submitted by George Poulos on 10.04.2004
In 1923, Theodore Crithary, son of "Papa Vangelli" Crithary - longtime priest and schoolmaster of Karavas
(for photograph see Vintage Portraits/ People: Father Evangelos Crithary the priest of Karavas and his wife Stamatia (nee Panaretos)- posted by Alexandra Ermolaeff)
well-known Kytherian businessman, and member of the NSW Greek community, tried, without success, to bring together, the disunited Greeks of Sydney.
In response to this event, the Greek-Australian poet, Nicholas Kolios, wrote the following poem, in the Ethniki Salpinx, 8th August, 1923, p.3.
Mr T. Crithary Solved the Puzzle.
Wherever there are four Greeks, there are five ways of doing things,
and whoever unites the Greeks deserves a monument.
It’s easier to blend wine with vinegar
or to see a pear growing on an orange-tree.
Many threads make ropes to pull a ship with,
twigs together are rigid, though seperately they bend.
Only unity will bring us progress.
Does not one hand always wash the other?
(A very apt poem which emphasises the power of/need for Hellenic unity.)
There are 5 Greek-Kytherian sayings heaped together in this one poem.
The latter - "ena heri pleni to allo" -"one hand washes the other" - I heard used many times growing up as a young Kytherian Australian - to emphasise the power/need of/for co-operation.
It gives the lie to the Zen koan about the "sound of one hand clapping."
Mr Theo Crithary solved the puzzle......indeed.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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