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George Poulos

George Stephen Girdis, Sailing. Roll of Honour, Services to Sport. 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.

The Girdis family derive from Constantinople. They left following the turmoil surrounding events in 1922.

I laid claim in a previous entry to Stephen Girdis, because he was half-Kytherian - through his mother Effie Christian(os). George is Nick's son, and Stephen's cousin.

George's mother is a Kytherian.

George Stephen Girdis has been inducted in the Roll of Honour, Services to Sport category.

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

Girdis, George Stephen, Sailing.

Girdis was born in Brisbane, Australia, and after graduating from university, bought a share in a 22-foot boat with Bill Psaltis and Con Laird and raced for several years on Sydney Harbour with the Sydney Amateurs. Later he purchased a 42-foot harbour racing boat called Skye, and later bought into Aphrodite.

He raced with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, (CYCA), which involved short ocean racing on Sydney Harbour and also long ocean racing to Hobart, Noumea, Vila, Southport, and other destinations.

During this period, Girdis was invited to join the board of the CYCA, and after several years as a board member, was elected Commodore, a post he held for two years, 1982-1983. Girdis (by 2000) had taken part in seven Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races.

Backround, 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.

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1 Comment

Agapy Samios
on 08.02.2005

Effie Christianos is actually George Girdis's wife. His mother was Malama Girdis (nee Marinakis) and was Pappa Marinakis's sister amd Nick Marinakis's sister also. Hope this helps. Paula Cocolas