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Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 10.05.2013

Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory presenting her talk on the Karavas Water Project

The Presentation was made by:

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University)
Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory (Ohio State University)


The presentation was held at the University of Sydney at 7.15pm, Wednesday, March 20th 2013

At the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room, in the Madsen Building  Level 4,
Room 480 (one storey up and directly behind the building’s main foyer on the Eastern Avenue pedestrian mall).

What follows is George Vardas's Report of the event.

Download a .pdf of George's Report, here:

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT ARTICLE TOTAL.pdf

Download Tim and Lita's summary of their presentation, here:

Download a .pdf version of this article here:

Gregory_karavas_water_kythera_summer_2013.pdf

"Traditional mills belong to the cultural memory of people because they are associated to a still recent past and appeal to the countryside roots of people". (1)

KARAVAS WATER PROJECT EXPLAINED

The watermills of Kythera are traditionally associated with the village of Milopotamos (literally, the village of the watermills). However, to the north of the island, the verdant terraced landscape of Karavas is also rich in water, deep green gorges, free-running springs, walking trails and abandoned stone-built watermills which the Karavas Water Project seeks to explore.

On 20 March 2013 the leaders of this project, Professor Timothy Gregory and his colleague and wife, Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory, of Ohio State University gave an enthralling presentation to an audience of more than fifty (including a number of Karavites) at the Centre of Classical and Near Eastern Studies Board Room at Sydney University.
Lita started off by setting the scene for what it would have been like to live in the village of Karavas when the water mills were operating and how the social life often gravitated around those mills and the famous water springs, for which the village was renown, and vividly recalled the abundance of popular folk legends and stories associated with them.
Professor Gregory then proceeded to explain how the Karavas Water Project, by taking an environmental, topographic, archaeological and historical approach, seeks to examine the historical use of water resources in the northern part of Kythera throughout antiquity and up to the modern day.

According to the local historian and writer, Ioannis Cassimatis, the first watermills appeared in Kythera in the late eighteenth century. It is thought they were introduced from Crete where mills were built during the Ottoman and Venetian occupations. Traditionally, the mills, which were either single or two storey buildings, were built in the prevailing architectural style of the village.

Professor Gregory observed that Karavas stands out because of its plentiful springs and deep green gorges that resemble a sub-tropical rainforest in marked contrast to the barren, parched landscape of other parts of Greece. Indeed, the defining marker of Karavas is its watershed that runs in a generally southwest-northeast direction from the heights near Gerakari to the sea at Plateia Ammos.

From 2011 Timothy and his team took to the island small groups of university students as volunteers to help clear overgrown vegetation from the springs and watermills and undertake research on the various water installations, including the channels, cisterns and mills, and their use. They also spoke to local residents and former residents about their memories of the mills and have begun recording those oral histories. The cleared walking trails have also helped enhance Karavas’ reputation as an eco-tourism destination.

By means of a powerpoint presentation, including photographs and drawings of what some of the areas in Karavas now look like, once they have been cleaned of the dense vegetation, Timothy took the audience on a virtual tour of some of the ten watermills in the gorges of Karavas, including the impressive Magganou mill and cistern, and the mills of Paliomylos, Kourvoulis, Portokalia and Keramari and their sophisticated water channels and storage areas. He also mentioned Loutro which may date back to the 18th and 19th centuries (according to travellers’ accounts) and the possibility of its being used for bathing in Roman times.

As the molinologist Stelios Mouzakis has observed:

“The watermills of Kythera … are constructions on a small scale of the anonymous traditional architecture of Kythera. They are impressive in their special characteristics, the harmony of their volumes, their simplicity, their picturesque appearance, the modesty of their local building materials, the solutions they manifest to various constructional difficulties, but mainly by their unpretentious, effortless incorporation into their surroundings.”(2)

Professor Gregory also discussed how the systems of irrigation were used for the perivolia and the communal arrangements made between farmers and mill operators to exploit and share the water. Tim even alluded to a reference to the watermills in Spiro Stathis’ remarkable Kytherian Review published in 1923. In his survey of industry on Kythera in the year 1923, Stathis reported on the number of operating watermills on the island. Apart from Mylopotamos, we learn that there were five functioning watermills in Karavas operated by Panagiotis Coroneos, Haris Vanges, T. Tzortzopoulos, P. Tzortzopoulos and Ioannis Venardos.

Sadly, according to Cassimatis, the last watermill on Kythera ceased to operate in the late 1940s as the advent of power on the island meant that the mills were no longer economical to operate.

Finally, it is noteworthy that Timothy and Lita Gregory have established the impressive Amir Ali research centre, incorporating a library and dormitory, in Karavas to promote further research and greater understanding of the Karavas watershed and the historic, archaeological and cultural traditions and structures associated with water use on the island.

A big thank you goes to Timothy and Lita for their passionate and ongoing interest in Kytherian archaeology, as well as to Wayne Mullen, Executive Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, for offering the venue at Sydney University for the lecture.

After the presentation, members of the audience were treated to coffee and biscuits put on by the Kytherian Association together with some exquisite chocolate offerings from Fardoulis Chocolates. It was enough to make anyone thirsty.

(1) J. C. Viegas & J. A. Miranda, “Rehabilitation of traditional mills” in C.A. Brebbia (ed.) Structural Studies, Repairs and Maintenance of Heritage Architecture VIII (2003) p.657

(2) S. Mouzakis, “Watermills of the Greek Islands of Kythera and Antikythera” International Molinology (2004, Vol. 69, no. 2) p. 4

George Vardas

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 04.05.2013

Greek olive oil beans with fetta

Great hot or cold. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Karen Martini

Time:30 mins

Difficulty: Easy

Serves:4

Special options: Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Nut-free

Broad beans can be eaten with the skins on. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature. Enjoy it with poultry, grilled meats or on its own.

Ingredients

100ml extra virgin olive oil

300g green beans, tops trimmed, tails on

1 1/2 cup podded broad beans

4 eschallots, finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 long red chilli, finely sliced with seeds in

1 tin crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp castor sugar

1 bay leaf

Sea salt and pepper

1 handful fresh oregano, leaves torn

100g firm greek feta, crumbled

Method

1. Place a medium heavy-based frying pan over medium heat.

2. Add oil and both beans, cook for four minutes then add eschallots, garlic and chilli and cook for three minutes or until golden brown.

3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

4. Sprinkle with oregano and feta and serve.


Tip - This recipe is also an excellent way to cook baby okra.

Drink Unwooded chardonnay

Main ingredient: Cheese Cuisine: Greek Course: Side Dish, Light lunch

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 04.05.2013

Homestyle Greek: Spanakopita with silverbeet, spinach and soft feta

Photo: Brianne Makin

Sydney Morning Herald
May 03, 2013

Author:
Georgia Waters

Phone:02 9552 2425 Address:4-8 Booth Street, Annandale, NSW
Website:www.lemoniacafe.com.au/ Cuisine:Mediterranean, Greek Price Range:Moderate - (mains $15 - $30) Rating:Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When brothers Garry and Dion Rodakis decided to open their first cafe, they looked to their Greek grandmother, Lemonia.

It is thanks to the influence of their ''yiayia'' that Annandale is now home to this cheerful spot in a repurposed two-bedroom cottage with a bright-yellow frontage.

The cafe opened on Booth Street in January. Out the front is a window through which coffee is served, and where locals and their dogs mill between the pot plants, picking up a pastry and latte to go. Inside are shelves of old books, tin chairs, tables of beaten-up wood and tarnished silver teapots bursting with flowers.

Homestyle Greek: Spanakopita with silverbeet, spinach and soft feta. Photo: Brianne Makin
The menu is a gift to the late breakfasters, the early lunchers and the ''I-want-poached-eggs-at-3pm'' crowd: an all-day brunch, ranging from fruit and yoghurt to beef stew with kritharaki, the Greek pasta also known as orzo, served from 7am until 5pm. Our group arrives on a grey, dreary late Saturday morning and are cheerfully welcomed. Service is excellent, with a genuine spirit of hospitality.

Lemonia's menu is mostly Mediterranean, with better-than-usual options for vegetarians, mixed with familiar breakfast dishes: pancakes, french toast and omelets, alongside spanakopita and loukaniko, the Greek sausage.

There's even a nod to Canada with a four-cheese-and-pancetta version of poutine. Autumnal dishes such as beetroot risotto point to a menu that changes with the seasons.

With some of our group looking for breakfast and some ready for lunch, we order from all over the menu. Everything arrives on mismatched plates (sourced not from a local second-hand shop but directly from Lemonia's garage). A fluffy plate-size omelet is studded with small, salty kalamata olives and roasted capsicum, with slivers of proscuitto and basil. Another dish of eggs called saganaki - named for the Greek pan it's cooked in - is much like the Israeli dish shakshuka of eggs poached in a tomato stew. The eggs are soft-yolked, but there's too much tomato juice in the stew. The soft white bread it's served with is unfashionable in these days of artisan-spelt-sourdough but is perfect for dipping into the eggy-tomato juices.

French toast made with raisin and fig bread comes with or without ice-cream and jam. We've ordered it without and it's good - golden and light in its cinnamon batter - but it needs the jam to stop it from being dry.

Among the more substantial dishes is a hearty salad of chickpeas with daubs of sweet, tart goat's cheese, baby spinach and grilled eggplant with a rosemary dressing. A sandwich of grilled chicken breast is touted as peri peri, and while it's very good, with its chilli-onion jam, proscuitto and crunchy bibb lettuce, the paprika aioli is distinctly garlic-free and the chicken well-grilled and tender but without Portuguese spice. The poutine - while somewhat removed from the Canadian original with gravy and the raw curd cheese that's illegal in Australia - is fantastic, a bowl of thick-cut fries under a blanket of cheese and crunchy pancetta.

Our round of lattes and macchiatos are also excellent, the coffee smooth and rich.

There are those of us with Greek grandmothers and those of us without. And for those without, there's Lemonia.

Menu

Homestyle Greek and brunch.

Recommended dishes

Aegean omelet, chickpea salad, Greek coffee frappe.

Rating

3 (out of 5 stars)

more details

Phone:02 9552 2425 Address:4-8 Booth Street, Annandale, NSW.

Website:www.lemoniacafe.com.au/

Cuisine:Mediterranean, Greek Prices: Lighter dishes, $8.50 to $18.50; larger dishes, $14 to $21.90. Hours: Mon-Sat, 7am-5pm (coffee from 6.30am); Sun, 8am-5pm (coffee from 7.30am)

Chef(s): Harry Kalofonos Owner(s): Garry Rodakis, Dion Rodakis Features: Vegetarian friendly

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 04.05.2013

Warm and welcoming: Lemonia.

Photo: Brianne Makin

Sydney Morning Herald
May 03, 2013

Author:
Georgia Waters

Phone:02 9552 2425 Address:4-8 Booth Street, Annandale, NSW
Website:www.lemoniacafe.com.au/ Cuisine:Mediterranean, Greek Price Range:Moderate - (mains $15 - $30) Rating:Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When brothers Garry and Dion Rodakis decided to open their first cafe, they looked to their Greek grandmother, Lemonia.

It is thanks to the influence of their ''yiayia'' that Annandale is now home to this cheerful spot in a repurposed two-bedroom cottage with a bright-yellow frontage.

The cafe opened on Booth Street in January. Out the front is a window through which coffee is served, and where locals and their dogs mill between the pot plants, picking up a pastry and latte to go. Inside are shelves of old books, tin chairs, tables of beaten-up wood and tarnished silver teapots bursting with flowers.

Homestyle Greek: Spanakopita with silverbeet, spinach and soft feta. Photo: Brianne Makin
The menu is a gift to the late breakfasters, the early lunchers and the ''I-want-poached-eggs-at-3pm'' crowd: an all-day brunch, ranging from fruit and yoghurt to beef stew with kritharaki, the Greek pasta also known as orzo, served from 7am until 5pm. Our group arrives on a grey, dreary late Saturday morning and are cheerfully welcomed. Service is excellent, with a genuine spirit of hospitality.

Lemonia's menu is mostly Mediterranean, with better-than-usual options for vegetarians, mixed with familiar breakfast dishes: pancakes, french toast and omelets, alongside spanakopita and loukaniko, the Greek sausage.

There's even a nod to Canada with a four-cheese-and-pancetta version of poutine. Autumnal dishes such as beetroot risotto point to a menu that changes with the seasons.

With some of our group looking for breakfast and some ready for lunch, we order from all over the menu. Everything arrives on mismatched plates (sourced not from a local second-hand shop but directly from Lemonia's garage). A fluffy plate-size omelet is studded with small, salty kalamata olives and roasted capsicum, with slivers of proscuitto and basil. Another dish of eggs called saganaki - named for the Greek pan it's cooked in - is much like the Israeli dish shakshuka of eggs poached in a tomato stew. The eggs are soft-yolked, but there's too much tomato juice in the stew. The soft white bread it's served with is unfashionable in these days of artisan-spelt-sourdough but is perfect for dipping into the eggy-tomato juices.

French toast made with raisin and fig bread comes with or without ice-cream and jam. We've ordered it without and it's good - golden and light in its cinnamon batter - but it needs the jam to stop it from being dry.

Among the more substantial dishes is a hearty salad of chickpeas with daubs of sweet, tart goat's cheese, baby spinach and grilled eggplant with a rosemary dressing. A sandwich of grilled chicken breast is touted as peri peri, and while it's very good, with its chilli-onion jam, proscuitto and crunchy bibb lettuce, the paprika aioli is distinctly garlic-free and the chicken well-grilled and tender but without Portuguese spice. The poutine - while somewhat removed from the Canadian original with gravy and the raw curd cheese that's illegal in Australia - is fantastic, a bowl of thick-cut fries under a blanket of cheese and crunchy pancetta.

Our round of lattes and macchiatos are also excellent, the coffee smooth and rich.

There are those of us with Greek grandmothers and those of us without. And for those without, there's Lemonia.

Menu

Homestyle Greek and brunch.

Recommended dishes

Aegean omelet, chickpea salad, Greek coffee frappe.

Rating

3 (out of 5 stars)

more details

Phone:02 9552 2425 Address:4-8 Booth Street, Annandale, NSW.

Website:www.lemoniacafe.com.au/

Cuisine:Mediterranean, Greek Prices: Lighter dishes, $8.50 to $18.50; larger dishes, $14 to $21.90. Hours: Mon-Sat, 7am-5pm (coffee from 6.30am); Sun, 8am-5pm (coffee from 7.30am)

Chef(s): Harry Kalofonos Owner(s): Garry Rodakis, Dion Rodakis Features: Vegetarian friendly

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 23.04.2013

Anna & Kyrani 18/04/2013

My mother, Anna Zantiotis (Kyrani Anastasopoulos) with her beloved grand-daughter and namesake, Kyrani at my mum's 75th birthday dinner.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 20.04.2013

Happy Birthday Anna!

My mother, Anna Zantiotis (Kyrani Anastasopoulos) cutting her birthday cake. My mum was born in Perlegiannika on April 15, 1938. She looks great for 75!

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 20.04.2013

Anna Zantiotis, John Tzannes, Stephen Zantiotis

My parents with an old frined, John Tzannes. This was at my mum's 75th birthday dinner.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 13.03.2014

Anna & Stephen Zantiotis 18/04/2013

My parents, Anna (Anastasopoulos) and Stephen Zantiotis at my mum's 75th birthday celebrations on April 18, 2013. My mum turned 75 on April 15, 2013.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Betty Summers (nee, Notaras) on 16.04.2013

John Prineas and Paul Summers holding the interstate shield

On Feb 15th, 2013, a team from the Hellenic Social Lawn Bowls Association of NSW travelled to Perth to compete for the Hellenic interstate sheild.

They stayed on in Perth until Feb 21st, 2013.

Two Kytherians - John Prineas and Paul Summers - were part of the winning team. They defeated both the Victorian and Western Australian teams, and "bought back the shield".

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Betty Summers (nee, Notaras) on 16.04.2013

Members of the Hellenic Social Lawn Bowls Association of NSW

On Feb 15th, 2013, a team from the Hellenic Social Lawn Bowls Association of NSW travelled to Perth to compete for the Hellenic interstate sheild.

They stayed on in Perth until Feb 21st, 2013.

Two Kytherians were part of the winning team. They defeated both the Victorian and Western Australian teams, and "bought back the shield".

John Prineas, who is holding the shield in this photo, and Paul Summers, pictured on the far left.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Courier Mail, Brisbane on 13.04.2013

The road to "Freeleagusville"

Our Greeks have kin on Kythera

Courier-Mail 8th June, 1972, page 2


Alan Underwood, who has just visited Greece on the inaugural Sydney-Athens flight of Olympic Airways, found an island that seemed largely populated with relatives of Queensland Greeks…

Alex Freeleagus, Greece's Aussie-born Consul in Queensland — might have told me before we landed on the Island of Kythera. This lonely, 14-miles-long mass of flinty rocks and leathery Greeks probably has stronger ties with Queensland than any other spot in the world.

Of course it is the home island of the Freeleagus clan. Alec's dad, Christie, left his rocky village when he was 12 - in 1900. When Christie's mother next saw the boy when he was 30 — and infinitely more prosperous then he would have been back at Friligianika.

Kythera is a dot off the southern end of the Peloponnese. There's a weekly ferry connecting it with Athens, and the trip takes 14 hours. I would never have seen Kythera but for the Kytherians who had just built a beautiful little airstrip — and Alexander Onassis.

I met Alexander - son of Ari - at a party. Alexander is a keen airman.
He helps his famous father by running Olympic Airways charter-plane division.

Light plane

He offered a light plane to fly Free¬leagus and me to Kythera for the week¬end.

On board with us, as wonderful guides and company we had the Athens Kytherian Association President (Con Lourandos) and Alec's cousin, George Panaretos.

I have lost track of the Freeleagus family tree, but for years, George ran the Lucky Black Cat Casket Agency, in Queen Street, Brisbane.
We're going to share a ticket. Con, tall, greying, soldierly, was a great hero of Kythera's fierce resistance to the Germans.

Alec, one of my old Air Force Reserve colleagues is a pilot. He took the front seat alongside the twin-engined Piper Aztec’s charter pilot.
In fact, Alec flew the Aztec most of the way and landed it perfectly on Kythera strip.

One thing about the Kythera strip: there was no shortage of hard rock,
In fact, the volunteer Kytherians who gave their land and their labor free, had to shave the rock with bulldozers to gain the right levels.
Six carloads turned out to meet us. Of course, there was the president of Friligianika himself, Peter Frilingos.

There was the entire Kytherian police force, the priest, and very many excited relatives of Queensland consul Alec.

Friligianika – “Freeleagusville”, I kept translating it mentally - is the ancestral base of Alec's forbears.

It is a tiny, windswept group of little white-washed houses. Your Main impression is of rocks a - hard, grey rocks. Everywhere they have been cleared, or piled up, or made into cottages or fences.

And the Freeleagus windmill. The Freeleagus's was especially important
because of this. For miles around, farmers in the past had to bring their grain to the cloth-sailed mill for grinding. Today the 200-year-old mill is a relic. Its iron roof is gaping and rusty.

Alec's father's old home, the cottage he left at 12 for Australia, is in good shape, but deserted. Inside it is musty. There's a giant fireplace. The rooms are small, their walls thick with layers of whitewash. Here, for generations, were born and reared members of the Freeleagus main family line.

It was in the village of Friligianika Kythera’s remarkable links with Queensland began to show.

Peter Frilingos, 73, told me how he had been in Brisbane front 1922 to 1935. He used to own the old Central Café in Edward Street. “Near the-old Brisbane Courier building," Peter explained. "Then later, for 61 years I had the Crown Cafe — in George Street, near the courthouse."

We drove through Arondianika, a rocky, scrubby hamlet on the Kytherian moorlands, alive with bright yellow bloom. It is the home village of the Aroney family — well-known in Queensland and New South Wales.
Today most of the Aroneys seem to have emigrated, their farms deserted enclosures with rock fences.

A stop at a village named Karvounades. A sip of ouzo and a nibble of grilled octopus at an open air table facing the church.

The cafe owner is Con Lourandos. His brother Nick, a retired N.S.W. wheat grower living in Sydney, recently endowed the chair of Modern Greek language at Sydney University. Also, Nick gave Karvournades its bright, modern school. '

Through Kythera township – to Kapsali, the fishing port with its old Venetian castle. "It was from these battlements that Kytherians in World War II cheered as the cruiser Sydney sank the Italian warship Bartolomeo Colleoni, one of the locals told me.

Back inland, it was lunch at two at the pension and cafe of another Lourandos - John. Fish, fresh from the nets at Kapsali grilled with olive oil, goat-milk mizithra (it's something between a cheese and a yoghurt) covered with local honey.

Rose wine

More ouzo, some local vintage rose wine. Bed according to the Greek custom at 3 p.m., upstairs, in the Lourandos pension. Pension-owner Lourandos' uncle, John Cominos, now in Brisbane, used to be in business in Gladstone. Before the alumina boom, regrettably. Lourandos's brother is Greek vice-consul in Tasmania.

Out of bed at 7 p.m. It's dinner with all the presidents of the main Kytherian communities. And later a moonlight walk — over a landmark, the Katouni Bridge.

On the bridge a young Greek driver pulls up. He announces he comes from Glen Innes, and is "home" in Kythera for a couple of years.

Next morning at seven I strolled again in Livadi village. The shoe-shop man stopped me: "My son, George Vlandis, is in Australia. He has the Tourist Cafe, in Gosford."

On Sunday morning, in the Monastery of Myrtidiottisa (free board and lodgings for all) they showed me a bishops marble throne. It was given by a Kytherian who made his fortune in Sydney.

We drove up to another monastery Saint Moni — on a concrete road, built with mostly Australian money.

Through Kalokerines, a deserted village. It was the home of the Kalokerinos family, fairly prominent among Greeks in Australia.

Past women on donkeys, to Sunday morning in Potamos, where the action is. Its market day, under the pine trees - where they used to tie bullocks for slaughter. A statue overlooking the square of General Peter Coroneos, a Crimea hero and a native of Potamos. A forebear of the Coroneos of Queensland, of course.

But, I was warned, the famous Corones of Charleville came not from Potamos, but from Friligianika, home of the Freeleaguses.

The post office is open on Sunday, and the bank. Kytherians are opening up their money orders, mostly from Australia, banking them, and cashing them. Every month from this post office there is an average of 20 phone calls to Australia.

Sipping ouzo and coffee under the slaughter tree I meet Theo Argery:
"I used to run the butchery in Logan Road, Greenslopes. My brother-in-law, the late Harry Lewis, had Lewis' cafe, in Bundaberg."
Theo retired 11 years ago, and now is contented, back on Kythera.

Someone tells me about Cominos: “Yes, most of the Cominos in Queensland come from Kythera originally. But not all Comino cafes in Queensland are really Comino cafes. “The name became so famous as a good place to eat, that Greeks of any name started calling their cafes 'Comino's’."

Andronicus the Big Australian coffee man, they told me in Potamos, was a member of a Potamos family.

For our weekend on Kythera, this was the pattern. I was assured there are five times as many Kytherians living in Australia as there are Kytherians living in Kythera. "If Australia goes under, Kythera will sink", Con Lourandos grinned.

Olives, honey, cheese, fishing are Kythera’s chief local economy. But every month the banks on Kythera receive about A$50,000 in remittances from abroad - about two-thirds of it from Australia.
Most of this, of course, is money from Greek sons to their old folk on the island.

Kythera is a dying island. I went into a school, where, the teacher told me, 50 years ago there were 500 children. Now it has 60. The islands population is slightly more than 4000 - compared with more than 8000 in 1940. The average age on Kythera is between 35 and 40. I met several in their nineties. There is nothing on Kythera for young people. Who can blame them for migrating to Australia?

Gabba accent

Our last meal on Kythera was lunch at a seaside resort, named Saint Pelagia, Conomos Cafe, in fact. I was greeted by Mike Conomos. "Gee,” (in a Gabba accent) — "I know you. I've served you in my shop. You know, Stanley Street, East Brisbane."

Mike migrated from Kythera to Brisbane 24 years ago, when he was 17.
He's sold the Stanley Street business, and is "holidaying" with his folk on Kythera — with his Aussie wife, Freda and the kids. "Gosh" - Mike confessed. "Greece takes a bit of getting used to. When I got off the plane at Athens and saw all the traffic travelling on the wrong side of the road – gee.”

“See that holiday house next door to us here? That belongs to a Brisbane crowd - the Sourrises - you know 'em?”

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Courier Mail, Brisbane on 13.04.2013

Our Greeks have kin on Kythera

Courier-Mail 8th June, 1972, page 2

Alan Underwood, who has just visited Greece on the inaugural Sydney-Athens flight of Olympic Airways, found an island that seemed largely populated with relatives of Queensland Greeks…

Alex Freeleagus, Greece's Aussie-born Consul in Queensland — might have told me before we landed on the Island of Kythera. This lonely, 14-miles-long mass of flinty rocks and leathery Greeks probably has stronger ties with Queensland than any other spot in the world.

Of course it is the home island of the Freeleagus clan. Alec's dad, Christie, left his rocky village when he was 12 - in 1900. When Christie's mother next saw the boy when he was 30 — and infinitely more prosperous then he would have been back at Friligianika.

Kythera is a dot off the southern end of the Peloponnese. There's a weekly ferry connecting it with Athens, and the trip takes 14 hours. I would never have seen Kythera but for the Kytherians who had just built a beautiful little airstrip — and Alexander Onassis.

I met Alexander - son of Ari - at a party. Alexander is a keen airman.
He helps his famous father by running Olympic Airways charter-plane division.

Light plane

He offered a light plane to fly Free¬leagus and me to Kythera for the week¬end.

On board with us, as wonderful guides and company we had the Athens Kytherian Association President (Con Lourandos) and Alec's cousin, George Panaretos.

I have lost track of the Freeleagus family tree, but for years, George ran the Lucky Black Cat Casket Agency, in Queen Street, Brisbane.
We're going to share a ticket. Con, tall, greying, soldierly, was a great hero of Kythera's fierce resistance to the Germans.

Alec, one of my old Air Force Reserve colleagues is a pilot. He took the front seat alongside the twin-engined Piper Aztec’s charter pilot.
In fact, Alec flew the Aztec most of the way and landed it perfectly on Kythera strip.

One thing about the Kythera strip: there was no shortage of hard rock,
In fact, the volunteer Kytherians who gave their land and their labor free, had to shave the rock with bulldozers to gain the right levels.
Six carloads turned out to meet us. Of course, there was the president of Friligianika himself, Peter Frilingos.

There was the entire Kytherian police force, the priest, and very many excited relatives of Queensland consul Alec.

Friligianika – “Freeleagusville”, I kept translating it mentally - is the ancestral base of Alec's forbears.

It is a tiny, windswept group of little white-washed houses. Your Main impression is of rocks a - hard, grey rocks. Everywhere they have been cleared, or piled up, or made into cottages or fences.

And the Freeleagus windmill. The Freeleagus's was especially important
because of this. For miles around, farmers in the past had to bring their grain to the cloth-sailed mill for grinding. Today the 200-year-old mill is a relic. Its iron roof is gaping and rusty.

Alec's father's old home, the cottage he left at 12 for Australia, is in good shape, but deserted. Inside it is musty. There's a giant fireplace. The rooms are small, their walls thick with layers of whitewash. Here, for generations, were born and reared members of the Freeleagus main family line.

It was in the village of Friligianika Kythera’s remarkable links with Queensland began to show.

Peter Frilingos, 73, told me how he had been in Brisbane front 1922 to 1935. He used to own the old Central Café in Edward Street. “Near the-old Brisbane Courier building," Peter explained. "Then later, for 61 years I had the Crown Cafe — in George Street, near the courthouse."

We drove through Arondianika, a rocky, scrubby hamlet on the Kytherian moorlands, alive with bright yellow bloom. It is the home village of the Aroney family — well-known in Queensland and New South Wales.
Today most of the Aroneys seem to have emigrated, their farms deserted enclosures with rock fences.

A stop at a village named Karvounades. A sip of ouzo and a nibble of grilled octopus at an open air table facing the church.

The cafe owner is Con Lourandos. His brother Nick, a retired N.S.W. wheat grower living in Sydney, recently endowed the chair of Modern Greek language at Sydney University. Also, Nick gave Karvournades its bright, modern school. '

Through Kythera township – to Kapsali, the fishing port with its old Venetian castle. "It was from these battlements that Kytherians in World War II cheered as the cruiser Sydney sank the Italian warship Bartolomeo Colleoni, one of the locals told me.

Back inland, it was lunch at two at the pension and cafe of another Lourandos - John. Fish, fresh from the nets at Kapsali grilled with olive oil, goat-milk mizithra (it's something between a cheese and a yoghurt) covered with local honey.

Rose wine

More ouzo, some local vintage rose wine. Bed according to the Greek custom at 3 p.m., upstairs, in the Lourandos pension. Pension-owner Lourandos' uncle, John Cominos, now in Brisbane, used to be in business in Gladstone. Before the alumina boom, regrettably. Lourandos's brother is Greek vice-consul in Tasmania.

Out of bed at 7 p.m. It's dinner with all the presidents of the main Kytherian communities. And later a moonlight walk — over a landmark, the Katouni Bridge.

On the bridge a young Greek driver pulls up. He announces he comes from Glen Innes, and is "home" in Kythera for a couple of years.

Next morning at seven I strolled again in Livadi village. The shoe-shop man stopped me: "My son, George Vlandis, is in Australia. He has the Tourist Cafe, in Gosford."

On Sunday morning, in the Monastery of Myrtidiottisa (free board and lodgings for all) they showed me a bishops marble throne. It was given by a Kytherian who made his fortune in Sydney.

We drove up to another monastery Saint Moni — on a concrete road, built with mostly Australian money.

Through Kalokerines, a deserted village. It was the home of the Kalokerinos family, fairly prominent among Greeks in Australia.

Past women on donkeys, to Sunday morning in Potamos, where the action is. Its market day, under the pine trees - where they used to tie bullocks for slaughter. A statue overlooking the square of General Peter Coroneos, a Crimea hero and a native of Potamos. A forebear of the Coroneos of Queensland, of course.

But, I was warned, the famous Corones of Charleville came not from Potamos, but from Friligianika, home of the Freeleaguses.

The post office is open on Sunday, and the bank. Kytherians are opening up their money orders, mostly from Australia, banking them, and cashing them. Every month from this post office there is an average of 20 phone calls to Australia.

Sipping ouzo and coffee under the slaughter tree I meet Theo Argery:
"I used to run the butchery in Logan Road, Greenslopes. My brother-in-law, the late Harry Lewis, had Lewis' cafe, in Bundaberg."
Theo retired 11 years ago, and now is contented, back on Kythera.

Someone tells me about Cominos: “Yes, most of the Cominos in Queensland come from Kythera originally. But not all Comino cafes in Queensland are really Comino cafes. “The name became so famous as a good place to eat, that Greeks of any name started calling their cafes 'Comino's’."

Andronicus the Big Australian coffee man, they told me in Potamos, was a member of a Potamos family.

For our weekend on Kythera, this was the pattern. I was assured there are five times as many Kytherians living in Australia as there are Kytherians living in Kythera. "If Australia goes under, Kythera will sink", Con Lourandos grinned.

Olives, honey, cheese, fishing are Kythera’s chief local economy. But every month the banks on Kythera receive about A$50,000 in remittances from abroad - about two-thirds of it from Australia.
Most of this, of course, is money from Greek sons to their old folk on the island.

Kythera is a dying island. I went into a school, where, the teacher told me, 50 years ago there were 500 children. Now it has 60. The islands population is slightly more than 4000 - compared with more than 8000 in 1940. The average age on Kythera is between 35 and 40. I met several in their nineties. There is nothing on Kythera for young people. Who can blame them for migrating to Australia?

Gabba accent

Our last meal on Kythera was lunch at a seaside resort, named Saint Pelagia, Conomos Cafe, in fact. I was greeted by Mike Conomos. "Gee,” (in a Gabba accent) — "I know you. I've served you in my shop. You know, Stanley Street, East Brisbane."

Mike migrated from Kythera to Brisbane 24 years ago, when he was 17.
He's sold the Stanley Street business, and is "holidaying" with his folk on Kythera — with his Aussie wife, Freda and the kids. "Gosh" - Mike confessed. "Greece takes a bit of getting used to. When I got off the plane at Athens and saw all the traffic travelling on the wrong side of the road – gee.”

“See that holiday house next door to us here? That belongs to a Brisbane crowd - the Sourrises - you know 'em?”

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 12.04.2013

Mrs Saphira Caravousanos at the 1st Kytherian Ball, 1956

Saphira was the first President of the Kytherian Ladies Auxiliary
Sydney, NSW, Australia

In Loving Memory of Saphira Caravousanos

This interesting account of the life of Mrs Caravousanos, was written by her son Andrew, and with his permission we share it with all our members.

On Sunday 24th December 1924, the weather in Carthage Missouri USA was well below zero and considered “the worst winter’s day in the city’s history”. There were no Sunday papers to forecast hopeful improvement so its citizens gathered in churches praying for relief. Yet for Andrew & Stella ( Stamatoula) Khlentzos, warmth was abundant with the birth of their first daughter Saphira(their second child within a calendar year). Andrew was so thrilled that a daughter was born so that he could name her ‘Zafiro’ after his beloved mother in Logothetianika, Kythera, Greece.

With his brothers Andrew Khlentzos, a skilled candy maker, had established candy stores in Wichita and Missouri. Saphira was proud that the site of one of the stores is now part of the baseball diamond of the St Louis Cardinals.

In 1929 , Andrew and Stella ( pregnant with her fifth child) with their then four children ( Michael, Saphira, Helen and Peter) decided to flee the crippling depression of USA and joined Stella’s brothers, Nick and Dave , in Lithgow NSW Australia.

After Mary their third daughter was born in June, Andrew became a partner in the Paragon Café in Hay NSw with Mr Logothetis. The depression spread and Logothetis disappeared leaving Saphira’s father with no money as well as the debts of the business. It was the start of extreme hardship for the family which would last for over ten years. Andrew and Stella lost all their savings and were forced to leave Hay after their sixth child Billy was born in 1932.
The family moved to Sydney, with Stella trying desperately to raise her six children whilst Andrew washed floors and made candy. The two eldest children, Michael and Saphira, went to cricket and football matches at Moore Park selling their father’s homemade candy for 2 pence a stick. The sticks were thick solid candy 2 inches long and came in greaseproof paper wrapping in either strawberry or peppermint flavour.

Moves were many and sadly Andrew died in 1935 of stomach cancer leaving Stella with 6 children, the eldest being 11. There was no food in the house and they had to wait for their Uncle Nick and Aunty Aspa to bring them a loaf of bread to eat. So difficult was their plight that their uncle had to take them in for all to survive. A gesture emphasised by the fact the Uncle Nick was the sole wage earner of the family.

Saphira attended Sydney Girls High School and was a brilliant mathematician. An excellent student also blessed with a mature soprano singing voice, Saphira was forced to leave school and work in her uncle’s business in Lithgow at the age of 14. Saphira was treated harshly by her Uncle Dave’s wife, Aunty Ella and was forced to work in the shop in appalling conditions, without even a heater in heavy winters. A promise to educate her further was never kept. She felt cheated and when she had her own children she provided them all with equal opportunities and encouraged in their education.

Eventually Saphira moved back home and worked in a clothing factory until Charles Caravousanos met her and wanted to marry her. World War II brought more hardship with the conscription of her eldest brother Michael into the Air Force and posting in Papua New Guinea.

On the February 1943 Charles married Saphira at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Surry Hills.

They worked side by side in their business known as the Piccadilly” Café next door to the Capital Theatre. However she was known to disappear next door on occasions to watch her favourite movie stars appearing in a movie during a matinee. Many Greeks in the Australian Army treated the “Piccadilly” as their home away from home. Saphira’s hard-working and dignified manner generated great respect from them.

In May 1944 their first son John was born followed by the birth of their second son Andrew in November 1945. Saphira and Charlie (as many called him now) bought a house in Botany Street Kingsford also sold the “Piccadilly” in 1946.

They then purchased a delicatessen business in Taylor Square but the whispers of a railway station being built involving the actual sight bought concern to Saphira whose past had been proven difficult and they sold it to Nick Potiris.

In 1948 saw the leasing of the Athenian Restaurant in Castlereagh Street Sydney from peter Conomos and eventually purchased by Charles and Saphira in the 1950’s. In November 1950 their daughter Tina was born. The purchase of their new home in Willoughby followed in 1951. Their second daughter Marianne was born in May 1952.

The Athenian Restaurant became a landmark in Sydney in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Its reputation amongst members of the print media and multi-cultural migrants was second to none for its large meals for little money. No other restaurant offered a free loaf of bread with every meal, a pitcher of water and wine by the glass at an affordable price. With its success came Saphira’s selfless task of helping new arrivals from Greece with their job applications, interpreting needs for medical and legal matters and their naturalisation. It was never an issue for Saphira to accompany a young expectant mother or an elderly Greek to interpret for them when visiting a doctor.

She and Charles both loved to party as well as dine out with family, koumbari and friends alike. Latin Quarter, Chequers, The Couchman, La Taverna and the Chevron Silver Spade Room were to name a few, some of their favourite spots.

Her tireless effort in joining and visibly supporting organisations such as the Lyceum and the Young matrons was with purpose and direction. Saphira supported Charlie’s financing (together with Mina Psaltis) of the hire of the Paddington Town Hall to hold dances for the Kytherians who were struggling to create a new life in a new land.

Between them, Charles and Saphira had 48 godchildren. Saphira’s ritual was to open a special bank account at the end of January each year and then 2 weeks prior to Christmas withdraw the amount saved to purchase each one a Christmas present. Saphira not only gave a gift to her Godchild but also to their siblings. Her generosity was renowned.

With the purchase of the Athenian Club, a floor below the restaurant, Saphira became a skilled poker player, much to the awe of her male counterparts!

On the 4th December 1960 Saphira fulfilled a dream that many believed was impossible. Together with Charles, she took her four children on an overseas trip of a lifetime. The sea voyages and the travelling through over 10 countries was first class in every sense of the word, completed with a first class voyage home on the maiden voyage of the ‘Canberra’. Her children to this day cherish the memories of this overseas travel.

Saphira became the first President of the Kytherian Brotherhood Ladies Auxiliary. Through numerous generous gestures of both Saphira and Charlie, and the efforts of many parishioners, St Michael’s Church in Holterman St Crows Nest was built. Saphira made it her quest to be the owner of the initial church key and her generous donation made that a reality. Her love of this church and her deep-seeded religious beliefs were part of her everyday life.

After the sale of both the Athenian Restaurant and Club, Charles and Saphira opened an Athenian Take-Away Coffee Lounge near the Sydney Opera House. However it was sold quite soon after as Charlie’s health was suffering. The 1970’s brought the marriages of her children John, Marianne and Tina. From 1978 until 1991, 7 grandchildren (Charles, Simeon, Angelique, Shani, David, Charles and Michael) were born bringing them great joy.

After periods of overseas and interstate travelling, Saphira and Charles purchased a house in St Ives in 1978. Unfortunately the occasion was marred by Charlie’s sudden stroke the same year prior to them moving out of Willoughby. However in her typical strong manner Saphira was steadfast in her faith and hope that all would be fine. Sadly on 2nd July 1985 Charles died. Saphira never really recovered from her loss.

For the next 28 years Saphira filled her life with her family. Her Zest for life knew no boundaries. Her delight was to travel with children and grandchildren alike, always in style. She celebrated the achievements of her grandchildren which brought her great pride and happiness.

In later years she suffered a horrific accident in a shopping centre when the faulty automatic doors closed suddenly causing serious life-threating injuries. The recovery was slow but her fight and spirit enormous. The marriage of her granddaughter, Shani, to Tony brought her great joy with the crowning glory being the birth of her great-grandson Chase John . Saphira never stopped bragging about this ‘blessed gift’ . The respect for her can easily be measured by the wonderful outpouring of prayers and services held for Saphira during her illness. Saphira was astounded at these enormous acts of love for her. Prayer sessions were held at mosques, synagogues, Hindu and Buddhist temples, shrines, cathedrals and churches all over the world. She was certainly a lady of presence and style who touched the hearts of many, old and young alike.

Her greatest wish was to have all her family around her in those final days. God granted her wish. She will be sorely missed and in our hearts forever.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 15.03.2013

Anna & Stephen Zantiotis

My parents, Anna (Kyrani Anastasopoulos) and Stephen Peter Zantiotis on March 10, 2013. My dad turned 85 on this day!

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 11.03.2013

Happy Birthday Stephen!

My dad, Stephen Peter Zantiotis blowing out the candles on his gorgeous cake shaped as a violin on March 10, 2013.
My dad began playing the violin at the age of four and still plays in an orchestra to this day.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 11.03.2013

Stephen Peter Zantiotis

My dad, Stephen Peter Zantiotis at his surprise 85th birthday party, March 10 2013.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 11.03.2013

Peter, Stephen, Peter

Peter Stephen Zantiotis (my brother), Stephen Peter Zantiotis (my dad) and Peter Arthur Zantiotis at my dad's 85th birthday party on March 10, 2013. Peter Arthur's father and my dad were brothers.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 11.03.2013

Zantiotis cousins

My dad, Stephen Peter Zantiotis and his cousin, Steve Anthony Zantiotis on my dad's 85th birthday, 10 March 2013. Stephen's father and Steve's father were brothers.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Terry Chlentzos on 11.03.2013

Terry Chlentzos and George Leontsinis

Terry Chlentzos and Mr. George Leontsinis of St. Louis, Missouri USA enjoyed a delightful afternoon discussing Kytherian topics and heritage. Photo taken in Montecito, California

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Hellenic World on 10.03.2013

Symposium – Conducted by the Hellenic Lyceum, at Sydney University

9 March 2013

Greek Women’s contribution to Australian culture and economic development

The Symposium showcases the experiences of Hellenic migrant woman through to the current generation of Hellenic Australian women. As the speakers share their story common threads of resilience Hellenic values and integration with the Australian way of life become apparent. How well do these attributes support future Hellenic Australian woman in a changing multicultural landscape?

Venue: Sydney University, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens

9.30am to 4.30pm (includes lunch)

Entry: Full day = $50/$40 students and pensioners

SYMPOSIUM PROGRAMME

Morning tea from 9.30am

Theme

Hellenic Heritage & Culture

Session. 10.00am – Opening Why the contribution of Hellenic women is important Presenters: Phil Kafcaloudes, Theodora Zourkas

10.15am – Hellenic women abroad Presenter : Eyvah T. Dafaranos

10.30am – Panel Interview – Pioneering Hellenic Women in Australia – the early Migrant experience Dr Panayota Nazou , Victoria Haralabidou, panel of ‘brides’

11.15am – Author presentation – Someone Else’s War Presentor: Phil Kafcaloudes

11.30am – Lecture – History of the Hellenic Lyceum and its collection Presntors: Kathy Stojanvoic, Theodora Zourkas

Symposium Programme: The Hellenic migrant experience

11.55pm – Author presentation – Achievements of contemporary Hellenic – Australian women.
Presentors: Leonard Janiszewski, Effy Alexakis

12.15pm – 1.30pm Lunch & Book signing.


Session. Achievements of contemporary Hellenic-Australia women.

1.30pm – Debate - Debunking the myth of the good little Greek girl Debating team

2.00pm – Q&A – Hellenic Australian women today -in medicine, law, finance /business, academia, politics, arts.

Interviewer – Phil Kafcaloudes Panel: Stella Boyages, Dr Elizabeth Keffalinos, Evelyn Vertzayias, Angela Vithoukas, Chrissa Loukas

3.00pm Coffee break

3.10pm – Being Greek Australian – the next generation Hellenic Society University of Sydney representatives

3.30pm – Q&A – Greek Australian women in multicultural Australia – how would you want it to be? Hon Sophie Cotsis MLC, Nia Kateris, Theodora Minas Gianniotis, Ester Paschalidis-Chilas

4.00pm – close Kathy Stojanovic

4.10pm - Book signing