submitted by Site Administrator on 30.12.2004
(The oldest Greek of Australia and still living)
This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" :
The large and attractive inland country town of Parkes, in New South Wales, is linked by rail to Sydney, from which it is about four miles distant. Here there is a paddock where milk-producing cows of Australia graze on abundant pasturage. These, together with a small residence, built of wood, constitute the rural property of Mr. Konstantinos I. Argyropoulos, who is already an elderly man and who hails from Sikinos.
An Australian lady, now 80 years old, has been his spouse since 1854, the time when Konstantinos Argyropoulos came to Australia, in search of wealth, whilst she came from England to seek a spouse. At that period, many sailing ships, on a stormy trip lasting four months, would bring women and children and the poor from England to settle in Australia, where gold was to be found. It was through one of these trips that the pair, who travelled together quite by chance, came to Australia. Struck by the arrows of love during the course of the journey, they ventured on the holy sacrament of marriage and then had three children, Matthaios, Markos and Konstantinos.
Mr. Argyropoulos, although elderly, having been born in 1828, is still in full and lively possession of his senses and has not abandoned his rural work and diet.
Mr. Argyropoulos raised his three sons, the youngest of whom is fifty, most carefully at a Greek school in Smyrna.
All of his sons are married to English women and have children who are now above 20 years old. Despite the lack of a Greek school in Australia, Mr. Argyropoulos gave them a thoroughly Greek upbringing.
The whole family of Mr. Argyropoulos are believers in the Eastern Orthodox Church, which shows once and for all the unwavering persistence of the Greek in the faith of his fathers.
Mr. Argyropoulos has been repeatedly elected mayor of this attractive country town and its attractive appearance is due above all to him.
All the sons and relations of Mr. Argyropoulos have been established for 40 years in this country town, where they possess considerable amounts of real estate and an establishment selling agricultural tools.
His trade name is M.C. Fisher, known to all in its English form.
Such in brief, is the sketch of the elderly Konstantinos Argyropoulos and the activities of his successors in Australia, who enjoy the greatest esteem and liking, something which honours the Greek name in this remote corner of Australia.
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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