submitted by George Poulos on 02.12.2004
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 the previous entry to Stephen Girdis, because he was half-Kytherian - through his mother Effie Christian(os). Nick is Stephens uncle.
In his case I am laying claim to him on the basis of marriage. I believe that Nick is married to Kytherian, Marina Londy(?).
As noted in Basil "Bill" Psaltis's entry, it was Nick Girdis, who introduced "Bill" to sailing.
Nick Girdis, CBE has been inducted in the Roll of Distinction category.
From Pinax, The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Volume 1, reproduced with the permission of the editor, Steve Georgakis.
Nick Girdis was born in Brisbane and has been involved in yachting since 1948, racing many classes of yachts in Australia, and overseas. He served as Commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron between 1979 and 1981, and represented Australia in two Sardinia Cups, in 1976 and 1980.
During his long career, Girdis has achieved the following:
International Ocean Yacht racing, 1972-1986
Admiral's Cup 1979 - Australian Team Reserve
Cowes Week 1979 = Won the New York Yacht Club Trophy
Sardinia Cup 1978 and 1980 - Australian Team Member
Aegean Rally - 1981
Southern Cross Cup 1985 - Australian Team Member
Australian Yacht Racing
Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, 1973 - 1st place
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, 1976 - 5th place
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, 1977 - 6th place
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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