Upload Your Entry
George Poulos

Basil C Psaltis. Sailor. Service to Sport. Inductee into the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

As notified in a previous entry, and re-iterated in less detail at the conclusion of this entry - in the year 2000, the Greek -Australian Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated.

Many athletes of the original 166 are obviously of Kytherian origin - Psaltis's, Samios, Zantiotis, Andronicus: but the place of origin in Greece of many others - particularly those born in Australia - has not been indicated in the biographies outlined in the original list. Determining how many Kytherians were inducted in the original list remains a matter for future research. To further complicate matters, some of the athletes may have had a parent, or grandparent of Kytherian origin. (A good example is Stephen Girdis, inducted for sailing prowess, whose mother is Kytherian.)

A Roll of Honour category exists for Greek-Australians who excell in their
a. services to Sport
b. as Coaches
c. in the Media (minimum 30 years service).

Basil C Psaltis has been inducted in the Services to Sport category.

From Pinax, The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Volume 1, reproduced with the permission of the editor, Steve Georgakis.

Basil C (Proto)Psaltis was born in Mitata, Kythera in 1928. (Family parchoukli, "Ntessis", or "Ntessi"). He was introduced to sailing by Nick and George Girdis in 1948, and in 1949 purchased the 22-foot sloop Neraida with George Girdis and Con Laird, sailing with the Third Division Sydney Amateur Sailing Club.

In 1951, Psaltis purchased 35-foot cutter Sireen and sailed with the First Division, Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. In 1954, Psaltis won his first majot race, the Sydney to Lake MAcquarie Newcastle in the 48-foot cutter Waree.

Other highlights include:

Commodore Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, 1963-64, 1971. Elected Life Member, 1999.
Chairman, Australian Challenge for the Admirals Cup, 1965, 1967.
Represented Australia at the Sardinia Cup, 1976, 1980.
Chairman, Southern Cross Cup, 1972.
Aegean Rally, 1st, 1973.
Competed in 22 Sydney to Hobart races, 14 times as owner/skipper.

Psaltis also raced in Greece.
In 1965 he shipped Lass o' Luss to Greece, coming first overall in the Royal Yacht Club of Greece, race to Navplion.
In 1973 he shipped Meltimi to Greece, and came first overall in the Aegean Rally. [Meltimi, is the prevailing wind on the Aegean in the summer.]
In Sartori he sailed two Aegean Rally's, 1980 and 1990, finishing second on both occasions.

Background, Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame

In September 2000, through the initiative of the Millenium Heritage Council, the Church established the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame in order to record the sporting achievements attained by Australians of Greek heritage who have distinguished themselves at either a National or International level.

The First Inductees

As a result, 166 sportspeople were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, in the presence of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, and the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, during the unforgettable Millenium Ball held on Saturday, 2nd September, 2000, at the Westin Hotel in Sydney.

The evening was a historic milestone that revealed how vast and truly astonishing the contribution to Australian and world sport by citizens of Helllenic descent is, in an amazing variety of disciplines. Sportspeople travelled from all over Australia to attend the memorable event and felt enormous pride and honour at their Induction.

The Commemorative Book

A thouroughly researched book entitled The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame - Pinax, Volume I, coordinated by the Millenium Heritage Sports Committee and edited by academic, Dr Steve Georgakis, was also launched on the evening with the most fascinating details about each Inductee's accomplishments.

Pinax is the Greek word for list. It was used in ancient times when referring to the record of the Olympic Games victors whose names were inscribed on a column at Olympia in Greece. This informative book was published with the generous assitance of the New South Wales government through the Office of the Premier, the Hon. Bob Carr. Only a small number of books remain, however, since the interest generated by the concept attracted the attention of Hellenes around the world. It was especially appreciated by athletes and officials during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Committee is now looking forward to the second edition.

[Dr Steve Georgakis is also the author of Sport and the Australian Greek. A Historical Study of Ethnicity, Gender and Youth, as well as numerous other articles on the subject].

Note: The photograph above is the original photograph in Pinax.

Leave A comment