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submitted by Dean Coroneos on 09.11.2005

Dr. Steve Georgakis with original members of the Sydney Olympic Club (1945), Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis, Leo Raftos, Con Mottee and George Stell.

Photograph from:

From Sport and the Australian Greek,
Dr. Steve Georgakis
Standard Publishing House Pty Ltd
Rozelle, Sydney.
2000.

Olympic Year 2000:

Dr. Steve Georgakis with original members, Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis, Leo Raftos,
Con Mottee and George Stell, of the Sydney Olympic Club (1945).

Three of the group are Kytherians:

Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis, and Con Mottee.


****************CONGRATULATIONS****************

******FIRST PRIZE******FIRST PRIZE*****FIRST PRIZE

OCHI DAY 2005 Photographic Award

Announcement of the Announcement of the Karavitiko Symposium Best Sporting Life entry - any subject..

Prize: A signed Eastern Suburbs Rugby League football guernsey. (Donated by Mr Nick Polites, Chairman, Easterm Suburbs Rugby League Football Club.

The winner is: Mr Dean Coroneos, Rose Bay, Sydney. New South Wales.

"The Selection Committee has announced that the prize was awarded because it reveals knowledge about the early Kytherian involvement in sport, through the Olympic Club in the 1940's, and 1950's. It also introduces us to Dr Steve Georgakis, who has written the books on Sport and the Australian Greek, and the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

Dean Coroneos would like to re-donate the prize.

To be awarded on Greek National Day (GND), 25th March, 2006.

The new prize becomes the GND 2006, Coroneos (Belos) Prize, for Best Sporting Life entry - any subject.


****************CONGRATULATIONS****************

******FIRST PRIZE******FIRST PRIZE*****FIRST PRIZE


Photograph from:

From Sport and the Australian Greek,
Dr. Steve Georgakis
Standard Publishing House Pty Ltd
Rozelle, Sydney.
2000.

Olympic Year 2000:

Dr. Steve Georgakis with original members, Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis, Leo Raftos,
Con Mottee and George Stell, of the Sydney Olympic Club (1945).

Three of the group are Kytherians:

Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis, and Con Mottee.

Dr. Steve Georgakis is a second-generation Australian, born in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, the son of immigrants from Epiros in Greece. Educated at Fort Street High School and the University of Sydney, he followed a First-Class Honours degree in Education (Human Movement and Health) with a PhD in Education. In earlier years Dr. Steve Georgakis played professional soccer with Sydney Olympic SC and the Marconi SC. Between 1986 and 1992, he represented Australia in successively the Under 16, the Under 20, and the Olyroo national teams. For two years he was an associate lecturer and in 1999 he was awarded a post-doctoral scholarship, in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney.

Sydney Olympic Club

Brief History


Through Nick Fisher’s connections in Sydney, Melbourne Olympic Club (MOC) members travelled to Sydney to play against Greek youth in Sydney who, up until then, had not formed a sporting club but who met on the weekends at Queens Park, Bondi Junction, playing rugby league and cricket. During the Christmas period of 1945, 15 members of MOC competed against Greek youth of Sydney in cricket, athletics and table tennis. After travelling by train to Sydney, MOC were picked up by their billets, as organised by Cypriot Aristedes. Kastellorizans Con Mangos and Con Kanis were billeted out with Kastellorizan relatives. GOCS hired the services of sporting coach Roy Ascot to guide the sporting proceedings. Ascot, a non Greek, eventually became full-time salaried coach for SOC. On 26 December 1945, MOC practised at Rushcutters Bay Park for the cricket match which took place the following day. This occasion marked the first interstate official cricket match between Greek youth clubs in Australia. MOC easily defeated the Sydney select team, before a round of social activities including a visit to church and a farewell function at Archbishop Timotheos’ house prior to their departure.

Given the example and success of MOC, Greek Orthodox Community Sports, (GOCS) was now motivated to form their own properly organised Greek youth club.64 In February, 1946, a steering committee was set up, consisting of senior members of the GOCS, including Andrew Aristedes and Jack Angelides. After the hiring of coach Ray Ascot, a general meeting at Agia Triada Church was called for 27 February 1946 to elect a committee and ratify a constitution. [1] Second generation Kytherans, Con Mottee, Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis and Ithakan Leo Raptis who was president for the first three years were the main proponents of the new club. Raptis, although only 22 years old was already on the GOCS committee. By early 1946, SOC were playing cricket at Rushcutters Bay against each other. Their first trial game took place when they beat North Katoomba by 180 runs. The game was organised through the efforts of the GOCS and Peter Tzortzopoulos, co-owner of the Niagra and Savoy cafes in Katoomba and a prominent member of the Katoomba golf club. Apart from gaining wide publicity from the local Katoomba newspaper Advertiser the whole management of the GOCS were present including president of the committee, Arthur George. [2] Later that day at the Greek owned Niagra Cafe, the GOCS committee presented the players with white shirts embroidered with the emblem of the SOC. It read “Sydney Olympic Athletic Club” (founded 1946 by the Greek Orthodox Community NSW).

In the 1946-47 cricket season, the SOC entered a cricket team into competition, registering their first win in the Metropolitan Churches Centennial Park Cricket Competition defeating Prescott outright. [3] In 1946, the club organised a dance at the Paddington Town Hall, to raise money for the team going to Melbourne to play the MOC in the Christmas break. This first Melbourne interstate visit involved contests in cricket, track and field and tennis. The team left Sydney on 23 December 1946 and returned 3 January 1947. A two day cricket match at Como Park saw the defeat of SOC team captained by George Stell, formerly of the Paddington Police Boys Club coached by Cohn McKould.

Sporting exchanges between the two clubs increased, the most successful being during the Christmas season of 1949, when SOC defeated MOC, for the first time and won the Hellemc Shield, donated by the Hellenic Club NSW, as they had been victorious in three of the five events. SOC defeated MOC in cricket at Moore Park (Fisher Shield), table tennis at St. Sophia School Hall (Angelides Shield), and swimming at the Coogee Aquarium. MOC won both tennis at Waverly Park (A.T. George Shield), and athletics at Redfern Oval (Polites Shield). New Year’s Eve celebrations and Presentation Night were both held at Paddington Town Hall.

Not until the 12 April 1952, did females of MOC and SOC compete at Moore Park in Sydney with the MOC team winning the netball match (22-10). From SOC’s inception until 1951, the club played predominantly Rugby League, cricket and netball, with their annual games usually taking place during the Australia Day Long Weekend period in January. The annual games also served as selection trials for the interstate visits, and were held at athletic tracks with spectators.

The official organ of the SOC was its monthly VOD (Voice Of Diskobolos) which first appeared in June 1947, its first editor being Nick Marcells. The club’s shield appeared on the front of the magazine with the slogan “healthy mind, healthy body”. [4} Every issue proclaimed that:

The Olympic Club represents Greek Youth of NSW, and its purpose is to keep together Greek Youth. We ourselves have parents who came from Greece, our children will be less Greek in the environment we are in. They may, as already many have, lose entirely their Greek identity. We believe that the Olympic Club must continue to keep together Australian-born Greeks.

Apart from sporting articles, the magazine printed articles on literature and art. The regular 16 page issue was distributed by mail to subscribing club members. The club’s social events which invariably took the form of social dances were advertised. Monthly dances were usually held at the Coronet on George Street. The annual ball and the two presentation nights (one for the summer sports season and one for winter sports season) were held at the Paddington Town Hall. At the presentation nights, trophies were presented to the various teams and athletes by the Archbishop, speeches were made by senior members of the Greek society and there were very few females in attendance.

A typical year of the activities of the club was 1949, with two teams in the cricket competition. Similarly to the situation with MOC, the SOC cricket teams were the most significant of their teams. After winning the Eastern division, the SOC team entered the final of the Churches’ Cricket Union C grade Competition where they played against the winners of 12 other divisions. The C grade junior cricket team won the state premiership, defeating 104 metropolitan teams, and talented players were Con Mottee and George Stell.
The netball team defeated Maroubra in the NSW Premiers Association. The team was made up by J.Varvaressos, T.Stanley, M.Marcels, L.Coombes, N.Limbers, L.Varvaressos, K.Casimaty, I.Rafty and D.Katsoulis. Social events organised by female members included two reviews, a production of their original musical comedy Sproxenia, written by George Stell, a fancy dress ball and monthly dances.

By 1951 the club celebrated its fifth birthday with an artoclassia (a religious celebration: blessing of the bread) at the Holy Trinity Church on 2 December, 1951, the ceremony performed by Archbishop Theophylactos. The first annual ball was held at the Roman Showboat on 4 December, 1951.

Yet new immigrants were not attracted to club membership. An essay competition, “How to bring old and new Greeks together and the best way to do it” was organised and sponsored by the GOCS. Prominent members of the community were the judges.69 Still the club was unable to attract post-War new arrivals and SOC remained interested in only the second generation (Australian born) Greeks.

With news of MOC’s visit to Sydney in 1945, a meeting was called to select players for the Sydney team. [6] Kastellorizan Johny Johns believed that coach Ray Ascot discriminated against and excluded Kastellorizan youth. Johny Johns informed the Kastellorizan society of this and a meeting was called at Jack Charamis’s “PLEASU” city cafe attended by about 100 Kastellorizan youths and priest George Kateris. This meeting elected Angelo Karp, a WWII airforce veteran as a steering president. Subsequently Karp recommended that both youth clubs (KSC and SOC) amalgamate, but members of the club rejected the proposal, so he resigned. The first committee included Jack Charamis (president), Con Vallianos (vice president), John Economos (secretary) and George Alexiou (treasurer).

The success of MOC’s visit to Sydney in December 1945 also stimulated the Kastellorizan Brotherhood to form their own youth club, at the same time as SOC was being formed. [Georgakis then ventures into a history of the Kastellorizan Sports Club]
Therefore the Kastellorizan Sports Club was formed in January, 1946 when the Kastellorizan Brotherhood raised 500 pounds to buy a club house and gymnasium for the newly formed KSC.

Rugby league was the chosen game as many of the boys were familiar with the sport as they had played the game at state primary and high schools. For example Luke Lucas, Basil Anthony and Con Vallianos had attended Cleveland Street Junior High School. Most of the boys knew each other from Saint Sofia Church and the Greek school. For the first few months, the team trained twice weekly at Queens Park under coach Johnny Johns. [7] He had been an avid Rugby League player and supporter in his youth.

The first KSC team formed was a Rugby League team which played its first game on 29 April 1946 when it defeated the John Hunter Shoe Company, a work place team, at Arncliffe Riverside Park. George Netes, an employee of the shoe company had organised the game.

In its first year, the team played against any team available, including once, a side of jockeys. Johnny Johns, a provedore at the fish markets, was successful in obtaining the coaching services of former Rugby League Kangaroo International player Joe Pearce.........(end, bottom, page 155).


1. Where directly not referenced this section on the Sydney Olympic Club (SOC) is from interviews conducted with
Nick Marcells, George Stell, Bill Psaltis, Leo Raptis, Con Mottee.
2. Ethnikon Vema, 20 February 1946, p.4.
3. Hellenic Herald, 28 March 1946, p.4.
4. ibid., 17 October 1946, p.4.
5. Voice of Diskobolos, June 1947, Vol.1, No.1.
6. Hellenic Herald, 13 December 1951, p.3.
7. Where directly not referenced this section on the Kastellonzan Sports Club (KSC) is based on interviews conducted with former members Con Vallianos, Jack Vallianos, Johnny Economos


Membership of the club for 1947, indicates that the preponderance were of Kytherian origin.


1947
MEMBERS

ADAMS, Helen.
ADAMS, Lillian.
ANTIPAS, Jeanette.
ANTIPAS, Kathleen.
ANTIPAS. Rent.
ANGELIDES William
ANDREW, Joan
ANDREW, Peter
ANDREW, Poppy.
APOSTLE, Andrew.
APOSTLE, Marie.
ARONEY, Steve.
ASLANIS Minna
ASCOT, Ray.
BARBOUTIS, Mick.
CALPIS, Jack.
CAPOUAS, Anna.
CAPOIUAS, Miutna.
CARIDES, Chris.
CASIMATY, George.
CASIMATY, Motina.
CASIMATY, Mina.
CASSIM, Kathleen.
CASSIMATIS, Nicholas.
CAVALINIS, Kathleen.
CLIMBSON, Edith.
CLIMBSON, Mary.
CONSTANTINE, Con.
CONSTANTINE, Rent.
COMINO, Mary.
CONFOS Con.
CORDARTO, Emmanuel.
CORDELO, Mary.
CREECY, Marie.
DIACOPOULOS, Helen.
DIACOPOULOS, Jack.
DIACOPOULOS, James.
FINOS, Jason.
FINOS Pappy.
GENGOS, Don.
GENGOS, Helen.
GENGOS, Leila.
GEORGE, Effie.
GEORGE, Sue.
GEORGE, John.
GEORGIADIS, John.
GEORGIADIS, Marika.
GEORGIADIS, Stanley.
GIANNIOTIS, Peter.
GEORGIADIS, Sylvia.
GLEESON, Mary.
HOOD, Gloria.
JOANN1DES, Artensis.
JOANNIDES, Sophio.
JOANNIDES, George.
KALLINIKOS, Elizabeth.
KALLIN1KOS, Poppy.
KALOKERINOS, Emmanuel.
KALOKERINOS, Ada.
KALOPEDES, Helen.
KALOPEDES, Mary.
KALOPEDES, Nicholas.
KATSIKAS. George.
KATSOOLIS, Doreen.
KELDOIJLIS, Chris.
KELDOULIS, Chrisanthe.
KELDOULIS, James.
KELDOULIS, Jack.
KEPREOTES, Charles.
KEPREOTES, Doreen.
KEPREOTES, Jack.
KEPREOTES, Nicholas.
KIPRIOTIS, Doris.
KOSTUROS, Nito.
KOULMANDAS, Russell.
KOUVARAS, Olga T.
KOUVARAS, George.
KOUVARAS, Nicholas.
KOUVARAS, Olga M.
LAIRD, Con.
LALAS, Milton.
LALAS, Penelope.
LIMBERS, Con.
LIMBERS, Norma.
LINOS, John.
LINOS, Marion.
MALLOS, Angela.
MALLOS, John.
MARCELLO. George.
MARCELLS, Maria.
MARCELLS, Nicholas.
MARGETIS, George.
MEGALOCONOMOS, George.
MITCHELL, George.
MORRIS, Alec.
MORRIS, Sheila.
MOTTEE, Con P.
MOTTEE Con J
NICHLES, Helen.
NICHLES, James.
NICOLAIDES, Diamantina.
NOTARAS, George.
PALLAS, Jim.
PANARETTO, Basil.
PAPAS, Stephen.
PANDASIS, George.
PAPALEXION, Con.
PAPALEXIQN, Sans.
PETERSON, Marguerita.
PHILLIPS, Eva.
POULOS, Kathleen.
POULOS, Nita.
POULOS, Mary.
PROTOPSALTIS, Con.
PSALTIS, Basil.
PSALTIS, Anne.
PSALTIS, Chriva.
PSALTIS, Detplna.
RAFT, Ida.
RAFT, Penelope.
RAFTOS, Aspasia.
RAFTOS, Jerry.
RAFTOS, Leo.
RAFTOS, Mary.
RAFTOS, Nicholas.
ROSE Stephen.
RONEY, Catherine.
SAKARIS, Sophie.
SARAFIS, Chris.
SCOTT, George.
SERAFIM, George.
SIMOS, Areanthe.
SIMOS, Theodore.
SOULOS, Fifi.
SOULOS, Nita.
STAMELL, Lucy.
STELL, George.
STELL, Kath.
TRAHANAS, Ernest.
VALLAS Mary.
VARVARESSOS, Joan.
VARVARESSOS, Kitty.
VARVARESSOS, Lillian.
VARVARESSOS, Louise.
VARVARESSOS, Maria.
VASSELEU, Kathleen.
VASSELEU, James.
VENES, Joyce.
VENES, Rent.
VLANDIS, Nicholas.
WATTS, Ruth.
ZERVOS, Dorothea.
ZORBAS, James.
ZEORZOPOULOS, George

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by Dean Coroneos on 16.01.2005

Olympic Club of NSW. Magazine. 1948.

From Sport and the Australian Greek,
Dr. Steve Georgakis
Standard Publishing House Pty Ltd
Rozelle, Sydney.
2000.

Note the Clubs motto - which literally translated means - Healthy mind..and..Healthy body.

Original copy supplied by Nick Marcells.

Sydney Olympic Club

Brief History


Through Nick Fisher’s connections in Sydney, Melbourne Olympic Club (MOC) members travelled to Sydney to play against Greek youth in Sydney who, up until then, had not formed a sporting club but who met on the weekends at Queens Park, Bondi Junction, playing rugby league and cricket. During the Christmas period of 1945, 15 members of MOC competed against Greek youth of Sydney in cricket, athletics and table tennis. After travelling by train to Sydney, MOC were picked up by their billets, as organised by Cypriot Aristedes. Kastellorizans Con Mangos and Con Kanis were billeted out with Kastellorizan relatives. GOCS hired the services of sporting coach Roy Ascot to guide the sporting proceedings. Ascot, a non Greek, eventually became full-time salaried coach for SOC. On 26 December 1945, MOC practised at Rushcutters Bay Park for the cricket match which took place the following day. This occasion marked the first interstate official cricket match between Greek youth clubs in Australia. MOC easily defeated the Sydney select team, before a round of social activities including a visit to church and a farewell function at Archbishop Timotheos’ house prior to their departure.

Given the example and success of MOC, Greek Orthodox Community Sports, (GOCS) was now motivated to form their own properly organised Greek youth club.64 In February, 1946, a steering committee was set up, consisting of senior members of the GOCS, including Andrew Aristedes and Jack Angelides. After the hiring of coach Ray Ascot, a general meeting at Agia Triada Church was called for 27 February 1946 to elect a committee and ratify a constitution. [1] Second generation Kytherans, Con Mottee, Nick Marcells, Bill Psaltis and Ithakan Leo Raptis who was president for the first three years were the main proponents of the new club. Raptis, although only 22 years old was already on the GOCS committee. By early 1946, SOC were playing cricket at Rushcutters Bay against each other. Their first trial game took place when they beat North Katoomba by 180 runs. The game was organised through the efforts of the GOCS and Peter Tzortzopoulos, co-owner of the Niagra and Savoy cafes in Katoomba and a prominent member of the Katoomba golf club. Apart from gaining wide publicity from the local Katoomba newspaper Advertiser the whole management of the GOCS were present including president of the committee, Arthur George. [2] Later that day at the Greek owned Niagra Cafe, the GOCS committee presented the players with white shirts embroidered with the emblem of the SOC. It read “Sydney Olympic Athletic Club” (founded 1946 by the Greek Orthodox Community NSW).

In the 1946-47 cricket season, the SOC entered a cricket team into competition, registering their first win in the Metropolitan Churches Centennial Park Cricket Competition defeating Prescott outright. [3] In 1946, the club organised a dance at the Paddington Town Hall, to raise money for the team going to Melbourne to play the MOC in the Christmas break. This first Melbourne interstate visit involved contests in cricket, track and field and tennis. The team left Sydney on 23 December 1946 and returned 3 January 1947. A two day cricket match at Como Park saw the defeat of SOC team captained by George Stell, formerly of the Paddington Police Boys Club coached by Cohn McKould.

Sporting exchanges between the two clubs increased, the most successful being during the Christmas season of 1949, when SOC defeated MOC, for the first time and won the Hellemc Shield, donated by the Hellenic Club NSW, as they had been victorious in three of the five events. SOC defeated MOC in cricket at Moore Park (Fisher Shield), table tennis at St. Sophia School Hall (Angelides Shield), and swimming at the Coogee Aquarium. MOC won both tennis at Waverly Park (A.T. George Shield), and athletics at Redfern Oval (Polites Shield). New Year’s Eve celebrations and Presentation Night were both held at Paddington Town Hall.

Not until the 12 April 1952, did females of MOC and SOC compete at Moore Park in Sydney with the MOC team winning the netball match (22-10). From SOC’s inception until 1951, the club played predominantly Rugby League, cricket and netball, with their annual games usually taking place during the Australia Day Long Weekend period in January. The annual games also served as selection trials for the interstate visits, and were held at athletic tracks with spectators.

The official organ of the SOC was its monthly VOD (Voice Of Diskobolos) which first appeared in June 1947, its first editor being Nick Marcells. The club’s shield appeared on the front of the magazine with the slogan “healthy mind, healthy body”. [4} Every issue proclaimed that:

The Olympic Club represents Greek Youth of NSW, and its purpose is to keep together Greek Youth. We ourselves have parents who came from Greece, our children will be less Greek in the environment we are in. They may, as already many have, lose entirely their Greek identity. We believe that the Olympic Club must continue to keep together Australian-born Greeks.

Apart from sporting articles, the magazine printed articles on literature and art. The regular 16 page issue was distributed by mail to subscribing club members. The club’s social events which invariably took the form of social dances were advertised. Monthly dances were usually held at the Coronet on George Street. The annual ball and the two presentation nights (one for the summer sports season and one for winter sports season) were held at the Paddington Town Hall. At the presentation nights, trophies were presented to the various teams and athletes by the Archbishop, speeches were made by senior members of the Greek society and there were very few females in attendance.

A typical year of the activities of the club was 1949, with two teams in the cricket competition. Similarly to the situation with MOC, the SOC cricket teams were the most significant of their teams. After winning the Eastern division, the SOC team entered the final of the Churches’ Cricket Union C grade Competition where they played against the winners of 12 other divisions. The C grade junior cricket team won the state premiership, defeating 104 metropolitan teams, and talented players were Con Mottee and George Stell.
The netball team defeated Maroubra in the NSW Premiers Association. The team was made up by J.Varvaressos, T.Stanley, M.Marcels, L.Coombes, N.Limbers, L.Varvaressos, K.Casimaty, I.Rafty and D.Katsoulis. Social events organised by female members included two reviews, a production of their original musical comedy Sproxenia, written by George Stell, a fancy dress ball and monthly dances.

By 1951 the club celebrated its fifth birthday with an artoclassia (a religious celebration: blessing of the bread) at the Holy Trinity Church on 2 December, 1951, the ceremony performed by Archbishop Theophylactos. The first annual ball was held at the Roman Showboat on 4 December, 1951.

Yet new immigrants were not attracted to club membership. An essay competition, “How to bring old and new Greeks together and the best way to do it” was organised and sponsored by the GOCS. Prominent members of the community were the judges.69 Still the club was unable to attract post-War new arrivals and SOC remained interested in only the second generation (Australian born) Greeks.

With news of MOC’s visit to Sydney in 1945, a meeting was called to select players for the Sydney team. [6] Kastellorizan Johny Johns believed that coach Ray Ascot discriminated against and excluded Kastellorizan youth. Johny Johns informed the Kastellorizan society of this and a meeting was called at Jack Charamis’s “PLEASU” city cafe attended by about 100 Kastellorizan youths and priest George Kateris. This meeting elected Angelo Karp, a WWII airforce veteran as a steering president. Subsequently Karp recommended that both youth clubs (KSC and SOC) amalgamate, but members of the club rejected the proposal, so he resigned. The first committee included Jack Charamis (president), Con Vallianos (vice president), John Economos (secretary) and George Alexiou (treasurer).

The success of MOC’s visit to Sydney in December 1945 also stimulated the Kastellorizan Brotherhood to form their own youth club, at the same time as SOC was being formed. [Georgakis then ventures into a history of the Kastellorizan Sports Club]
Therefore the Kastellorizan Sports Club was formed in January, 1946 when the Kastellorizan Brotherhood raised 500 pounds to buy a club house and gymnasium for the newly formed KSC.

Rugby league was the chosen game as many of the boys were familiar with the sport as they had played the game at state primary and high schools. For example Luke Lucas, Basil Anthony and Con Vallianos had attended Cleveland Street Junior High School. Most of the boys knew each other from Saint Sofia Church and the Greek school. For the first few months, the team trained twice weekly at Queens Park under coach Johnny Johns. [7] He had been an avid Rugby League player and supporter in his youth.

The first KSC team formed was a Rugby League team which played its first game on 29 April 1946 when it defeated the John Hunter Shoe Company, a work place team, at Arncliffe Riverside Park. George Netes, an employee of the shoe company had organised the game.

In its first year, the team played against any team available, including once, a side of jockeys. Johnny Johns, a provedore at the fish markets, was successful in obtaining the coaching services of former Rugby League Kangaroo International player Joe Pearce.........(end, bottom, page 155).


1. Where directly not referenced this section on the Sydney Olympic Club (SOC) is from interviews conducted with
Nick Marcells, George Stell, Bill Psaltis, Leo Raptis, Con Mottee.
2. Ethnikon Vema, 20 February 1946, p.4.
3. Hellenic Herald, 28 March 1946, p.4.
4. ibid., 17 October 1946, p.4.
5. Voice of Diskobolos, June 1947, Vol.1, No.1.
6. Hellenic Herald, 13 December 1951, p.3.
7. Where directly not referenced this section on the Kastellonzan Sports Club (KSC) is based on interviews conducted
with former members Con Vallianos, Jack Vallianos, Johnny Economos

Dr. Steve Georgakis is a second-generation Australian, born in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, the son of immigrants from Epiros in Greece. Educated at Fort Street High School and the University of Sydney, he followed a First-Class Honours degree in Education (Human Movement and Health) with a PhD in Education. In earlier years Dr. Steve Georgakis played professional soccer with Sydney Olympic SC and the Marconi SC. Between 1986 and 1992, he represented Australia in successively the Under 16, the Under 20, and the Olyroo national teams. For two years he was an associate lecturer and in 1999 he was awarded a post-doctoral scholarship, in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney.

Membership of the club for 1947, indicates that the preponderance were of Kytherian origin.


1947
MEMBERS

ADAMS, Helen.
ADAMS, Lillian.
ANTIPAS, Jeanette.
ANTIPAS, Kathleen.
ANTIPAS. Rent.
ANGELIDES William
ANDREW, Joan
ANDREW, Peter
ANDREW, Poppy.
APOSTLE, Andrew.
APOSTLE, Marie.
ARONEY, Steve.
ASLANIS Minna
ASCOT, Ray.
BARBOUTIS, Mick.
CALPIS, Jack.
CAPOUAS, Anna.
CAPOIUAS, Miutna.
CARIDES, Chris.
CASIMATY, George.
CASIMATY, Motina.
CASIMATY, Mina.
CASSIM, Kathleen.
CASSIMATIS, Nicholas.
CAVALINIS, Kathleen.
CLIMBSON, Edith.
CLIMBSON, Mary.
CONSTANTINE, Con.
CONSTANTINE, Rent.
COMINO, Mary.
CONFOS Con.
CORDARTO, Emmanuel.
CORDELO, Mary.
CREECY, Marie.
DIACOPOULOS, Helen.
DIACOPOULOS, Jack.
DIACOPOULOS, James.
FINOS, Jason.
FINOS Pappy.
GENGOS, Don.
GENGOS, Helen.
GENGOS, Leila.
GEORGE, Effie.
GEORGE, Sue.
GEORGE, John.
GEORGIADIS, John.
GEORGIADIS, Marika.
GEORGIADIS, Stanley.
GIANNIOTIS, Peter.
GEORGIADIS, Sylvia.
GLEESON, Mary.
HOOD, Gloria.
JOANN1DES, Artensis.
JOANNIDES, Sophio.
JOANNIDES, George.
KALLINIKOS, Elizabeth.
KALLIN1KOS, Poppy.
KALOKERINOS, Emmanuel.
KALOKERINOS, Ada.
KALOPEDES, Helen.
KALOPEDES, Mary.
KALOPEDES, Nicholas.
KATSIKAS. George.
KATSOOLIS, Doreen.
KELDOIJLIS, Chris.
KELDOULIS, Chrisanthe.
KELDOULIS, James.
KELDOULIS, Jack.
KEPREOTES, Charles.
KEPREOTES, Doreen.
KEPREOTES, Jack.
KEPREOTES, Nicholas.
KIPRIOTIS, Doris.
KOSTUROS, Nito.
KOULMANDAS, Russell.
KOUVARAS, Olga T.
KOUVARAS, George.
KOUVARAS, Nicholas.
KOUVARAS, Olga M.
LAIRD, Con.
LALAS, Milton.
LALAS, Penelope.
LIMBERS, Con.
LIMBERS, Norma.
LINOS, John.
LINOS, Marion.
MALLOS, Angela.
MALLOS, John.
MARCELLO. George.
MARCELLS, Maria.
MARCELLS, Nicholas.
MARGETIS, George.
MEGALOCONOMOS, George.
MITCHELL, George.
MORRIS, Alec.
MORRIS, Sheila.
MOTTEE, Con P.
MOTTEE Con J
NICHLES, Helen.
NICHLES, James.
NICOLAIDES, Diamantina.
NOTARAS, George.
PALLAS, Jim.
PANARETTO, Basil.
PAPAS, Stephen.
PANDASIS, George.
PAPALEXION, Con.
PAPALEXIQN, Sans.
PETERSON, Marguerita.
PHILLIPS, Eva.
POULOS, Kathleen.
POULOS, Nita.
POULOS, Mary.
PROTOPSALTIS, Con.
PSALTIS, Basil.
PSALTIS, Anne.
PSALTIS, Chriva.
PSALTIS, Detplna.
RAFT, Ida.
RAFT, Penelope.
RAFTOS, Aspasia.
RAFTOS, Jerry.
RAFTOS, Leo.
RAFTOS, Mary.
RAFTOS, Nicholas.
ROSE Stephen.
RONEY, Catherine.
SAKARIS, Sophie.
SARAFIS, Chris.
SCOTT, George.
SERAFIM, George.
SIMOS, Areanthe.
SIMOS, Theodore.
SOULOS, Fifi.
SOULOS, Nita.
STAMELL, Lucy.
STELL, George.
STELL, Kath.
TRAHANAS, Ernest.
VALLAS Mary.
VARVARESSOS, Joan.
VARVARESSOS, Kitty.
VARVARESSOS, Lillian.
VARVARESSOS, Louise.
VARVARESSOS, Maria.
VASSELEU, Kathleen.
VASSELEU, James.
VENES, Joyce.
VENES, Rent.
VLANDIS, Nicholas.
WATTS, Ruth.
ZERVOS, Dorothea.
ZORBAS, James.
ZEORZOPOULOS, George

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by Kiriaki Orfanos on 06.01.2005

Andrew Simos. National Volleyballer.

Andrew Simos, is the son of Con and Maria (nee, Levounes) Simos.
He has two sisters, Irene and Katina.

Andrew is an Olympic standard volleyball player, and has had an international career.

In the year 2000, he ws chosen to be a member of the Australian volleyball team, but missed playing, due to an injury to his shoulder.

For a more detailed history of the Levounes family from Potamos, and the Simos family, see the entry by Maria Simos-Levounes. My Story., in History, subsection, Oral History.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 28.12.2004

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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 25.12.2004

George Galanis. Ice Skating.

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.)

George Galanis has been inducted in the Roll of Excellence category.

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

George Galanis was born in Adelaide in 1971, and began ice skating at age sevenm and figure skating at age 11. Galanis was a two-time Australian junior figure skating champion and his highest world ranking was 17th - in the under-18 age group.

In 1989, while still a junior, he represented Australia in the World Junior Championships held at Colorado Springs, USA. Later that same year he represented Australia at the 19th International Skating Week, in the Vienna City Cup, in Austria where he placed ninth.

Galanis placed second in the 1992 Australian Senior Figure Skating Championships. In 1995, Galanis won the Australian Senior Figure Skating Championships. By 2000 he had represented Australia in 25 international competitions, which included one Senior and three Junior World Figure Skating Championships.

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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 15.12.2004

DISCOBOLUS

Artist:
Robert Owen (Australia, b. 1937).

Artist Robert Owen has created a landscape that links the Homebush Bay site to the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece, and celebrates the Greek origins of many Australians.

Within a grove of olive and cypress trees, the apparent remains of an ancient temple emerge, with five column drums - the number of Olympic rings. The large disc is embedded in the ground as though it has been hurled from Ancient Greece by a discus-thrower (discobolus). It has become a contemporary disc - a CD or CD-ROM.

Discobolus was funded by the Hellenic community of Australia, launched by the Hon Michael Knight MP, Minister for the Olympics, on 19 February 1999, and unveiled by His Excellency the Hon Sir William Deane, AC, KBE, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 13 August 2000.

Sporting Life involves more than relating the achievements of competitors at the highest levels. It can involve small children playing soccer, or Kytherians in Armidale competing in the Acropolis Cup, or even non-sportsmen and women carrying the Olympic flame through the streets of their city of origin.

In this case it involves the creation of a Greek-Australian sporting monument.

During the course of researching his Ph.D, Kevin Cork asked a number of Kytherian and Greek- Australian's "What do you consider to be the Greek landmarks in NSW?"

If I where asked that question in 2004, I would rate the Discobolus in my top 5.

Many Kytherians have contributed both directly, and through the auspices of a number of Hellenic bodies, in the creation and gifting of this important sporting and cultural icon, to Sydney and the world
.

Web-information on the Discobolus:

From:
http://www.gamesinfo.com.au/ocaweb2/text/167.html

Olympic Coordination Authority - Sydney 2000

Greek Origins of Games Recognised at Homebush Bay


21 December 1999

A tribute from Australia’s Hellenic community is the latest feature to be added to the unique collection of public art transforming Sydney’s Olympic venues.

The Australian Hellenic community has taken up an Australian Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) initiative and chosen Sydney as the location for the second in a trilogy of major public art projects in Olympic cities to celebrate the Greek origins of the Games.

Hellenic Tribute Inc is funding the public art which will be located in Stockroute Park next to Olympic Park Station at Homebush Bay. AHEPA USA funded a comparable project in Atlanta and intends to complete the trilogy in Athens, the host of the 2004 Olympic Games.

Acclaimed Melbourne sculptor, Robert Owen, has been selected to design the art work which will sit amongst the gums trees of Stockroute Park, along with an olive grove and row of cypress trees that are intended to reflect the original Olympia.

Owen’s work, Discobolus, is based on Castor (the original discus thrower) who metaphorically throws the discus from Greece to Homebush Bay. A seven metre high metal discus will be used to symbolise a contemporary discus - the CD ROM, which refers to modern technology, information and culture.

Chair of Hellenic Tribute Inc, Tasha Vanos, said Robert Owen’s proposal helped capture the essence of Hellenic culture.

"The discus thrower (Discobolus) is a symbol of the Olympic Games and represents a synthesis of all the Hellenic virtues of a "sound mind and sound body," Mr Vanos said.

"It is this balance and perfection that Hellenic culture esteems greatly. The discus of Discobolus can be taken as a symbol of perfection."

Mr Vanos said that, to date, the Hellenic Tribute Inc had raised 90 percent of their target funds of $435,000 for the project which is scheduled to be completed in June 2000.

Robert Owen is among artists from throughout Australia and around the world who are creating up to 12 large scale, permanent outdoor public art projects at Homebush Bay and venues in Western Sydney.

Director General of the Olympic Co-ordination Authority, Mr David Richmond, said the $7.5 million public art program would create a lasting cultural legacy for Olympic venues. He said each piece of artwork provided a different interpretation of the site’s colourful history and its transformation into a world-class recreational precinct.

"We have done more than just build a magnificent array of sporting venues," Mr Richmond said. "This innovative program of public artwork leaves an imprint of culture on the sporting infrastructure which interprets the surrounding landscape and environment and tells a story about how the Olympic venues have evolved."

Nine public art projects are in varying stages of completion at Homebush Bay, with five of these located along Olympic Boulevard. Completed are:

Lost and Found at Sydney SuperDome by Elizabeth Gower. This public art project is a terrazzo version of a design by Elizabeth Gower which adorns the SuperDome foyer. It features bold broken line drawings of sports people and sporting motifs.

"Relay" at Fig Grove by Australian artists Paul Carter and Ruark Lewis. A prose poem celebrating Australia’s Olympic past and future and graffiti designs derived from Olympian autographs are engraved in granite seating at the water feature.

"Osmosis" at Haslams Pier by Australian sculptor Ari Purhonen which creates an optical effect that changes as visitors stroll along the pier.

"5,000 Calls" in the Urban Forest by Australian sound artists David Chesworth and Sonia Leber who recorded 5,000 different sounds of human activity including sporting cries and fragments of song. A customised computer program allows different sounds to interact with each other at different times, so that each visit to the Urban Forest provides a unique experience of "5,000 Calls".

Other projects underway at Homebush Bay include:

"Luminous Threshold" at the Holker Street busway by New York-based artist James Carpenter. A collection of masts will record the activities of the wind and sun, with each mast fitted with mist-emitting nozzles. A heliostat will direct golden light onto the mist creating ever changing abstract drawings in the sky. This is due for completion in June 2000.

"In the Shadow" at Southern Boulevard Terminus by Australian artist Janet Laurence which reflects the processes of remediation of the Homebush Bay site. Boundary Creek will feature 21 transparent wands inscribed with the chemical formulae of water remediation. The area will be framed with a dense planting of casuarinas bulrushes. Due to be completed in April 2000.

Overflow Park sculptures by Melbourne-based artists Peter Cripps and Terri Bird, which will reflect the abbattoir history of Homebush Bay. The 3 sculptures will be located on the western side of the Sydney Showground and will be completed post-Olympics.

"Feathers" and "Skies" at Stadium Australia by New Zealand artist Neil Dawson. This project features two sculptures, each 21 metres in diameter, at the eastern and western entries to Stadium Australia. Steelmesh rings will span the two central columns over the stadium entries and will include motifs of the birds and skies. The sculptures reflect the Western Sydney environment and the tradition of victory wreaths. These are due for completion by March 2000.

Forthcoming projects include public art for the Sydney International Shooting Centre and Millennium Parklands at Homebush Bay.


From:

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/Parlment/HansArt.nsf/0/ca256d11000bd3aaca2568f5000c8292?OpenDocument

NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard 24 May 2000, (article 31)

Mr STEWART (Bankstown—Parliamentary Secretary) [5.20 p.m.]: I bring to the attention of the House a magnificent story involving the Australian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association [AHEPA] which, during the past three years, has worked with the Olympic Co-ordination Authority [OCA] with the support of the Government to create a special sculptural tribute that is soon to be erected at the Homebush Bay Olympic Games site. This tribute will be an aesthetic interpretation of the famous ancient Greek sculpture Discobolus, a statue of a Greek discus thrower created by the ancient Greek artist Myron. The tribute has been created by the renowned sculptor Professor Robert Owen, who has been working on it for some time.

The tribute is a transformation of an ancient discus into a compact disc which has been thrown through the millennium—a great symbolism. The seven-metre discus will be inscribed with the history of the Olympics and a list of patrons, donors—at gold, silver and bronze levels—and a translation of the history of the Olympics in Greek on the bottom half of the discus. In the glass centre of the discus there will be inscribed a discus thrower going through the various stages of throwing, and this will be illuminated at night. It has cost AHEPA $486,000 to bring this project to fruition. That money has been raised entirely by the Australian-Greek community as its tribute to the Australian Olympic movement and affinity with the Australian way of life.

Last Sunday I was fortunate to attend the dedication of an olive grove at the site of the Hellenic tribute on Stockroute Park, Herb Elliott Avenue, Homebush Bay, just across the road from the stadium. It is an impressive sight. The many olive trees which have been planted there have progressed well. On the outskirts of the site there are some cypress pines. The olive trees symbolise peace, harmony and nationhood, which are also symbolised by the goddess Athena. The cypress pines symbolise immortality. On that important day hundreds of people were in attendance to see the progression of the tribute. Helen Katsaros, representing the Supreme President of AHEPA, and George Lianos, the Grand President of the New South Wales branch of AHEPA, were in attendance. Mr Peter Manettas, the Patron of the Hellenic Tribute Committee, also attended, and I thank him for working hard to get the committee together.

Tasha Vanos, the chairman of the committee, has been a tireless worker and deserves much acclaim. Vince Xuereb, the vice-chairman of the committee, has worked extremely hard and involved me in the cohesion of the project by communicating with the office of the Minister for the Olympics. The Minister has been involved in this exciting project. Bridget Smythe from the OCA is to be commended for the hard work she has put into this project. Initially Bridget was a little dubious about the project; to raise almost $500,000 was not an easy ask. This is a huge tribute; it has been done properly, so it will last forever. Bridget would be the first to admit that she was wrong. The Australian-Greek community has shown that it can work together to raise this money, because it has great meaning and symbolism not only for now but for future generations.

I also thank Ann Locksley, Director of the Public Art Advisory Committee of OCA. The team worked very hard and in partnership to bring this project to fruition. I am pleased to report that by the end of July or early August this project will be in place. The obelisk will be an impressive sight. All members of this Parliament will be proud of it, because it is a demonstration of the multicultural community that we have so long believed in. The symbolism of ancient Greece and the Olympic Games is harnessed on the Olympic site and the discus is thrown from the Olympic site, aimed at Olympia.

This is the html version of the file http://www.gg.gov.au/speeches/rtf/2000/sp000813.rtf.

ADDRESS BY SIR WILLIAM DEANE
GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNVEILING OF THE HELLENIC TRIBUTE
ART PIECE "DISCOBOLUS" AT STOCKROUTE PARK
HOMEBUSH BAY - SYDNEY
SUNDAY, 13 AUGUST 2000

This sculpture - "Discobolus" - is a visionary one. It evokes the spirit and the history of the Olympics, taking us all the way back to Ancient Olympia from which the sculpture's great disc - symbolically representing the ancient discus of Castor and the modern CD ROM - was conceptually flung. It is a Hellenic tribute to all the Olympians of Sydney 2000. And it eloquently symbolises the unique bond between Australia and Ancient and Modern Greece. I warmly congratulate the Sculptor, Robert Owen, on both the concept and the execution of a truly wonderful work.
The unveiling of Discobolus on this site at Homebush reminds us, of course, of the imminence of the Games. Sydney is now well prepared. The Stadium stands ready to welcome the huge crowds of athletes, officials, dignitaries, performers and others who will be attending the Opening Ceremony only a month and two days away. The first athletes - and even a few horses - from overseas have arrived. The Sydney 2000 Olympics Art Festival commences this week. And the Olympic Flame, which I was privileged to see carried from the Stadium at Ancient Olympia three months ago, has now journeyed through Greece itself, through the Olympic countries of Oceania and through most of Australia and will tomorrow for the first time enter New South Wales.
It is, of course, understandable that most of the excitement of the Olympics is focused upon sporting aspects of the Games. But the Olympics have never been concerned only with sport. From their inception, the Games have represented excellence, not only in the sporting arena, but also in a broad range of cultural endeavours. That being so, an essential aspect of the Sydney Olympics is the celebration of our national art and culture and the creation of a lasting cultural legacy. This great sculpture by the acclaimed Melbourne sculptor, Robert Owen, is an important part of that celebration and legacy. It will not only enrich this Olympic precinct in Australia's oldest and largest city. It will also, as I have said, remind us of the unique bonds that join Ancient and Modern Greece with Australia.
Those bonds include the immense contribution which the culture of Greece and its people have made to western civilisation on this, as much as the other, side of the world.
They also include the extraordinary links forged during the short, doomed Greek and Crete campaigns of World War II when the people of Greece risked ruthless reprisals to shelter and care for hundreds of our young Australian soldiers and to assist them in their attempts to escape. There are, in Greece today, no less than 606 graves of Australian soldiers who died there in two World Wars so far away from their families and their homeland. A further 329 who have no known graves are commemorated on Memorials. Last May, as the first Governor-General of this country to pay an official visit to Greece, I honoured and mourned them all as my wife and I placed a wreath at Phaleron Cemetery where 252 lie buried. I also, on behalf of the Australian people, paid tribute to Greece's war heroes at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the heart of Athens.
And of course, perhaps most important of all, there are the rich and strong bonds of kinship, of friendship and of personal achievement represented by our Australian nationals who claim Greek origins. In Australia today, there are over 140,000 people who were actually born in Greece. When you take into account the families and descendants of those who have come to this land from Greece, we have a Greek Australian community of some 700,000 people. That means that Australia is the second largest star in the Greek Diaspora, coming only after the United States. The positioning of this sculpture with its olive grove and cypress trees among our gum trees represents perfectly the way that our Greek community has become an integral and enriching part of our broader multicultural Australian community.
At a practical level, Discobolus is an enduring gift by our Hellenic community to the Australian nation. On behalf of all Australians, I sincerely thank that community for its great generosity in raising the more than one half million dollars necessary to complete the project.
I again congratulate Robert Owen on an inspiring work of art and all those individuals whose generosity and efforts have made this moment possible. Apart from members of the Hellenic community, I should single out for special mention the Olympic Co-ordination Authority and its staff, the members of the Public Art Team and the members of the Public Art Advisory Committee.
And now, with great pleasure, I will cut the ribbon to officially unveil Discobolus the Hellenic Tribute to the Year 2000 Olympians.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Vardas on 05.12.2004

The Grecian Marathon Runner

THE GRECIAN MARATHON RUNNER

Long distance running is as old as the Ancient Olympics. The marathon in particular evokes the traditions and glories of Ancient Greece and is run by athletes with incredible stamina and endurance.

One of Kythera’s own sons became an accomplished marathon runner and walker in the early part of the twentieth century and almost represented Australia at the Stockholm Games in 1912. In the words of one journalist, he came to be regarded as “one of the finest all-round endurance runners and walkers that this country has ever known”.

Ioannis Gerakitis was born in Kythera in 1893 and came to Australia as a young boy. He assumed the name of Jack Lewis (presumably adapted from his family’s nickname “Glous”). He was of short statue and muscular build. As one reporter observed: “He is only a handful but his little frame is packed with healthy muscular tissue, the blood courses clean and warn under his brown skin. The sun has bleached his strong, even teeth, for a laugh of joy is scarcely ever off his lips. There is a spring in his heels as he pads through the little known, tangled bush. Every step brings new adventure, every bird, beast and insect holds new interest.”

In Sydney Jack Lewis joined the Sydney Harriers, an amateur club of long distance runners based in Newtown. His first official race was the 1909 New South Wales Marathon in which he finished a respectable third. He then moved to Victoria to look for work and joined the East Melbourne Harriers. In 1911 the young Greek won the third Victorian Marathon in just under three hours and was the youngest to have won that event at that time. According to one newspaper report:

“Jack Lewis is style itself, moving with perfect grace and ease. But he owes this to no natural gift. This is a redit to his determination to excel. He has carefully cultivated an easy, graceful style, knowing that jerk and friction are fatal to speed and endurance”.

On February, 26 1911 Jack Lewis received an official letter from the Victorian Amateur Athletic Association confirming that his name had been submitted for selection as a member of the team to represent Australasia in the marathon race at the Olympic Games to be held at Stockholm in July, 1912.

Indeed, there was considerable supportfor him to be included. In the view of the Sporting Globe newspaper, Lewis “is the type of man to whom Australia must look – a superman as far as physique and stamina are concerned”.

That he did not represent Australia was put down to a lack of funding but, according to family sources, the real reason appears to have been that Jack Lewis was required to renounce his Greek citizenship and become a British subject. Although Jack expressed a desire to run at the Games, he was not prepared to discard his Greek identity.

In the following year Jack Lewis returned to Sydney to take part in the Marathon championship of New South Wales which was held on 3 June, 1912 and where he finished second.

Jack Lewis then turned to walking and won the 1922 Victorian 25 mile championship. Newspaper reports at the time hailed him as the “Grecian Champion” and a fine walker, “one out of the box”. At the end of his long journey it was recorded that Lewis “laughed and jumped with his friends and was as delighted as a schoolboy. He looked as though he could have repeated the performance easily”. In fact, he was examined after the event by the race doctor who found that his heart pulse beat was slightly over his normal beat.

After his 25 mile walk triumph, Jack Lewis was acclaimed as a true champion and his success in athletics and life was attributed to “grit and optimism”. In the Sporting Globe issue of 27 September, 1922 Frank Brown wrote a piece under the headline “Happy Jack”:

“Bravo! Bravo! Jack Lewis”. A crowd of Greeks, countrymen of the winner, crowed round him and cheered the happy laughing little man. They claimed his prowess to the wide, wide world in rich, strange language and extravagant gesture. He was kissed and carried shoulder high through the laughing, cheering crowd to the dressing room: it was a great moment for Happy Jack; it was a great moment for his countrymen.”

According to another reporter who covered the race, Jack Lewis “seemed quite unconscious that he had performed an athletic feat of any merits … he did not show a sign of exhaustion, and had I not seen him in action only a few minutes before I would have found it hard to believe that he was a competitor”.

Jack Lewis then went on to win the Australian 50 mile walk in 1926 held in Sydney with a time of 9 hours, 20 minutes, 24 seconds, which smashed the then Australian record by 49 minutes 16 seconds. In 1928 he achieved further glory by winning the ten hour marathon walk in Victoria – the longest race ever held in Victoria to that point. A fellow competitor later recalled that Jack’s stamina was remarkable and he ended up walking 53 miles, three miles more than the second-placed competitor. By this stage Jack Lewis was widely regarded as the champion long-distance walker of Victoria.

But there was also a life away from sport. Jack Lewis was a forest ranger based near the Warburton Mountains in Victoria. Described as “Jack of the Mountains”, he was reputed to know the area well because he had literally walked over the whole mountain. Lewis was reported at the time to have averaged about 200 miles a week walking whilst on the job. He told one reporter that he measured the life of his boots by distance, not time and reckoned that he got about 3000 miles of each pair. According to Lewis, walking in the bush was the “best medicine”.

Jack Lewis was also a very unassuming fellow and used his local bush knowledge and athletic stamina to fight bush fires and finding and rescuing people who had become lost in the wild. His exploits were well known and he was highly respected. According to one of his contemporaries, Jack Lewis “never considered his own comfort, but at any hour would walk into the heart of the forest on trails unknown to most people to search for some soul who had lost his way”.

In 1931 he was specially commended for his efforts in looking for the missing aircraft, the “Southern Cloud”. The citation by the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works recorded its appreciation at the “hardships endured by Mr Lewis in his self-imposed task, involving a great deal of sacrifice on his part” in searching for the downed aircraft in treacherous mountain country.

As a ranger and bushman, Lewis’ knowledge of botany was almost unparalleled. He collected and exchanged specimens of local timbers and wild flowers with schools throughout the world.

Jack Lewis died on 2 June 1956. It was said of Jack Lewis, the Grecian Runner, that his “courage, resourcefulness, devotion to duty and kindness have earned for him a niche in the hearts of all that no other can hope to fill”.

Perhaps recalling his Kytherian roots, for Kythera is an island made for walkers, Jack Lewis, when interviewed in Melbourne prior to a big race, expressed an uncomplicated view on long distance walking and running which evidently flowed over in to his outlook on life generally:

“When you are fit you are happy. When you are happy you are good. You don’t want to do anything mean. I will be glad to get back to the hills. I do not like the air down here. Sometimes I live weeks by myself in the bush, but I do not mind that. I exercise just the same, and it is fine to be swinging along through the bush with the big gum trees overhead. Doesn’t matter whether you have money or not. You have health and the joy of life. That is everything.”

Ioannis Gerakitis (aka Jack Lewis) was a legendary runner who deserved to go and almost got to the Olympic Games. He was also a great human being – the pride of Kythera - who touched the lives of all those who knew him.


George Vardas





Note: The writer wishes to acknowledge the invaluable assistance and research efforts of Tas Psarakis and Petro Cassimaty of the Australian Hellenic Historical Society (“AHHS”). The numerous newspaper clippings and other archival material provided by the AHHS were obtained from Betty Comino whose assistance is also gratefully acknowledged. A summary of Jack Lewis’ exploits is also contained in Vol. 1 of Hugh Gilchrest’s excellent work, Australians and Greeks (1992, Halstead Press) at page 260.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 15.12.2004

Nick Girdis, CBE. Sailor. Roll of Distinction. 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 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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 01.12.2004

Stephen Girdis, Sailor. Roll of Distinction. 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.

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

Stephen's grandparents on his mothers side were Steve and Helen Christianos - from Mylopotamos, Kythera. For many years they ran a mixed business in Boggabri, New South Wales. Boggabri is located in North Western NSW, lying halfway between Gunnedah and Narrabri on the main road north, which connects with the Newell Hwy. It has a current population of just under 1000.

Steve and Helen Christianos had three children, one of whom died young. The surviving daughters were Kanella, and Effie, Christian(os). Effie, is Stephen's mother.

Stephen Girdis 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.

Stephen Girdis was born in Sydney on 17 October 1960 and was introduced to sailing by his father at the age of 6, sailing at the Vaucluse Amateur Sailing 12 Foot Club. In his younger days he started on the Sabots and continued on to the Flying 11's, becoming an Australian runner-up in the Flying 11 class.

Girdis then moved up into the 12 foot skiffs and had a stint in the Olympic 470 class, before settling on the J-24 class - an international one design keelboat; perhaps the most popular keel boat. At this class in Australia he sailed at local, state and national regatta level.

He excelled in this type of category, and has represented Australia at the J-24 World Championships on four occasions, including at Sardinia, Italy; Buenos AAires, Brazil; Genoa, Italy, and in 2000 at Newport, Road Island, USA.

In 2000 he became Australian champion, after winning the J-24 Australian Championships, held at Lake Macquarie. Past winners of the event include Ian Murray. At the 2000 World Championships he skippered the Australian team. As of the year 2000, Stephen had sailed in one Sydney to Hobart race.

His uncle, Nick Girdis, CBE, also a sailor, introduced "Bill" Psaltis to sailing. Nick lives in Brisbane, and is also an inductee in the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame. Coincidentally, he too married a Kytherian.

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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 15.12.2004

Arthur Psaltis. Sailor. Inductee, Hall of Champions, 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.)

Arthur Psaltis has been inducted in the Hall of Champions category.

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

Arthur Psaltis was born in Sydney on 29 September, 1964, and like his brother, commenced sailing on his father's yacht Lass O'Luss. (Father - Bill Psaltis, (family parchoukli, "Ntessis", or "Ntessi"). In 1980 he sailed as crew on Meltemi, in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.

He has sailed as crew with his brother Edward in races from Sydney to Hobart, Moolooloba, and along the NSW coast.

In 1991 and 1993 he raced in the international Fastnet Race, England.

In the 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race, he was the yacht's trimmer on Midnight Rambler, the overall winner of the race. (Midnight Rambler, photographed above).

By the year 2000, Psaltis had sailed in 12 Sydney to Hobart yacht races.

He also represented Australia in the Sardinia Cup.


The ill-fated 1998, Sydney to Hobart Yacht race

Fact Sheet


From,
http://www.boatingoz.com.au/newsailsydhob2.htm

Boats
Started: 115
Retired: 71
Finished: 44
Sort Assistance: 12
Abandoned: 7
Sunk: 5

Crew
Approximately 1000 men, women and boys - youngest 12
Lost: 6

Rescue Operation
Crew lifted off boats: 55 of which 55 were lifted by helicopter
Aircraft involved: 45 including six services aircraft
Surface vessels involved: three including HMAS Newcastle
Cost of aircraft and vessels chartered by AMSA - $650,000
No estimate of services costs.

Weather Conditions
Wind speed of 78 knots from the west and southwest reported by 2 boats at least
Seas of 10 metre height in the area about 50 to 60 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island

Overall and Divisional Results with corrected times
SAYONARA first outside the heads and line honours

IMS Overall
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis & Bob Thomas, CYCA - 2.12.36.23
2nd AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia - 2.14.41.54
3rd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA - 2.16.18.17
IMS Division A
1st SAYONARA, Farr 80, owned by Larry Ellison, St Francis YC, San Francisco, USA - 2.19.03.32
2ND BRINDABELLA, Jutson 75, owned by George Snow, CYCA - 2.21.06.36
IMS Division B
1st AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia - 2.14.41.54
2nd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA - 2.16.18.17
3rd INDUSTRIAL QUEST, Nelson/Marek 43, owned Kevin Millar, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Qld - 2.18.31.49
IMS Division C:
1st YENDYS, Beneteau (Farr) 50, owned by Geoffrey Ross, CYCA, NSW - 2.22.08.54
2nd AURORA, Farr 40, owned by Jim Holley, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, NSW - 3.02.23.29
3rd VALHERU, Elliott 50, owned by Tony Lyall, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Tas - 3.03.21.49
IMS Division D:
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas, CYCA - 2.12.36.23
2nd NOUMEA, Young 11, owned by Jean Luc Esplaas, Cercle Nautique Caledonie, Noumea, - 3.18.09.55
IMS Division E:
1ST MARGARET RINTOUL II, Sparkman & Stephens 48, owned by Richard Purcell, CYCA - 2.20.40.54
2nd BACARDI, Peterson 44, owned by Graeme Ainley & John Williams, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 2.21.27.38
3RD MERCEDES IV, Kaufman 41, owned by Peter Stronach, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW - 3.02.30.09
IMS Division F:
1ST MISTY, S&S 34, owned by Bryan Clague, Mornington Yacht Club, Vic - still to finish and only boat in class.
Performance Division:
Div 1 :
1st ASPECT COMPUTING, Radford 16.5, owned by David Pescud, CYCA, NSW - 4.06.35.19
2nd AVANTI, Beneteau First 38, owned by Christopher and John Mooney, Royal Brighton Yacht, Club, Vic - 4.14.31.32
3rd FUDGE, Elliott 56, owned by Peter Hansen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 4.21.59.41
Div 2:
1st JUBILATION, Farr 40, owned by David James, Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Vic - 3.23.53.59
2nd BERRIMILLA, Joubert Brolga, owned by Alex Whitworth, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW - 4.03.07.35
3rd WAITANGI II, Jarkan 10, owned by David Wearn, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW. - 4.07.50.29
Channel Handicap:
1st AERA, Swan 46, owned by Nicholas Lykiardopulo, Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, Greece - 4.07.0025
2nd TILTING AT WINDMILLS, Joubert 40, owned Thorry Gunnersen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 4.19.01.54
3rd - FOXTEL TITAN-FORD, Farr 50, owned by Julie Hodder, Peter Sorenson & Stan Zamanek - Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW - 4.22.23.18


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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 15.12.2004

Edward (Ed) Psaltis. Sailor. Hall of Champions. 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.)

Edward (Ed) Psaltis has been inducted in the Hall of Champions category.

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

Edward (Ed) Psaltis was born in Sydney on 7 April, 1961. He commenced sailing at an early age on his father's (Bill Psaltis, (family parchoukli, "Ntessis", or "Ntessi"); yacht Lass O'Luss, and was a junior sailor with the Hunters Hill Sailing Club. Psaltis sailed in his first Sydney to Hobart yacht race as a 17-year old, and has since competed in eighteen of the races.

The high point of his career was winning first place overall aboard AFR Midnight Rambler in the storm ravaged 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. (About which, more later in this entry).

Psaltis has represented Australia in the Sardinia Cup, and the Southern Cross Cup. Psaltis's many achievments saw him voted NSW Yachtsman of the Year in 2000. The selection panel chose Psaltis for this prestigious award ahead of members of the Australian Olympic Sailing team and recent world champions.

He twice won the Sydney-Mooloolaba race in the 30-footer, Nuzulu.

In 1999, Psaltis also won the the Gosford to Lord Howe Island Race with AFR Midnight Rambler, only the second yacht to win both the Hobart and Lord Howe Island races - Australia's only annual Category 1 ocean races.

Career highlights include:

1990-95, purchased 30ft Nuzulu.
1st overall 1991 and 1994 Sydney Mooloolaba,
2nd overall, Brisbane Gladstone;
Five Hobart races in Nuzulu.
First in division 1991 Sydney Hobart Race,
1996, purchased Farr 40-ft Midnight Rambler,
First in division, 1998 Sydney Mooloolaba race,
1998 purchased Hick 35 ft Midnight Rambler,
First overall 1998 Sydney to Hobart race,
First overall 1999 Sydney Lord Howe Island race,
1999, elected CYC Ocean Racing Yachtsman of the Year,
2000 Elected NSW Yachtsman of the Year,
Has won every CYCA major ocean race conducted off the NSW coast.


The ill-fated 1998, Sydney to Hobart Yacht race

Fact Sheet


From,
http://www.boatingoz.com.au/newsailsydhob2.htm

Boats
Started: 115
Retired: 71
Finished: 44
Sort Assistance: 12
Abandoned: 7
Sunk: 5

Crew
Approximately 1000 men, women and boys - youngest 12
Lost: 6

Rescue Operation
Crew lifted off boats: 55 of which 55 were lifted by helicopter
Aircraft involved: 45 including six services aircraft
Surface vessels involved: three including HMAS Newcastle
Cost of aircraft and vessels chartered by AMSA - $650,000
No estimate of services costs.

Weather Conditions
Wind speed of 78 knots from the west and southwest reported by 2 boats at least
Seas of 10 metre height in the area about 50 to 60 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island

Overall and Divisional Results with corrected times
SAYONARA first outside the heads and line honours

IMS Overall
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis & Bob Thomas, CYCA - 2.12.36.23
2nd AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia - 2.14.41.54
3rd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA - 2.16.18.17
IMS Division A
1st SAYONARA, Farr 80, owned by Larry Ellison, St Francis YC, San Francisco, USA - 2.19.03.32
2ND BRINDABELLA, Jutson 75, owned by George Snow, CYCA - 2.21.06.36
IMS Division B
1st AUSMAID, Farr 47, owned by Kevan Pearce, Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia - 2.14.41.54
2nd RAGAMUFFIN, Farr 50, owned by Syd Fischer, CYCA - 2.16.18.17
3rd INDUSTRIAL QUEST, Nelson/Marek 43, owned Kevin Millar, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, Qld - 2.18.31.49
IMS Division C:
1st YENDYS, Beneteau (Farr) 50, owned by Geoffrey Ross, CYCA, NSW - 2.22.08.54
2nd AURORA, Farr 40, owned by Jim Holley, Lake Macquarie Yacht Club, NSW - 3.02.23.29
3rd VALHERU, Elliott 50, owned by Tony Lyall, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Tas - 3.03.21.49
IMS Division D:
1st AFR MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, Robert Hicks 35, owned by Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas, CYCA - 2.12.36.23
2nd NOUMEA, Young 11, owned by Jean Luc Esplaas, Cercle Nautique Caledonie, Noumea, - 3.18.09.55
IMS Division E:
1ST MARGARET RINTOUL II, Sparkman & Stephens 48, owned by Richard Purcell, CYCA - 2.20.40.54
2nd BACARDI, Peterson 44, owned by Graeme Ainley & John Williams, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 2.21.27.38
3RD MERCEDES IV, Kaufman 41, owned by Peter Stronach, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW - 3.02.30.09
IMS Division F:
1ST MISTY, S&S 34, owned by Bryan Clague, Mornington Yacht Club, Vic - still to finish and only boat in class.
Performance Division:
Div 1 :
1st ASPECT COMPUTING, Radford 16.5, owned by David Pescud, CYCA, NSW - 4.06.35.19
2nd AVANTI, Beneteau First 38, owned by Christopher and John Mooney, Royal Brighton Yacht, Club, Vic - 4.14.31.32
3rd FUDGE, Elliott 56, owned by Peter Hansen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 4.21.59.41
Div 2:
1st JUBILATION, Farr 40, owned by David James, Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Vic - 3.23.53.59
2nd BERRIMILLA, Joubert Brolga, owned by Alex Whitworth, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW - 4.03.07.35
3rd WAITANGI II, Jarkan 10, owned by David Wearn, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW. - 4.07.50.29
Channel Handicap:
1st AERA, Swan 46, owned by Nicholas Lykiardopulo, Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, Greece - 4.07.0025
2nd TILTING AT WINDMILLS, Joubert 40, owned Thorry Gunnersen, Sandringham Yacht Club, Vic - 4.19.01.54
3rd - FOXTEL TITAN-FORD, Farr 50, owned by Julie Hodder, Peter Sorenson & Stan Zamanek - Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW - 4.22.23.18

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/25/1040511089946.html?oneclick=true

Size, costs create turbulence in the wake of tragic '98 race

December 26 2002

By Jessica Halloran
Sydney

The sky is grey, the light is dull and nothing is shining on the harbour's edge at Rushcutters Bay. Ed Psaltis sits on the deck of his new boat, Midnight Rambler, and says Hobart's "age of innocence" is over. It was lost four years ago.

Psaltis won the Sydney to Hobart in its most tragic year, simply known around the Cruising Yacht Club as "98". He won it on handicap in a tiny Hick 35-footer on cruel seas.

"It was certainly a tough year, (a) very hard year; it was a difficult thing to win when people were dying," Psaltis said, slowly. "We didn't hear about it until the gale was all over, so we just kept pushing ourselves and got through it OK. It was a pivotal year; the age of innocence for Hobart was gone then."

Six lost their lives in that race and the subsequent events and inquiries have altered the event.
"It's certainly changed since . . . the safety was best practice then, but safety like most things evolves and gets better and while it wasn't bad in '98, what we've got now is a higher level of safety . . . but that's part of the problem; the average ...(punter).. can't afford the costs involved," said Psaltis, who will be sailing his 22nd Hobart.


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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 15.12.2004

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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 01.12.2005

Cosmas Aroney. Veteran Shooter. Inductee into the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

As notified in a previous entry, and reiterated 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).

There are also categories in the Juniors/Youth and Masters/Veterans categories.

Cosmas Aroney has been inducted in the latter category.

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

Cosmas Aroney is a life member of the NSW Veteran Rifleshooters. He has participated in the NSW Queen's Open Prize meeting, at the Anzac Rifle Range on four occasions (1992, 1993, 1995, and 2000).

Since his first championship in 1972, he has competed in 29 major championships and has amased 16 badges, 14 gold, 27 silver and 16 bronze medals and 4 spoons.

These awards were won at the 1987 Australian Masters Games (gold medal; Tasmania); the 1988 Bi-Centenary Open Prize Meet (Anzac Rifle Range); the 1991 Australian Masters Games (silver medal); the 1992 Australian Veterans Games (gold medal); the 1993 Australian Veterans Games (gold medal); the 1994 World Masters Games (Queensland); the 1995 Australian Veterans Games (4th Western Australia), and the 2000 Australian Veterans Games (9th, Sydney, NSW).


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.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 30.11.2004

Peter Clentzos competing for Greece, in the pole vault at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

The great pole vaulter was born in Oakland, Calif., in 1909, son of a humble carpenter who had immigrated to America from the Greek island of Kythera. Clentzos took up pole vaulting in high school in the 1920s, then perfected his art as a member of the University of Southern California track team in the early '30s.
In 1932 Clentzos tried out for the U.S. Olympic team, hoping to play for his native land at the Los Angeles Games.

"I didn't make the team," he says. "I fell short."

He did well enough, however, to attract the attention of the Greek attache, who recruited Clentzos and awarded him dual citizenship on the basis of his Greek heritage. He lived with the Greeks at L.A.'s Olympic Village and competed in a Greek uniform.

"I was very proud to play for Greece," he says. "Greece was my heritage."
Alas, he came in seventh.

"I had a bad day," he says. "Oh, God, I was crushed."

Three years later, in 1935, he did better, competing in a meet at Athens's Panathinaiko Stadium, where the 1896 Olympics had been held, and vaulting 13 feet 5 inches, a Greek record that stood for 15 years.

During the Athens Olympics, 2004, he was feted for two weeks for his Olympic accomplishments -- the mayor presented him with the prestigious Medal of the City of Athens. During the "Olympic fortnight" he was an honoured guest of the Greek government.


"Pete Clentzos is my father's brother. He was the oldest Olympic Torchbearer in Los Angeles last June, and was also a guest of the Greek Government at the Olympics in Athens. He is 95 years old and has more energy than anyone I know. Of course, that is because of those great Kytherian genes" -
Terry Chlentzos-Keramaris.

For a more detailed and "hubba bubba" profile of the man - see, nephew, Terry Chlentzos-Keramaris's article on the man, under People, subsection, High Achievers

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 30.11.2004

Peter Clentzos running with the Olympic torch, 2004, aged 95.

ATHENS -- With his big, thick right hand, Pete Clentzos slaps his belly. The hand bounces off.

"The belly's solid," he says
He's right. At 95, Clentzos still has an athlete's body. He's sitting on the roof of the Plaka Hotel with a red baseball cap perched atop his weather-beaten face, an honored guest of the Greek government. Clentzos -- an American who competed for Greece as a pole vaulter in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles -- is the oldest living former Greek Olympian. That's impressive....

"Pete Clentzos is my father's brother. He was the oldest Olympic Torchbearer in Los Angeles last June, and was also a guest of the Greek Government at the Olympics in Athens. He is 95 years old and has more energy than anyone I know. Of course, that is because of those great Kytherian genes" -
Terry Chlentzos-Keramaris.

For a more detailed and "hubba bubba" profile of the man - see, nephew, Terry Chlentzos-Keramaris's article on the man, under People, subsection, High Achievers.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 29.11.2004

Jim Poulos. Carrying the Olympic torch in Sydney's Eastern suburbs. June 2004.

Jim Poulos, QC, selected as a torchbearer for the Athens Olympics Torch Relay on June 4, 2004.

Carrying a flame for Athens

The Olympic Torch Relay is set to roll through sections of the Eastern Suburbs [of Sydney] on Friday, June 4.

Report Kim O'Connor

Greek business and community leaders as well as former Olympians will be torchbearers when one of the most important symbols of the Athens Olympics touches down in Sydney.

"Pass the Flame - Unite the World" is the message behind the 2004 torch relay as it makes its way through 26 countries and 33 major cities. Woolhara's mayor, Geoff Rundle. said he hoped residents, school communities and business workers would yurn out in the streets to support the relay.

"It's a wonderful way to show our patriotism and support for the athletes representing our country at the Athens Olympics," he said.

The torch will leave Sydney Opera House at 8 am and arrive at Rushcutters Bay about about 8.45 am. It will then be carried along New South Head Road, before travelling along O'Sullivan Road, Rose Bay, on the way to Bondi Beach. From there it is expected to be carried out to the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

Torchbearers include Olympic swimming great John Konrads, of Paddington, Mark Kerry, of Darling Point (who swam in three Olympics: Montreal, Moscow and Los Angeles), and yaughtsman Tom King, of Darling Point, who competed in Atlanta and Sydney.

Members of the Greek community have also been given the honour of carrying the torch. One is barrister Jim Poulos, QC, who has a lengthy commitment to North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club.

Mr Poulos said he was enormously proud to have been selected as a torchbearer.

"If I can get away from my work commitments, Ï'll definitely be over in Athens to watch the Games," he said. "I've seen some of the new facilities already and they are magnificent. The subway is the best ever, and the new airport is brilliant."

Other torchbearers include Nick Politis, Micheal Diamond, Steve Waugh, Peter Montgomery and actor Saxon Graham.

After the torch has passed through Woollhara, the mayor will plant an olive tree to commemorate the event. The tree has been donated by the Sydney Hellenic Community and is a symbol of the 2004 Games and the international symbol for peace. It will be planted outside "Redleaf" council chambers.

Mayor Rundle appealed to the community for co-operation because of the road closures and clearways that will be in place from 6 am to midday. "Traffic will be affected on New South Head Road between Kings Cross Road and O'Sullivan Road, with a rolling road closure controlled by NSW Police", he said.

The Olympic flame was lit by the sun's rays in a traditional ceremony in Olympia, Greece, and is kept in a lantern that travels with the relay. More than 3600 torchbearers will pass the Olympic flame during the international event of 1500 kilometres.

The Athens Olympic Games will be run from August 13 to 29.

Thanks to reporter Kim O'Çonnor, and editor Andrew London, the Wentworth Courier [Newspaper], Sydney; for permission to re-print this article.

See,

www.wentworthcourier.com.au/

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 03.12.2004

Olympic Torch relay. Kytherian and Greek Australian involvement.

Do any Kytherians have photographs of "Kytherians carrying the Olympic torch in the Torch Relay, in Sydney; and in other parts of the world, June 2004"?

Please post to kythera-family.

It was a day when Sydneysiders stopped and got reacquainted, and welcomed home what felt like an old flame from an affair we thought had ended at the Olympic closing ceremony in 2000.

On a day-long walk, run, jog, cycle, row nd roller-blade down memory lane, the launch of the 2004 torch relay - at 400 metres a leg - also offered reminders of "rolling road closures", "mother flame" and the creeping commercialism of the Games.

The day began at the Opera House, with the torch in the hand of Cathy Freeman, as it had been four years ago. Atop the Opera House steps, she raised it proudly against a stark blue winter sky, providing the perfect backdrop for the flickering rekindled orange flame.

The Premier, Bob Carr, not known as a disciple of big events, had recognised moments before that the torch relay was more than just another signal for a Sydney party.

He reflected on the different world of four years ago, before massive security measures were needed for host cities. It was "a world of less contention".

Yet the torch remained a symbol of peace, with Mr Carr pointing to the "flame to which we all still aspire".

Four years on, the world saw a more commercial Cathy Freeman, having struck a promotional deal with Samsung, along with Coca-Cola, the principal sponsor of the event.

The first of 3600 torchbearers in 33 cities and 26 countries appeared distracted as she ran. This may have been due to an attempt by the Seven Network to interview her through an earpiece during her most public post-retirement 400 metre run.

And if the crowds were sparse in some sections of the rambling route, organisers would have been delighted with the attendance of Greek-Australians, who poured into Brighton-le-Sands by mid-morning.

Botany Bay could almost have been the Aegean except, perhaps, for the presence of two bobbing NSW Water Police craft.

"We brought a part of Greece to Australia today, and I was proud be one of those who did it," said Rita Comino, a torchbearer who ran along Bay Street at Brighton-le-Sands.

"My parents are both from Kythera in Greece, the seventh state of Australia in case you didn't know
."

With spectacular television pictures beamed around the world, including swimmer Kieren Perkins and skier Zali Steggall on the bridge, the International Olympic Committee might reconsider its edict that this will be the first and last global torch relay, because of it organisational distractions.

In one of the more touching moments of the day, Con Verevis, the first torchbearer for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics relay, completed his third run with the flame, a rare accomplishment. Mr Verevis, 70, who carried the torch in North Queensland 44 years ago, where he lives, said he wanted to run part of his 400 metres. In 1956 torchbearers needed to be able to run a mile in seven minutes.

As a bonus, Mr Verevis was reunited at kerbside with a second cousin, Bella Cass, whom he had not seen for 50 years.

"This is my third relay," he said, "and there won't be a fourth. I wanted to run because I've been training to run it back home by doing 400 metres uphill. I'm glad everything went well because though my brain was willing it hasn't told my heart and knees."

Mr Verevis, whose father migrated to Australia from Greece nearly a century ago, ran past a house which onlookers dubbed the "Greek embassy".

Angelo and Sonya Giourtalis explained that the house had been designed to resemble the Parthenon, complete with columns and new Greek and Australian flags in the front yard
.

Except for a flat tyre on a truck carrying photographers, several flame blow-outs due to the wind and one brief stop so that a torchbearer could tie a shoelace - at a police officer's suggestion - the relay ran smoothly on the day Athens began moving the final section of its stadium roof into place. Along the route, some non global corporations couldn't resist the opportunity for some free exposure. "Our chicken burns eternally," read one sign outside a flame-grill takeaway shop.

By nightfall, the torch had made it to Sydney Olympic Park, carried by a dragon boat crew to avoid gridlock on land. It was then roller-bladed down Olympic Boulevard by the Winter Olympics gold medallist Steven Bradbury and the relocated 2000 cauldron was lit by Steve Waugh, who said: "I wish I was an Olympian."

SMH, June 5, 2004.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 28.11.2004

Theodoros Minoukhos. Turn of the 20th century Kytherian wrestler and rubgy league player.

"Language barriers and long working hours restricted social contact between many early Greek immigrants and other Australians. A few, however, broke through such barriers by their sporting achievements.

Theodoros Minoukhos, known as Theo Roney, earned some distinction as an amateur wrestler and rugby footballer. He arrived from Kythera about 1900 and in the New South Wales Sports Club's wrestling championships in 1908 won second prize and a medal in its lightweight division. In 1909 he gained another medal in an amateur wrestling contest. In the following year, in which he opened a sweets shop and ice-cream parlour in Kyogle in partnership with his newly arrived sister, he played in a team which won the state's rugby union premiership. In 1915 he was a member of Dubbo's winning rugby league team."

[Can anyone furnish us with photographs of Theo Roney?]

Text from;
Hugh Gilchrist, Australians and Greeks. Volume 1: The Early Years. Halstead Press. Sydney. 1992. p. 258.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 28.11.2004

Kharalambos Stathakis, and other Greek and Kytherian boxers in the era from the 1890's-1918.

In the era from the 1890's to 1918....
"...several Greeks shone...in boxing. Kharalambos Stathakis (pictured above) is said to have won a middleweight title on the western goldfields about 1912, and two descendants of the Zannis family, John Jannese and Bert Spargo, are said to have won boxing titles in Victoria."

Text from;
Hugh Gilchrist, Australians and Greeks. Volume 1: The Early Years. Halstead Press. Sydney. 1992. p. 258.

Photos > Sporting Life

submitted by George Poulos on 30.11.2004

Jack Lewis. Ioannis Gerakitis. Marathon runner, walker. Roll of Excellence. 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. (How would you pick Jack Lewis as a Kytherian?) 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.)

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

Jack Lewis. Ioannis Gerakitis.

Marathon runner, walker


Gerakitis was born in Kythera, Greece, and migrated to Australia in 1908. In Sydney he joined the New South Wales Sports Club's Gymnasium, before becoming a member of the Sydney Harriers, and amateur long distance running club based in Newtown.

In July 1909 he ran his first major race, billed as the Second Annual Open Race, from Parramatta to Sydney, which was later recognised as the first Marathon in Australia. Gerakitis finished third.

In 1910, Gerakitis took part in Queensland's first marathon, at the Australian Athletics Championships in Brisbane, and also in Victoria's first Marathon.

In 1911, Gerakitis joined the East Melbourne Harriers, (hence the EMH across his singlet), and entered Victoria's third Marathon, winning the event from a field of 34 starters, in a time of 2 hours, 59 minutes, and 30 seconds, just five minutes outside the Australian record, and twelve minutes outside the record at the time.

Selected to represent Australia in the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games, Gerakitis rejected nomination because he would have had to renounce his Greek citizenship, something he was unwilling to do.

In 1914, he broke the Australian record for the 50km walk.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Greek Australian Sports Hall of fame.


For more detailed biographies, supplied by Hugh Gilchrist, and George Vardas, see other entries for Jack Lewis, in this Sporting Life section, and under People, subsection, High Achievers.

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 not the original photograph in Pinax.