
http://www.kythera-family.net/LifeInAustralia

Would you please forward this notice to ALL Hellenes and Philhellenes on your email list, who you think might be interested in attending the event.

George Poulos

.._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _

Message board Topic

>Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos
This is to inform everyone who had the privilege to have known and loved my father, Nikolaos E. Tzortzopoulos born Karavas 1939, that he has lost his battle of the past one and a half years, to pancreatic cancer. Nick has left behind his loving wife of 51 years Patricia, his 6 children (he had fathered 7 children, but lost Athens, his second daughter in June 2007 they are now buried side by side in the cemetery of Karavas ) Angela the first born, Leone, Sophia, Rose, Lucky, George the youngest and a long string of grand children and great grand children of which are living in Australia, Greece and Denmark. At a tender age of just 12 years old, Nick was sent to a foreign country, that country being Australia, he did not know the language and vaguely knew his uncle and aunty to whom he would be living and working with for the next many years. Mean while Nick met Patricia, fell in love and started a family never giving up with the dream of one day returning home to Kythera, he is in fact one of the few that did make the dream come true in June of 1978. Nick was a kind, generous and loving person and has left an impression on all those who have been fortunate enough to have met him. He has helped many people in his life, and always had time to give a helping hand and it came from deep within his heart. Nick was a hard working man, he was not a materialistic man; the simple things in life are what counted to him. He will be deeply missed, Kythera, Platia Ammos will never be the same without him. Nick, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend - you live on within us all - may you rest in peace. Your loving family.

.._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _..._ _ _

>LIFE IN KYTHERA....BACK IN THE DAY
by Maria of Lourandianika

Remembering my days in Kythera brings only memories of happiness, laughter and joy. However, such was not always the case. Reading my journal from that time again, I found that the idyllic life of my memories wasn't quite accurate. There were days of boredom, staying inside our family home in Louradianika, as I listened to the rain. This was so difficult for a 15 year old girl with a life so restricted, knitting a jumper and matching cardigan and wishing for the days to pass. How I wanted the weather to clear as this would mean that I would be allowed to go hunting with my rifle. I would never return home without several quails, which made for a wonderful meal. I loved the thrill of competition with my father and was proud when my kill was greater than his.

Back then I always assumed that my grandfather, whom I adored, had founded Louradianika. However, the truth was that his father before him, a Greek Orthodox Priest, had built the first home further up the hill, where finally 7 homes were built, all to be occupied by family members. A cousin, Uncle Andreas, also a priest and known as Papa Mihali, gave the first sermons at the family Church. Seeing the ruin of the house today brings to mind the time when I walked inside the ruins, sensing a life long past and what stories it could tell. How important it is for us to attempt to maintain these old ruins, as they make Lourandianika (and Kythera) what it is… an island full of history.

A little known fact was that at times the Priest would be sent to live in a village far from his home to give sermons and religious guidance. Speaking to a close relative, I was searching for answers to unanswered questions. It was explained to me that the occurrence where the father was required to work in a village far from his own, meant that a child would be placed with close family or friends, so as not to disrupt their education. Such sacrifices were made out of necessity, not want. This is a subject not spoken of freely, but the family unit remained strong at all times.

As I turn to my journal to assist me with memories of so many years gone by, I find many memories shattering like a piece of glass. I do not understand why I have chosen to remember only happy times, when in reality, all families face problems. Why would I expect that our families would not experience the same problems? Sanitation was a matter which had to be faced. My father had sent funds to erect a toilet at his family home in Kato Livadi, but this luxury was not available at Louradianika. We would need to go to a stone hut built well away from the house, armed with a small shovel when nature called. We would have to dig a trench along the inside walls and then use the dirt from the ground to complete the task. Such was life back then.

My mother took my sister and myself to a school where girls worked on looms, making beautiful blankets, runners and so many other items for sale. Girls would enter the school for three years. During that time, as they worked, they were paid by being given one dress and two pairs of shoes each year. No money was ever paid. They were permitted to leave the school twice a year.

Two blankets were made of different textures for my sister and me… a gift from my grandmother and my beautiful blue-eyed blond aunt, whom I adored. An aunt who cared for her parents in her home when it was no longer possible for them to continue living in Louradianika, as their village was too isolated. They needed a home where their needs could be addressed. In the 10 months I spent with her, not once did I hear her raise her voice or utter one word not spoken with love.

Olive-picking season was upon us. My Aunt Katina, who was my father’s sister, was such a gentle soul. My father wanted so badly to bring her to Australia to live with us. One day, she decided not wait for the truck which was to pick up everyone to be taken to the Vroulea. It was delayed and so she set off on foot, putting her ladder over her shoulder and marching off to begin her work, as she felt time was being wasted. Seeing this little lady, with her scarf on her head, braving the cold and the winds and marching off alone, is a memory which I will always treasure. What an exceptional person she was! Within my father’s family, she was my favourite aunt and I, in return, was her favourite niece.

I watched all my aunts on their ladders, clearing the heavily laden branches of their olives, many falling onto the sheets spread on the ground to collect them. Always the mischief maker, I could not resist going around to where my aunts were on their ladders. I saw that their stockings were held by garters below their knees. I would pull down their stockings and as I ran away, laughed at their expressions. When they scolded me, I would laugh even more. I could see from their expressions that they were also having great difficulty not to laugh. They would scold me, telling me not to do this again, but as quickly as they fixed their stockings, I would go and pull them down again. It was then decided that I should climb a ladder and work also, as this was the only way they could keep an eye on me.

I preferred to play with my lamb which had adopted me after its mother rejected it, having given birth to twin lambs. From then on, I was always seen walking with my lamb beside me. Having seen the slaughter of the sheep on the island, I kept a very close eye on my lamb so that she would not face the same fate as many before her.

Reflecting on the hardships I personally experienced in daily living, has allowed me to speak openly of the life faced by our Kytherian families all those years ago. My experience may be confined to Kato Livadi, Upper Livadi and Louradianika, but I do feel it is important that we speak of such hardships. For me, however, nothing will ever change my deep passion for Kythera. That love came from living on an untouched island of such beauty. The island is where my heart belongs and its beauty will never fade.

Maria (Marcellos) Whyte

4 Trinity Crescent.,
Sippy Downs
Queensland 4556.

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> Nicholas Aroney (Anastasopoulos)

Nicholas Anthony Aroney (Anastasopoulos) was born in Aroniathika, Kythera, on 14th February 1899. An only child, his mother died very early in his life; his father was far away in America. For some years Nick was in the care of his grandmother in Kythera; but it was a life of poverty. In 1914, at just fifteen years of age, he boarded a German ship bound for Australia. War intervened and they were to go no further than Batavia in Java. Nick was forced to find another ship to take him to Sydney. The long and tortuous trip was to end in 1914 in the small country town of Warren in New South Wales where he took up employment working for an uncle. Times were difficult; wages were very low, but through hard work and frugality, Nick was able to accumulate some capital. In 1919, he bought, together with his first cousin Nicholas Aroney (Papadominakos), the "New York Cafe" in the town of Nowra, 161 kilometres south of Sydney. More details about this part of his life can be found in Robyn Florance's book, "A Touch of Greece in Junction Street. Greek Cafe Owners of Nowra". Years later, in 1936, they were to move to Wollongong, 80 kilometres further north, as proprietors of the "Spot Cafe". This, in turn, was sold in 1940 and Nick Aroney moved to Sydney where for some years during the war he was employed in the famous "Hotel Australia". He became the senior partner in a number of businesses in Sydney, notably the "Coronet Restaurant", the "Chicken Grill", and "St James Milk Bar"; he acquired as well substantial real estate interests.

Somewhat late in life, in 1962, Nick married Natasha, a lady of beauty, style and culture who had grown up in Vienna. Together they ran a small clothing manufacturing enterprise. It was a very happy marriage. They built a fine home in the prestigious suburb of Pymble and they made several trips to Greece, visiting on each occasion the beloved island of his childhood. Nick Aroney died in Sydney on 12th July 1986 at the age of eighty-seven years.

Nicholas Aroney left behind a trust fund, which since his death has funded dozens of important projects related to Kythera and Greece. Without his generous legacy Kythera-Family.net would not have been possible.

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