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People > Life Stories > Mary (Marigoula) Diacopoulos

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submitted by John Diacopoulos on 02.11.2007

Mary (Marigoula) Diacopoulos

17th May 1916- 26th October 2007

Mary was born Maria (Marigoula) Magonezos in the village of Aroniadika (Aroneyville) on the Island of Kythera; the fourth of five children (three boys and two girls) born to Vasilios Magonezos Aroney and Eleni Koumesos Aroney.

Mary was more commonly known by the diminutive of “Marigoula” and her children and grandchildren are still known on parts of the island as the children and grandchildren of Marigoula Magonezos rather than by their own identities.

In 1938, Mary married Angelo, who had emigrated to Australia in 1914 from Karavas (a village at the northern end of the island) and who had settled in Gosford with his two brothers, Nick and Peter. As a result, Mary joined the long line of Kytherian immigrants from the rural villages of Kythera to the unfamiliar and unexpected life of a wife and working mother in the country cafes and milk bars of New South Wales.

In 1960, the family moved their residential address to Sydney while the children finished secondary school and moved on to University; and the house at Kings Rd. Vaucluse, became a focal point for many teenagers of that era. Mary’s cooking and catering abilities were always the “special ingredient” for many a social gathering or function organised by John, Anna and Helen, during the 1960s.

Time kept moving on. Wife, Mother, Mother In-law, Grandmother, Widow and more recently Great grandmother. In between, there were several overseas trips to various parts of Europe and, of course, to Greece and particularly to Kythera. In Sydney, whilst living at Potts Point, Mary discovered the local café scene and took to it with relish and enthusiasm.

In common with most Kytherians, Mary also had siblings in Australia; her three brothers Minas, Manuel and Nick Aroney having established themselves in Narrabri and her sister Calliope (Poppy) Notaras being in Quirindi in yet another country café before moving to Sydney.

Mary was part of a generation of immigrant wives who married on the Island and came to Australia as young brides having no knowledge of the English language and even less knowledge of Australian culture; and yet despite the obvious difficulties, Mary, together with the other womens of her era, was able to raise and educate children, assist in the family business and contribute to the family’s integration into the wider Australian community.

And so the generations keep on moving move on.

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