submitted by Site Administrator on 10.12.2004
(President of the Greek Community in Brisbane)
This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" :
Mild-mannered, straightforward, gentlemanly, full of patriotic sentiments and an inexhaustible source of charity, Mr. Emmanuel Meimarakis is from the village of Kalesia, in the province of Malevesios in Crete. The positive features of purity, patriotism and philanthropy that are the ornament of the distinguished Greek of Brisbane, Emannuel Meimarakis are well known to all. Among the Greeks living in all of Queensland he has distinguished himself for his generosity towards every aim Ð be it national, of benefit to the whole community, lofty or sacred. This is why the Greek Community there, in recognition of his moral contribution and good deeds on behalf of the whole community, elected him as its President.
Arriving in Australia at the age of 23, on 28th April 1903, he found employ in the businesses of various Greek shopkeepers. Launching forth, however, under the impulse of the spirit of commerce and relying upon nothing but his love of hard work and activity, he established a shop in Brisbane, on the site of which there stands today the largest building of the entire city. In the midst of bitterness and deprivation, far from his relatives, far from his loved ones, with no protector, Mr. Meimarakis succeeded in acquiring a considerable amount of property in Brisbane. This consists, apart from other things, of four splendid shops that he very ably manages. We here show a photograph of one of them, situated at 170 Albert Street, Brisbane.
Such in a few words is the distinguished Greek from Crete, Mr. Emmanuel N. Meimarakis, who is surrounded by the love and admiration of his fellow Greeks in Brisbane.
This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" published in 1916 by John Comino. It is an important book as it was one of the first Greek books published in Australia for the Greeks back in the homeland. If they needed any more convincing of the golden opportunities awaiting them in Australia, it probably helped create interest amongst young Kytherians and other Greeks. Each of the men portrayed in the book paid for the honour, which, considering their reputation for thriftiness, must have made the decision a hard one for many a Kytherian.
The Kythera-Family.net team, with the support of the Nicolaus Aroney Trust and other generous sponsors, has undertaken to transcribe the entire book for the website and to translate it into English for the non-greek-speaking diaspora community. We hope to also produce a printed version of the translation of Life in Australia sometime in 2005.
For valuable information about the historical background of the publication of Life in Australia, please read the entry by Hugh Gilchrist I ZOI EN AFSTRALLIA in the History, General History section.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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