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History > Photography

submitted by Karen Cominos on 17.05.2006

Guenette Luc Charles

 

History > Photography

submitted by Karen Cominos on 17.05.2006

Ginocchi Jillian Francesca

 

History > Photography

submitted by Karen Cominos on 17.05.2006

Panagopoulos Francis James

 

History > Photography

submitted by Karen Cominos on 17.05.2006

Cominos Gerald Anne

 

History > Photography

submitted by Vassilia Corones on 13.05.2006

Corones and Ryan.

Commissioner Ryan and Harry Corones after a shooting exhibition in the courtyard of the Corones Hotel, Charleville.

History > Photography

submitted by George Poulos on 12.05.2006

The Theos Liquor Logo.

A logo made famous throughout Australia by premier Kytherian businessman, Theo Karedis.

Theo Karedis. Notable Kytherian

History > Photography

submitted by George Poulos on 12.05.2006

Theo Karedis

Prominent Kytherian businessman.

Founder of Theos Liquor.

Theo Karedis. Notable Kytherian

History > Photography

submitted by George Poulos on 12.05.2006

Theos Liquor Logo. And the man behind the logo. Theo Karedis.

In very few Australian businesses has the person behind the store - become the face of advertising for that store. Examples in Australia include, Dick Smith.

Theo's logo joins that of Andronicus, and Poulos Fish, as recognizable "Kytherian" logos in Australia.

Theo Karedis. Notable Kytherian

History > Photography

submitted by Dean Coroneos on 11.05.2006

Advertisement for Vaucluse Ocean Foods.

669 Old South Head Road
Vaucluse 2030
[cnr, Oceanview Avenue]

02 9337 3082

Owned by the Kastrissios family from Livathi.

There has always been a strong Kytherian presence in the small "village-style" shopping centre at Rose Bay North.

Rose Bay North is the intersection point of the suburbs of Vaucluse, Dover Heights, and Rose Bay.

Peter Kosmas Sourry i Kotsifos and his brother-in law, Alexander Andrew Coroneo i Psomas ("Alec") operated the Kings Theatre there, from 1946-1958.

Kings Theatre, North Rose Bay, mid-1950's, with its Kytherian owners

Peter Cassimaty operated a pharmacy there for decades.

Peter Cassimaty

Peter Cassimatys' Rose Bay North Pharmacy

The Feros sisters, Tina and Toula have operated a hair dressing salon there for many years.

Hairbiz, Rose Bay North

History > Photography

submitted by Dean Coroneos on 11.05.2006

Vaucluse Ocean Foods

Owned by the Kastrissios family from Livathi.

669 Old South Head Road
Vaucluse 2030
[cnr, Oceanview Avenue]

02 9337 3082

There has always been a strong Kytherian presence in the small "village-style" shopping centre at Rose Bay North.

Rose Bay North is the intersection point of the suburbs of Vaucluse, Dover Heights, and Rose Bay.

Peter Kosmas Sourry i Kotsifos and his brother-in law, Alexander Andrew Coroneo i Psomas ("Alec") operated the Kings Theatre there, from 1946-1958.

Kings Theatre, North Rose Bay, mid-1950's, with its Kytherian owners

Peter Cassimaty operated a pharmacy there for decades.

Peter Cassimaty

The Feros sisters, Tina and Toula have operated a hair dressing salon there for many years.

Hairbiz, Rose Bay North

History > Photography

submitted by Kytherian Newsflash on 10.05.2006

Kythera

Author: Chadjidimitriou Tzeli
When Published: 2000, 2001
Publisher: Crete University Press
Available:
http://www.cup.gr/en/catalogue/book.asp?bookID=269
Description:22x26 cm, 112 pg, colored
ISBN: 960-524-119-6

KYTHERA

Bilingual edition (Greek, English)

Pictures and views of the sea. The waters and the ruins – signs of a long-gone human presence, which measured itself with myth and reality, faced the elements of nature, created, and then abandoned… The human presence dominates, by conscious design of the photographer.

“Kythera” magnetically draw the photographic lens to those moments of nature and light which give off silence. The book is in search of the soul of the island, it stops at local history, going through travellers’ writings and monks’ chronicles, it persistently demands to bring the true island to the surface.

«Elle vient, elle approche, elle glisse amoureusement sur les flots divins qui ont donné le jour à Cythérée... Mais que dis-je ? devant nous, là-bas, à l'horizon, cette côte vermeille, ces collines empourprées qui semblent des nuages, c'est l'île même de Vénus, c'est l'antique Cythère aux rochers de porphyre : ??????? ?????????? ... ... Aujourd'hui cette île s'appelle Cérigo, et appartient aux Anglais.». This extract from a text by Gerard de Nerval gives the tone of Tzelli Chatzidimitriou’s photographic choices: Cerigo with its ‘caves where the waves dive in stormy weather”, the ‘deserted look of the coastline’, the ruined walls of abandoned houses, the ‘small church of Mertidia” from which ‘the so-called Algerian pirates seized everything they could’.

The book is a result of Tzelli’s exciting acquaintance with Kythera. Her excursion to untrodden parts of the island, where history has remained graven on the stone walls and the remote beaches, away from the influence of modern life, have shown her the way to the untouched soul of Kythera. The winter with the strong winds, the spring in Karavas and in Mitata create images which meet together with the half-erased wall paintings of the churches. Beside them, unique architectural forms and unforgettable views. And above all, the colours of the sea and the rocks, hidden beaches, sea caves, a deep blue, and the foam of the sea, pure white, gives birth to Aphrodite and brings the myth to back to life.

The travellers’ texts and the monks’ chronicles allow the reader to imagine Gerard de Nerval’s voyage, to learn about the shipreck of the Mentor and the French revolution through the everyday life of the local inhabitants of the period. The music of Marisa Koch, the prologue to this book, surrounds the images like the clouds which cover the island in order to hide Aphrodite’s nudity and her secret loves. “Fata Morgana”, Nikos Kavvadias’ mirage and the exciting setting to music by Marisa Koch lead the reader on to the eternal myth of Kythera.

History > Photography

submitted by Karavitiko Symposium, Sydney on 10.05.2006

Karavas. History of the Birth of the Town.

From the Kythiraika, Newspaper.

Editor: Manolis P Kalligeros

210 - 9827436

Fax: 210 - 9885982

Contact Kythiraika, Newspaper, Athens here

April, 1998 Edition. Page 8.

Language: Greek.

History > Photography

submitted by Odyssey Magazine on 10.05.2006

Glytsos family. Photo from Jennie Vlanton's collection of family photo's.

By, Jennie Vlanton

Homecomings section, Odyssey Magazine.

May/June 2006 Odyysey, pp.102-103

http://www.odyssey.gr/

Jeonie Vlanton, a retired public school teacher, lives with her husband Elias in Kent, Ohio. Married in 1947, they have two children [both educators] and six grand-children. Jennie is a member of teh Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in ­Akron. Ohio. For more of her stories about growing up Greek-and-American in St. Louis, Missouri, visit Jennie's website at

http://www.vlanton.com/


As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Ceri­As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Cerigo, (modern-day Kythera). My parents were both born and raised in Smyrna. Asia Minor, and yet I recall my mother telling my sister and brothers and me that her family had originally come to Smyrna trom Cerigo. Her maiden name had been Glitsos. Those facts intrigued me. Wnat was this place called Cerigo? Where was it? Would I ever be able to find and visit the village of my ancestors on Cerigo?

My parents had friends who were Smyrniotes. and some who were Cerigotes, from the island of Cergo, but that had no significance for me.

After teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools for thirty years I retired from that profession. Then in my early seventies, a decision was made in the summer of 1995, for my husband Elias and I to take another trip to Greece. This would be our third trip there, and it was always an invigorating experience to visit family, and see the glories of ancient Greece. We would have with us our grandchildren Joanna and Elias. Joanna was going to Thessaloniki for a semester to attend Anatolia College. Added to the pleasure of our trip, we would meet up with our son Elias with his wife Jane and son Ari, also there.

In making our plans for our trip to Greece. I be­gan to think about Cerigo. Again, where was it? Af­ter a little research, and help from my son who was able to get me several books, in English and in Greek, I learned Cerigo was one of the Greek lonian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. I also learned that the name Cerigo is Venetian. From roughly the year 1207 to the year 1797, the island was mainly under Venetian rule. After 1797. for short periods of occupation, Cerigo was under French. and then Turkish rule. In 1814, the island officially came un­der the protection of Great Britain. Finally. in 1864, Cerigo was ceded to Greece, and the island re­ceived the Greek name of Kythera.

Oftentimes I had thought that it would be inter­esting to visit Cerigo. The only family information my mother recalled was that her grandfather had been a priest in Smyrna. but never mentioning when, or how many generations before, the first Cerigoti ancestor had come to Smyrna. It was obvi­ous no one had that information either. My mother said that the family name was not originally Glitsos. However, she had been told by family members the name Glitsos derived from a natural occurrence in the area. something about water. some kind of water. She used the term glikó pigathi (translated into well of sweet water), that would be the clue, our key to solve the family mystery.

I went back to studying the books carefully, and I discovered that today there were two villages with Glitsos inhabitants. One of the passages mentioned a village called Dokana. It said it was unknown why the village received that name, but that the first res­idents had the surname of Glitsos, since the days of the priest Gregory Logotheti about the year 1797.

How Dokana got its name?

The other village that mentioned Glitsos resi­dents was Kipriotianika. The book explained that the village was first called Thrimonari, taking its name from the topography of the area It originally had residents from the island of Cyprus, and later residents with the name of Glitsos arrived. Armed with this information, and a map of the island of Cerigo. I felt we were ready to discover my Cerigo Kytherian roots.

[Ed - there are numerous other entries about members of the Glytsos family at kythera-family. Search under Glytsos.]

This seemed like an adventure finally coming true! I was excited. and so was the rest of our group Arriving. we headed for the village of Pota­mos, which was to be our base. I was immediately delighted and enchanted by it. The village held a warmth, charm and happiness for me.

Our pension was an old building that been renovated and remodeled a few years before. From the street we entered a courtyard that had chairs and several tables with umbrellas. There was a whitewashed wall shelding the patio from the street, about eight feet high.

The pension was a short walk to the village center, less than half a city block. There was a cov­ered pavilion, with tables and chairs for dining there. We had most of our meals there, unless our son drove our group to a restaurant in another village A charming church was situated by the pavil­ion, and we were surprised to see women we had seen a few days before in their work clothes. barely recognizable, a complete transformation, to b wearing their Sunday best, attending Sunday serv­ices. Cars were parked and lined on both sides of tne pavilion. Small stores, a bakery, a restaurant, a grocery store, the post office, and the ever-present coffeehouse were located on one side of the street. Everywhere we went, everyone we met, were ex­tremely friendly and courteous, like old friends.

Ever-adventurous, snce son Elias had the rented car, he was able to take Jane and the children sightseeing to many parts of the island. They gladly went sightseeing, to the capital of Kythera, called Hora; also to a nearby castle, among other places. I chose not to go with them. I didn’t want any distraction to keep me from my mission; to find the village of my Kyther.an roots.

Since we were unfamiliar with the island. we needed a guide to help us maneuver the various paths to achieve our goal. We were fortunate that we had made the acquaintance of Theodoros, who was very familiar with the island of Kythera . He had formerly had the job of refuse collector for the whole island. His job involved driving a tractor, col­lecting the trash. He knew practically everyone on the island. I was elated. I hoped he might know someone living there by the name Glitsos.

The day came when I was to begin my search to find my Kytherian roots I was very excited Could it be, after all those years, I would find the ancestral home of the Glitsos family? Would there still be the glifd pigathi after all those years? Would anyone recognize such a water well existed in this modern day? If I did find any Glitsos native, I reasoned I would start my search by asking if certain names sounded familiar; Kosta and Yanni. My mothers fa­ther, my grandfather. was named Kosta. He bad named his first born son Yanni. I reasoned that must have been the name of Kosta s father, if Kos­ta followed Greek tradition in naming his first-born son after his own father.

My search for my Glitsos ancestry started on a day when the sun was shining, beautiful summer weather. a good omen for me. My son Elias was going to drive us; Theodoros, our guide, my hus­band Elias and me We were to start first in the vil­lage of Kyprianika.

The village of Kyprianika was almost deserted, it had about seven inhabitants in all. We asked one man we met for directions. He directed us to a man named Stelios, across the street from where we were. The stranger invited my husband to sit out­side in the front of his home. in the shade. The man showed typical Greek hospitality, offering my hus­band a drink; he accepted ouzo. while his host drank whiskey In the meantime, Stelios. whose
home we had been directed to. wel­comed us into his home It was very neat and clean Stelios was a widower. He had been watch­ing a program on the television He informed me there was no glifo pigdthi in that village. He could not make any connection with the names of Kosta and Yanni, although he did mention that he knew of a Kosta Glyson [Glitsos], who had a brother. George Glyson, living in Australia He mentioned that the young people did not stay in the village, so many left searching for opportunities elsewhere, Aus­tralia being a popular choice. Of course, this was a temporary dead-end in my quest.

The search for the Glitsos relatives continued when we drove to the village of Dokana. Theodor­os took us to see a woman whom he knew whose maiden name had been Glitsos. She was a very kind sympathetic woman. She couldn’t help us, but directed us to another house, where an­other couple by the name of Glitsos lived. Theodoros took us there.

I was carrying a large white envelope with me, with all my notes and information. When the gentleman came to the door to speak to us, he noticed my envelope. I told him I was from Ameri­ca. When I inquired about the Glitsos family. his immediate reply was to ask me if I was going to file a claim of inheritance. I was astonished. I said no. I was just trying to trace the origin of my fami­ly By this time. we nad moved to the street, in front of his house.

I asked him if there was a glifb pigathi in the area. He resoonded by saying. and waving his arms, ' Yes, yes we have several wells of gltfo nero'. At that moment, I knew that the two words my mother had repeated so often, glifo pigàthi, were enough to help me find my Kytherian roots.

However, connecting the names Kosta and Yanni, and establishing the number of years before that the family had been in Kythera would prove to be more difficult. Our informant directed us to the home of Alecos Glitsos. We found the house, and Alecos insisted we go into his home, because by then the day was getting much warmer. Alecos had been a farmer but self-educated He was a gracious host, and insisted on serving us the tradi­tional glass of water with a teaspoonful of vanilla in the glass. In a cabinet in his living room. there was a copy of Gone With the Wind in Greek.

Alecos had a brother named Kosta but there was no Yanni in their family. He could not make a connection of the two names Kosta and Yanni.

An unexpected development in Dokana was tne discovery of the Glitsos mansion. We drove a short distance there, and saw it. It was a rural man­sion, that in the days it was built was used for summer vacations and for the control and gather­ing of the produce from the noble's fields. It had a fortress-like character. The main house had a rec­tangular floor plan, with walls that appeared thicker at the base. There was a large courtyard with out­buildings. enclosed by a high wall. The outside of the mansion looked very well taken care of. I was speechless. I never anticipated an ancestor of mine, on a small island, could have achieved so much to have built such a home.

We left the village of Dokana and headed for Potamos to take Theodoros home. I thanked him for being such a good guide in helping me in my search of the Glitsos family. I couldn’t believe there were so many people who had the surname of Glitsos. It certainly was not a common name in the United States. I had never met anyone in America with that name who wasnt a relative.

I felt we had finally achieved my dream. I had found my Kytherian roots. Cerigo was a wonderful dream come true. I am eternally grateful to my son Elias for his invaluable help and patience to make my dream come true.

History > Photography

submitted by Odyssey Magazine on 10.05.2006

Elias Vlanton and Elias Vlanton Jnr, in Potamos.

By, Jennie Vlanton

Homecomings section, Odyssey Magazine.

May/June 2006 Odyysey, pp.102-103

http://www.odyssey.gr/

Jeonie Vlanton, a retired public school teacher, lives with her husband Elias in Kent, Ohio. Married in 1947, they have two children [both educators] and six grand-children. Jennie is a member of teh Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in ­Akron. Ohio. For more of her stories about growing up Greek-and-American in St. Louis, Missouri, visit Jennie's website at

http://www.vlanton.com/


As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Ceri­As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Cerigo, (modern-day Kythera). My parents were both born and raised in Smyrna. Asia Minor, and yet I recall my mother telling my sister and brothers and me that her family had originally come to Smyrna trom Cerigo. Her maiden name had been Glitsos. Those facts intrigued me. Wnat was this place called Cerigo? Where was it? Would I ever be able to find and visit the village of my ancestors on Cerigo?

My parents had friends who were Smyrniotes. and some who were Cerigotes, from the island of Cergo, but that had no significance for me.

After teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools for thirty years I retired from that profession. Then in my early seventies, a decision was made in the summer of 1995, for my husband Elias and I to take another trip to Greece. This would be our third trip there, and it was always an invigorating experience to visit family, and see the glories of ancient Greece. We would have with us our grandchildren Joanna and Elias. Joanna was going to Thessaloniki for a semester to attend Anatolia College. Added to the pleasure of our trip, we would meet up with our son Elias with his wife Jane and son Ari, also there.

In making our plans for our trip to Greece. I be­gan to think about Cerigo. Again, where was it? Af­ter a little research, and help from my son who was able to get me several books, in English and in Greek, I learned Cerigo was one of the Greek lonian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. I also learned that the name Cerigo is Venetian. From roughly the year 1207 to the year 1797, the island was mainly under Venetian rule. After 1797. for short periods of occupation, Cerigo was under French. and then Turkish rule. In 1814, the island officially came un­der the protection of Great Britain. Finally. in 1864, Cerigo was ceded to Greece, and the island re­ceived the Greek name of Kythera.

Oftentimes I had thought that it would be inter­esting to visit Cerigo. The only family information my mother recalled was that her grandfather had been a priest in Smyrna. but never mentioning when, or how many generations before, the first Cerigoti ancestor had come to Smyrna. It was obvi­ous no one had that information either. My mother said that the family name was not originally Glitsos. However, she had been told by family members the name Glitsos derived from a natural occurrence in the area. something about water. some kind of water. She used the term glikó pigathi (translated into well of sweet water), that would be the clue, our key to solve the family mystery.

I went back to studying the books carefully, and I discovered that today there were two villages with Glitsos inhabitants. One of the passages mentioned a village called Dokana. It said it was unknown why the village received that name, but that the first res­idents had the surname of Glitsos, since the days of the priest Gregory Logotheti about the year 1797.

How Dokana got its name?

The other village that mentioned Glitsos resi­dents was Kipriotianika. The book explained that the village was first called Thrimonari, taking its name from the topography of the area It originally had residents from the island of Cyprus, and later residents with the name of Glitsos arrived. Armed with this information, and a map of the island of Cerigo. I felt we were ready to discover my Cerigo Kytherian roots.

[Ed - there are numerous other entries about members of the Glytsos family at kythera-family. Search under Glytsos.]

This seemed like an adventure finally coming true! I was excited. and so was the rest of our group Arriving. we headed for the village of Pota­mos, which was to be our base. I was immediately delighted and enchanted by it. The village held a warmth, charm and happiness for me.

Our pension was an old building that been renovated and remodeled a few years before. From the street we entered a courtyard that had chairs and several tables with umbrellas. There was a whitewashed wall shelding the patio from the street, about eight feet high.

The pension was a short walk to the village center, less than half a city block. There was a cov­ered pavilion, with tables and chairs for dining there. We had most of our meals there, unless our son drove our group to a restaurant in another village A charming church was situated by the pavil­ion, and we were surprised to see women we had seen a few days before in their work clothes. barely recognizable, a complete transformation, to b wearing their Sunday best, attending Sunday serv­ices. Cars were parked and lined on both sides of tne pavilion. Small stores, a bakery, a restaurant, a grocery store, the post office, and the ever-present coffeehouse were located on one side of the street. Everywhere we went, everyone we met, were ex­tremely friendly and courteous, like old friends.

Ever-adventurous, snce son Elias had the rented car, he was able to take Jane and the children sightseeing to many parts of the island. They gladly went sightseeing, to the capital of Kythera, called Hora; also to a nearby castle, among other places. I chose not to go with them. I didn’t want any distraction to keep me from my mission; to find the village of my Kyther.an roots.

Since we were unfamiliar with the island. we needed a guide to help us maneuver the various paths to achieve our goal. We were fortunate that we had made the acquaintance of Theodoros, who was very familiar with the island of Kythera . He had formerly had the job of refuse collector for the whole island. His job involved driving a tractor, col­lecting the trash. He knew practically everyone on the island. I was elated. I hoped he might know someone living there by the name Glitsos.

The day came when I was to begin my search to find my Kytherian roots I was very excited Could it be, after all those years, I would find the ancestral home of the Glitsos family? Would there still be the glifd pigathi after all those years? Would anyone recognize such a water well existed in this modern day? If I did find any Glitsos native, I reasoned I would start my search by asking if certain names sounded familiar; Kosta and Yanni. My mothers fa­ther, my grandfather. was named Kosta. He bad named his first born son Yanni. I reasoned that must have been the name of Kosta s father, if Kos­ta followed Greek tradition in naming his first-born son after his own father.

My search for my Glitsos ancestry started on a day when the sun was shining, beautiful summer weather. a good omen for me. My son Elias was going to drive us; Theodoros, our guide, my hus­band Elias and me We were to start first in the vil­lage of Kyprianika.

The village of Kyprianika was almost deserted, it had about seven inhabitants in all. We asked one man we met for directions. He directed us to a man named Stelios, across the street from where we were. The stranger invited my husband to sit out­side in the front of his home. in the shade. The man showed typical Greek hospitality, offering my hus­band a drink; he accepted ouzo. while his host drank whiskey In the meantime, Stelios. whose
home we had been directed to. wel­comed us into his home It was very neat and clean Stelios was a widower. He had been watch­ing a program on the television He informed me there was no glifo pigdthi in that village. He could not make any connection with the names of Kosta and Yanni, although he did mention that he knew of a Kosta Glyson [Glitsos], who had a brother. George Glyson, living in Australia He mentioned that the young people did not stay in the village, so many left searching for opportunities elsewhere, Aus­tralia being a popular choice. Of course, this was a temporary dead-end in my quest.

The search for the Glitsos relatives continued when we drove to the village of Dokana. Theodor­os took us to see a woman whom he knew whose maiden name had been Glitsos. She was a very kind sympathetic woman. She couldn’t help us, but directed us to another house, where an­other couple by the name of Glitsos lived. Theodoros took us there.

I was carrying a large white envelope with me, with all my notes and information. When the gentleman came to the door to speak to us, he noticed my envelope. I told him I was from Ameri­ca. When I inquired about the Glitsos family. his immediate reply was to ask me if I was going to file a claim of inheritance. I was astonished. I said no. I was just trying to trace the origin of my fami­ly By this time. we nad moved to the street, in front of his house.

I asked him if there was a glifb pigathi in the area. He resoonded by saying. and waving his arms, ' Yes, yes we have several wells of gltfo nero'. At that moment, I knew that the two words my mother had repeated so often, glifo pigàthi, were enough to help me find my Kytherian roots.

However, connecting the names Kosta and Yanni, and establishing the number of years before that the family had been in Kythera would prove to be more difficult. Our informant directed us to the home of Alecos Glitsos. We found the house, and Alecos insisted we go into his home, because by then the day was getting much warmer. Alecos had been a farmer but self-educated He was a gracious host, and insisted on serving us the tradi­tional glass of water with a teaspoonful of vanilla in the glass. In a cabinet in his living room. there was a copy of Gone With the Wind in Greek.

Alecos had a brother named Kosta but there was no Yanni in their family. He could not make a connection of the two names Kosta and Yanni.

An unexpected development in Dokana was tne discovery of the Glitsos mansion. We drove a short distance there, and saw it. It was a rural man­sion, that in the days it was built was used for summer vacations and for the control and gather­ing of the produce from the noble's fields. It had a fortress-like character. The main house had a rec­tangular floor plan, with walls that appeared thicker at the base. There was a large courtyard with out­buildings. enclosed by a high wall. The outside of the mansion looked very well taken care of. I was speechless. I never anticipated an ancestor of mine, on a small island, could have achieved so much to have built such a home.

We left the village of Dokana and headed for Potamos to take Theodoros home. I thanked him for being such a good guide in helping me in my search of the Glitsos family. I couldn’t believe there were so many people who had the surname of Glitsos. It certainly was not a common name in the United States. I had never met anyone in America with that name who wasnt a relative.

I felt we had finally achieved my dream. I had found my Kytherian roots. Cerigo was a wonderful dream come true. I am eternally grateful to my son Elias for his invaluable help and patience to make my dream come true.

History > Photography

submitted by Odyssey Magazine on 10.05.2006

Jennie Vlanton in Dokana.

By, Jennie Vlanton

Homecomings section, Odyssey Magazine.

May/June 2006 Odyysey, pp.102-103

http://www.odyssey.gr/

Jeonie Vlanton, a retired public school teacher, lives with her husband Elias in Kent, Ohio. Married in 1947, they have two children [both educators] and six grand-children. Jennie is a member of teh Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in ­Akron. Ohio. For more of her stories about growing up Greek-and-American in St. Louis, Missouri, visit Jennie's website at

http://www.vlanton.com/


As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Ceri­As far back as I can recall, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and as a child until I became an adult, I heard about a place called Cerigo, (modern-day Kythera). My parents were both born and raised in Smyrna. Asia Minor, and yet I recall my mother telling my sister and brothers and me that her family had originally come to Smyrna trom Cerigo. Her maiden name had been Glitsos. Those facts intrigued me. Wnat was this place called Cerigo? Where was it? Would I ever be able to find and visit the village of my ancestors on Cerigo?

My parents had friends who were Smyrniotes. and some who were Cerigotes, from the island of Cergo, but that had no significance for me.

After teaching in the St. Louis Public Schools for thirty years I retired from that profession. Then in my early seventies, a decision was made in the summer of 1995, for my husband Elias and I to take another trip to Greece. This would be our third trip there, and it was always an invigorating experience to visit family, and see the glories of ancient Greece. We would have with us our grandchildren Joanna and Elias. Joanna was going to Thessaloniki for a semester to attend Anatolia College. Added to the pleasure of our trip, we would meet up with our son Elias with his wife Jane and son Ari, also there.

In making our plans for our trip to Greece. I be­gan to think about Cerigo. Again, where was it? Af­ter a little research, and help from my son who was able to get me several books, in English and in Greek, I learned Cerigo was one of the Greek lonian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. I also learned that the name Cerigo is Venetian. From roughly the year 1207 to the year 1797, the island was mainly under Venetian rule. After 1797. for short periods of occupation, Cerigo was under French. and then Turkish rule. In 1814, the island officially came un­der the protection of Great Britain. Finally. in 1864, Cerigo was ceded to Greece, and the island re­ceived the Greek name of Kythera.

Oftentimes I had thought that it would be inter­esting to visit Cerigo. The only family information my mother recalled was that her grandfather had been a priest in Smyrna. but never mentioning when, or how many generations before, the first Cerigoti ancestor had come to Smyrna. It was obvi­ous no one had that information either. My mother said that the family name was not originally Glitsos. However, she had been told by family members the name Glitsos derived from a natural occurrence in the area. something about water. some kind of water. She used the term glikó pigathi (translated into well of sweet water), that would be the clue, our key to solve the family mystery.

I went back to studying the books carefully, and I discovered that today there were two villages with Glitsos inhabitants. One of the passages mentioned a village called Dokana. It said it was unknown why the village received that name, but that the first res­idents had the surname of Glitsos, since the days of the priest Gregory Logotheti about the year 1797.

How Dokana got its name?

The other village that mentioned Glitsos resi­dents was Kipriotianika. The book explained that the village was first called Thrimonari, taking its name from the topography of the area It originally had residents from the island of Cyprus, and later residents with the name of Glitsos arrived. Armed with this information, and a map of the island of Cerigo. I felt we were ready to discover my Cerigo Kytherian roots.

[Ed - there are numerous other entries about members of the Glytsos family at kythera-family. Search under Glytsos.]

This seemed like an adventure finally coming true! I was excited. and so was the rest of our group Arriving. we headed for the village of Pota­mos, which was to be our base. I was immediately delighted and enchanted by it. The village held a warmth, charm and happiness for me.

Our pension was an old building that been renovated and remodeled a few years before. From the street we entered a courtyard that had chairs and several tables with umbrellas. There was a whitewashed wall shelding the patio from the street, about eight feet high.

The pension was a short walk to the village center, less than half a city block. There was a cov­ered pavilion, with tables and chairs for dining there. We had most of our meals there, unless our son drove our group to a restaurant in another village A charming church was situated by the pavil­ion, and we were surprised to see women we had seen a few days before in their work clothes. barely recognizable, a complete transformation, to b wearing their Sunday best, attending Sunday serv­ices. Cars were parked and lined on both sides of tne pavilion. Small stores, a bakery, a restaurant, a grocery store, the post office, and the ever-present coffeehouse were located on one side of the street. Everywhere we went, everyone we met, were ex­tremely friendly and courteous, like old friends.

Ever-adventurous, snce son Elias had the rented car, he was able to take Jane and the children sightseeing to many parts of the island. They gladly went sightseeing, to the capital of Kythera, called Hora; also to a nearby castle, among other places. I chose not to go with them. I didn’t want any distraction to keep me from my mission; to find the village of my Kyther.an roots.

Since we were unfamiliar with the island. we needed a guide to help us maneuver the various paths to achieve our goal. We were fortunate that we had made the acquaintance of Theodoros, who was very familiar with the island of Kythera . He had formerly had the job of refuse collector for the whole island. His job involved driving a tractor, col­lecting the trash. He knew practically everyone on the island. I was elated. I hoped he might know someone living there by the name Glitsos.

The day came when I was to begin my search to find my Kytherian roots I was very excited Could it be, after all those years, I would find the ancestral home of the Glitsos family? Would there still be the glifd pigathi after all those years? Would anyone recognize such a water well existed in this modern day? If I did find any Glitsos native, I reasoned I would start my search by asking if certain names sounded familiar; Kosta and Yanni. My mothers fa­ther, my grandfather. was named Kosta. He bad named his first born son Yanni. I reasoned that must have been the name of Kosta s father, if Kos­ta followed Greek tradition in naming his first-born son after his own father.

My search for my Glitsos ancestry started on a day when the sun was shining, beautiful summer weather. a good omen for me. My son Elias was going to drive us; Theodoros, our guide, my hus­band Elias and me We were to start first in the vil­lage of Kyprianika.

The village of Kyprianika was almost deserted, it had about seven inhabitants in all. We asked one man we met for directions. He directed us to a man named Stelios, across the street from where we were. The stranger invited my husband to sit out­side in the front of his home. in the shade. The man showed typical Greek hospitality, offering my hus­band a drink; he accepted ouzo. while his host drank whiskey In the meantime, Stelios. whose
home we had been directed to. wel­comed us into his home It was very neat and clean Stelios was a widower. He had been watch­ing a program on the television He informed me there was no glifo pigdthi in that village. He could not make any connection with the names of Kosta and Yanni, although he did mention that he knew of a Kosta Glyson [Glitsos], who had a brother. George Glyson, living in Australia He mentioned that the young people did not stay in the village, so many left searching for opportunities elsewhere, Aus­tralia being a popular choice. Of course, this was a temporary dead-end in my quest.

The search for the Glitsos relatives continued when we drove to the village of Dokana. Theodor­os took us to see a woman whom he knew whose maiden name had been Glitsos. She was a very kind sympathetic woman. She couldn’t help us, but directed us to another house, where an­other couple by the name of Glitsos lived. Theodoros took us there.

I was carrying a large white envelope with me, with all my notes and information. When the gentleman came to the door to speak to us, he noticed my envelope. I told him I was from Ameri­ca. When I inquired about the Glitsos family. his immediate reply was to ask me if I was going to file a claim of inheritance. I was astonished. I said no. I was just trying to trace the origin of my fami­ly By this time. we nad moved to the street, in front of his house.

I asked him if there was a glifb pigathi in the area. He resoonded by saying. and waving his arms, ' Yes, yes we have several wells of gltfo nero'. At that moment, I knew that the two words my mother had repeated so often, glifo pigàthi, were enough to help me find my Kytherian roots.

However, connecting the names Kosta and Yanni, and establishing the number of years before that the family had been in Kythera would prove to be more difficult. Our informant directed us to the home of Alecos Glitsos. We found the house, and Alecos insisted we go into his home, because by then the day was getting much warmer. Alecos had been a farmer but self-educated He was a gracious host, and insisted on serving us the tradi­tional glass of water with a teaspoonful of vanilla in the glass. In a cabinet in his living room. there was a copy of Gone With the Wind in Greek.

Alecos had a brother named Kosta but there was no Yanni in their family. He could not make a connection of the two names Kosta and Yanni.

An unexpected development in Dokana was tne discovery of the Glitsos mansion. We drove a short distance there, and saw it. It was a rural man­sion, that in the days it was built was used for summer vacations and for the control and gather­ing of the produce from the noble's fields. It had a fortress-like character. The main house had a rec­tangular floor plan, with walls that appeared thicker at the base. There was a large courtyard with out­buildings. enclosed by a high wall. The outside of the mansion looked very well taken care of. I was speechless. I never anticipated an ancestor of mine, on a small island, could have achieved so much to have built such a home.

We left the village of Dokana and headed for Potamos to take Theodoros home. I thanked him for being such a good guide in helping me in my search of the Glitsos family. I couldn’t believe there were so many people who had the surname of Glitsos. It certainly was not a common name in the United States. I had never met anyone in America with that name who wasnt a relative.

I felt we had finally achieved my dream. I had found my Kytherian roots. Cerigo was a wonderful dream come true. I am eternally grateful to my son Elias for his invaluable help and patience to make my dream come true.

History > Photography

submitted by Peter Vanges on 09.05.2006

Emmanuel Kritharis. Death Certificate.

The First Kytherian Immigrant to Australia.

The ‘First Kytherian’ Question

First Published in The Greek Australian Vema, April 2006. pages 10/28 and 11/29.


Peter Vanges is author of Kythera. A History.

Kythera. A History. Details.

He was a long standing Committeeman of the then Kytherian Brotherhood of Australia, (11 years), serving 6 of those years as President.

Kytherian Association of Australia

When in 1916, the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” was printed in Greek, in Sydney, the name and only a few details about Emmanuel Kritharis were mentioned on page 293, that included the wrong year of his death, a reference of his being in Australia since 1854 and some information of his very substantial donation to the Greek war effort. No other details were reported that could assist us in our original research in order to establish, with certainty, who was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. We must remember that this book was published only three years after Kritharis’ death and therefore this information is the result of first hand knowledge.

In 1957 Ioannis Kasimatis published in Greece, his book, on the history of Kythera, mentions on p. 192 that “In the year 1850 (the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia) was Emmanuel Kritharis.” The above information agrees with the reference in the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as the first alludes to his arrival in Australia, while the second to his departure from the island of Kythera. Unfortunately no proof or any documents were presented to confirm this claim. Strangely and without any justification in the previous few lines, Kasimatis mentions that “some decades ago the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia... was Athanasios Kominos”. Once again no other details or even the year of Kominos’ arrival is given in support of this claim. Official records, however, tell us that Athanasios Cominos ( Kominos) arrived in Sydney in 1873, almost twenty years after Emmanuel Kritharis.

Later in 1992, Hugh Gilchrist (Australians and Greeks, Vol. 1, p. 209) mentions... “another Kythirian family was that of Kritharis. Emmanuel Kritharis, reputed to have arrived in 1854, was a solitary man who is said to have died in Sydney in 1912 after making a large donation to the Greek war effort”. Emmanuel Kritharis’ incorrect date of death is given but other names of the Kritharis family who came to Australia are mentioned, giving us a full picture of the migration of this clan.

In my book “Kythera a History” published in 1993 the same very limited information is given on page 253 about Emmanuel Kritharis. The claim of his being the first to arrive in Australia was brief but with a more definite tone, in full knowledge that further information was needed. Since then I have undertaken the task to find fresh information that would permit me to proclaim with surety, that Emmanuel Kritharis was the first Kytherian to have arrived in Australia.

The name of Jack Melitas is mentioned on page 44, in the book “A Shop Full of Dreams”, as the pioneer of Kytherian migration. As no documented evidence is put forward this claim was disregarded and I continued with my research. The first Kytherian to arrive in Australia by the name Melitas is mentioned on page 206 of the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as Demitrios Panagiotou Melitas who arrived in Sydney in 1903 at the young age of seventeen years old.

The Kytherian newspaper, “Kythiraiki Idea” in its publication of February 2003 under the title “Kytherians of the Diaspora ” mentions... “Some, claim that the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia was Emm. Kritharis who went there in 1850, the relevant bibliography however converge with the view that the first Kytherian ... was Athanasios Kominos who in 1875 at the age of 29 years arrived in that distant continent.”. Claims made in this article are completely unsupported and my research proves otherwise as no bibliography that we know has produced evidence to support this claim. It is regretful that “Kythiraiki Idea” even published a photo of Athanasios Kominos with the caption:.. “the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia”, when we know that he was not.

These are all the known “bibliographies” in reference to the question of the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. The insistence of a number of commentators and reporters in ignoring the name of Emmanuel Kritharis in favour of that of Athanasios Kominos, who as mentioned, arrived in Australia in 1873, presented to me the challenge to attempt, once and forall, to uncover undisputed evidence to support my original claim that Emmanuel Kritharis arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia.

To my surprise, the new information collected, revealed much more than was ever known before about Emmanuel Kritharis, that proves beyond reasonable doubt, he was the pioneer of Kytherian immigration to Australia. Written evidence of the exact date of his arrival in Australia has not been found. Yet, the new information uncovered further strengthens the claim, that Emmanuel Kritharis had arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first to reach this new continent down under.

Emmanuel Kritharis, according to his death certificate Number 2366, died on Sunday the 9th March 1913, aged 81, therefore he was born in Kythera in 1832. At a very young age, hunger and uncertainty, forced young Emmanuel to leave the island in search of a better life, not unlike so many others, who also made it to the shores of the new continent. After a long wait for the opportunity of a better life he boarded a vessel destined for the unknown continent of Australia. According to Ioannis Kasimatis, Kritharis left the island in the year 1850 and as mentioned in the book “ I Zoi en Afstralia” he arrived here in 1854.

The years between 1850-1854, were in most probability, spent in search of employment, or working anywhere he could, before the decision was made to seek his fortune in Australia, as rumors were running wild about discoveries of gold in N.S.W. and Victoria (1851). After a long, difficult and perilous voyage of many months he found himself possibly in the goldfields where young Emmanuel, soon, made his fortune. We know that as early as 1852, as many as thirty sailors had found their way to the goldfields of Australia. It is unfortunate that the records do not provide us with names or other details, so most of them will remain anonymous until further new information comes to hand.

For reasons unknown to us Kritharis moved to Mortdale N.S.W. in 1861 where he lived for the remainder of his life. We know, from a letter written on the 14th April 1902 to his brother Menas on the island, that Emmanuel Kritharis lived in the area of Mortdale, in George Street, not far from Sydney in a house called “Athena Cottage”. We learn also the astonishing information that the Kytherian member of Parliament, Kaloutzis, had volunteered his services to recommend Emmanuel Kritharis for the position of Ambassador in Sydney, if he (Emmanuel) was interested. Kritharis expresses his complete surprise because “neither Mr. Kaloutzis or any other M.P. had the power to appoint ambassadors”. Emmanuel further comments that “Mr. Kaloutzis as a person in politics and a member of Parliament should have known that “there was an appointed person in the position for the past twenty years”. He concludes by saying that such a position offers no salary and is only a honorary one and that he “would have never accepted such a post as ever since he had understood the world he had never sought neither name nor power or glory”. “I consider all that as vanity” he adds. In the same letter, as a post script, he informs his brother that “ in two weeks there will be an announcement of peace and that the King will be crowned on the 26th of June1903”. The letter is clearly written with steady handwriting and very strongly expressed ideas revealing that he not only was well educated but he also kept up with the news in Australia as well as Europe.

It is possible that, before settling in Mortdale, Emmanuel Kritharis had lived for a short time else where in Australia. Due to the distance between Hurstville and Sydney, he had little contact with other members of the Greek Community and although well known, every one called him “the monk”. [9] He never married, and was never naturalized. His occupation remains a mystery and his name does not appear on any other government or municipal records. Was he perhaps another deserter afraid of someone or something? Or he felt secure in his wealth and stayed well away of other people keeping in touch only with a few relatives in Greece, enjoying life in the house called “Athena Cottage”, where he lived with his close friends Spyro and Mary? We know that Spyro Bennett was a native of Greece [13] and that his wife Mary was the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will, what we don’t know is, who Spyro really was, and what was the connection with Emmanuel?

On the 7th of March 1913 Emmanuel Kritharis must had felt that the end of his life was near and signed his Will. With this Will he instructed that “all personal estate to be converted into money and to pay the proceeds together with all monies ready or otherwise to the Consul for Greece acting in the City of Sydney aforesaid to be applied by him in the Relief of the wounded Greeks and in the carrying on of the present War in which Greece is now engaged such Greeks as aforesaid to have received their wounds in such war...”. We know that his donation was in the vicinity of over thirty thousand (30.000) franks. It was the very first donation to this cause and a very substantial one. Unfortunately details have been lost with no official record of this substantial donation neither in Australia nor in Greece being verified.

Emmanuel Kritharis died only two days after he had signed his Will, on Sunday the 9th of March 1913. [2] The cause of his death was a) valvular decease and b) pulmonary congestion, as certified by his doctor, James Mc Leod, who last saw him a day earlier on the 8th of March 1913. The burial service was conducted by Rev. Seraphim Phokas. The certificate of his death and burial was signed by John Comino (Kominos) and Spyro Bennett. A notation in the death certificate informs us that he had lived in N.S.W. for fifty-two (52) years. His grave stands as clear indication of a person that lived an honorable life and died a very dignified death.

[[picture:"Kritharis Emmanuel, gravesite.jpg" ID:10423]]

His death was announced in the local paper “Propeller” on Friday 14th of March 1913 as follows: “Mr ( George) Kritharis Emmanuel of Mortdale, died on Sunday last, Aged (80). The remains of the deceased were interred in the Greek portion of Sutherland Cemetery on Monday, a large number of fellow-countrymen and friends being present at the graveside”.
The burial ground of Emmanuel Kritharis stayed undisturbed in Woronora General Cemetery for eleven years to the day until his friend Spyro Bennett died on Thursday 13th of March 1924 and was buried there in the same grave. Spyros name was never inscribed there, nor did any one ever corrected the mistakes that the engraver made on the original monument. Spyro Bennett as mentioned, was a native of Greece and the husband of Mary Bennett, the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will but more importantly a very close friend and I suspect a trusted partner for very many years.

An agreement [7] signed on the 25th of June 1913 between the Executrix of Kritharis’Will, Mary Bennett and his cousin George who lived at Katoomba N.S.W., before the Consul General for Greece, reveals that Spyro and Mary Bennett were to inherit properties and goods in Australia and George, all the property on the island Kythera. Details of the Will, were officially transferred to the registry of Potamos, Kythera, on 21 August 1913. [8] This however is another story.

From the facts presented above we now know that:

 Emmanuel Kritharis was born on Kythera in 1832. 2, 3
 He died on the 9th March 1913 at the age of eighty one ( 81) in Mortdale, N.S.W. 1, 2, 3
 He was buried at Woronora Cemetery on Monday 10th March, grave no. 406. 1, 3, 12
 Lived in N.S.W. for 52 years as a “Gentleman of independent means”. 2
 Kritharis’ real estate was divided in to three equal parts. 7
 Made a donation of over 30.000 franks to the war effort in Greece. 6, 9
 Was never married and never became naturalized. 1, 2
 He owned no business in Australia. 1, 4
 If we allow one or two years until means of transportation was found and accept that he left Kythera at the approximate age of twenty, Emmanuel George Kritharis arrived here in 1854 , a proposition that permits us to claim that he was the first Kytherian to reach Australia.

Sources and bibliography:

1. State Government records.
2. Death Certificate No. 2366/1241.
3. Records of Woronora General Cemetery.
4. Valuer General’s of N.S.W. records.
5. Hand written letter by Emmanuel Kritharis to his brother Menas, 14 April 1902.
6. Kritharis’ Will written and signed the 7 March 1913.
7. Agreement between Mary Bennett and George Kritharis signed 25 June 1913.
8. Transfer of details of Kritharis’Will to the Registry of Potamos, Kythera 21 August 1913.
9. “I Zoi en Afstralia” Sydney 1916.
10. “Australians and Greeks” Vol. I. Hugh Gilchrist. 1997.
11. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Directory 1993.
12. “Propeller” Hurstville’s local newspaper 1913
12. “Kythiraiki Idea” Jan- Feb. 2003.
13. Sydney Press 1840- 1914.
14. “A Shop Full of Dreams” Sydney 1993.

Peter Vanges
Sydney 2005

History > Photography

submitted by Peter Vanges on 09.05.2006

A hand written letter of Emmanuel Kritharis forwarded on the 14th April 1902 to his brother at Kythera.

The First Kytherian Immigrant to Australia.

The ‘First Kytherian’ Question

First Published in The Greek Australian Vema, April 2006. pages 10/28 and 11/29.


Peter Vanges is author of Kythera. A History.

Kythera. A History. Details.

He was a long standing Committeeman of the then Kytherian Brotherhood of Australia, (11 years), serving 6 of those years as President.

Kytherian Association of Australia

When in 1916, the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” was printed in Greek, in Sydney, the name and only a few details about Emmanuel Kritharis were mentioned on page 293, that included the wrong year of his death, a reference of his being in Australia since 1854 and some information of his very substantial donation to the Greek war effort. No other details were reported that could assist us in our original research in order to establish, with certainty, who was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. We must remember that this book was published only three years after Kritharis’ death and therefore this information is the result of first hand knowledge.

In 1957 Ioannis Kasimatis published in Greece, his book, on the history of Kythera, mentions on p. 192 that “In the year 1850 (the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia) was Emmanuel Kritharis.” The above information agrees with the reference in the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as the first alludes to his arrival in Australia, while the second to his departure from the island of Kythera. Unfortunately no proof or any documents were presented to confirm this claim. Strangely and without any justification in the previous few lines, Kasimatis mentions that “some decades ago the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia... was Athanasios Kominos”. Once again no other details or even the year of Kominos’ arrival is given in support of this claim. Official records, however, tell us that Athanasios Cominos ( Kominos) arrived in Sydney in 1873, almost twenty years after Emmanuel Kritharis.

Later in 1992, Hugh Gilchrist (Australians and Greeks, Vol. 1, p. 209) mentions... “another Kythirian family was that of Kritharis. Emmanuel Kritharis, reputed to have arrived in 1854, was a solitary man who is said to have died in Sydney in 1912 after making a large donation to the Greek war effort”. Emmanuel Kritharis’ incorrect date of death is given but other names of the Kritharis family who came to Australia are mentioned, giving us a full picture of the migration of this clan.

In my book “Kythera a History” published in 1993 the same very limited information is given on page 253 about Emmanuel Kritharis. The claim of his being the first to arrive in Australia was brief but with a more definite tone, in full knowledge that further information was needed. Since then I have undertaken the task to find fresh information that would permit me to proclaim with surety, that Emmanuel Kritharis was the first Kytherian to have arrived in Australia.

The name of Jack Melitas is mentioned on page 44, in the book “A Shop Full of Dreams”, as the pioneer of Kytherian migration. As no documented evidence is put forward this claim was disregarded and I continued with my research. The first Kytherian to arrive in Australia by the name Melitas is mentioned on page 206 of the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as Demitrios Panagiotou Melitas who arrived in Sydney in 1903 at the young age of seventeen years old.

The Kytherian newspaper, “Kythiraiki Idea” in its publication of February 2003 under the title “Kytherians of the Diaspora ” mentions... “Some, claim that the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia was Emm. Kritharis who went there in 1850, the relevant bibliography however converge with the view that the first Kytherian ... was Athanasios Kominos who in 1875 at the age of 29 years arrived in that distant continent.”. Claims made in this article are completely unsupported and my research proves otherwise as no bibliography that we know has produced evidence to support this claim. It is regretful that “Kythiraiki Idea” even published a photo of Athanasios Kominos with the caption:.. “the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia”, when we know that he was not.

These are all the known “bibliographies” in reference to the question of the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. The insistence of a number of commentators and reporters in ignoring the name of Emmanuel Kritharis in favour of that of Athanasios Kominos, who as mentioned, arrived in Australia in 1873, presented to me the challenge to attempt, once and forall, to uncover undisputed evidence to support my original claim that Emmanuel Kritharis arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia.

To my surprise, the new information collected, revealed much more than was ever known before about Emmanuel Kritharis, that proves beyond reasonable doubt, he was the pioneer of Kytherian immigration to Australia. Written evidence of the exact date of his arrival in Australia has not been found. Yet, the new information uncovered further strengthens the claim, that Emmanuel Kritharis had arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first to reach this new continent down under.

Emmanuel Kritharis, according to his death certificate Number 2366, died on Sunday the 9th March 1913, aged 81, therefore he was born in Kythera in 1832. At a very young age, hunger and uncertainty, forced young Emmanuel to leave the island in search of a better life, not unlike so many others, who also made it to the shores of the new continent. After a long wait for the opportunity of a better life he boarded a vessel destined for the unknown continent of Australia. According to Ioannis Kasimatis, Kritharis left the island in the year 1850 and as mentioned in the book “ I Zoi en Afstralia” he arrived here in 1854.

The years between 1850-1854, were in most probability, spent in search of employment, or working anywhere he could, before the decision was made to seek his fortune in Australia, as rumors were running wild about discoveries of gold in N.S.W. and Victoria (1851). After a long, difficult and perilous voyage of many months he found himself possibly in the goldfields where young Emmanuel, soon, made his fortune. We know that as early as 1852, as many as thirty sailors had found their way to the goldfields of Australia. It is unfortunate that the records do not provide us with names or other details, so most of them will remain anonymous until further new information comes to hand.

For reasons unknown to us Kritharis moved to Mortdale N.S.W. in 1861 where he lived for the remainder of his life. We know, from a letter written on the 14th April 1902 to his brother Menas on the island, that Emmanuel Kritharis lived in the area of Mortdale, in George Street, not far from Sydney in a house called “Athena Cottage”. We learn also the astonishing information that the Kytherian member of Parliament, Kaloutzis, had volunteered his services to recommend Emmanuel Kritharis for the position of Ambassador in Sydney, if he (Emmanuel) was interested. Kritharis expresses his complete surprise because “neither Mr. Kaloutzis or any other M.P. had the power to appoint ambassadors”. Emmanuel further comments that “Mr. Kaloutzis as a person in politics and a member of Parliament should have known that “there was an appointed person in the position for the past twenty years”. He concludes by saying that such a position offers no salary and is only a honorary one and that he “would have never accepted such a post as ever since he had understood the world he had never sought neither name nor power or glory”. “I consider all that as vanity” he adds. In the same letter, as a post script, he informs his brother that “ in two weeks there will be an announcement of peace and that the King will be crowned on the 26th of June1903”. The letter is clearly written with steady handwriting and very strongly expressed ideas revealing that he not only was well educated but he also kept up with the news in Australia as well as Europe.

It is possible that, before settling in Mortdale, Emmanuel Kritharis had lived for a short time else where in Australia. Due to the distance between Hurstville and Sydney, he had little contact with other members of the Greek Community and although well known, every one called him “the monk”. [9] He never married, and was never naturalized. His occupation remains a mystery and his name does not appear on any other government or municipal records. Was he perhaps another deserter afraid of someone or something? Or he felt secure in his wealth and stayed well away of other people keeping in touch only with a few relatives in Greece, enjoying life in the house called “Athena Cottage”, where he lived with his close friends Spyro and Mary? We know that Spyro Bennett was a native of Greece [13] and that his wife Mary was the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will, what we don’t know is, who Spyro really was, and what was the connection with Emmanuel?

On the 7th of March 1913 Emmanuel Kritharis must had felt that the end of his life was near and signed his Will. With this Will he instructed that “all personal estate to be converted into money and to pay the proceeds together with all monies ready or otherwise to the Consul for Greece acting in the City of Sydney aforesaid to be applied by him in the Relief of the wounded Greeks and in the carrying on of the present War in which Greece is now engaged such Greeks as aforesaid to have received their wounds in such war...”. We know that his donation was in the vicinity of over thirty thousand (30.000) franks. It was the very first donation to this cause and a very substantial one. Unfortunately details have been lost with no official record of this substantial donation neither in Australia nor in Greece being verified.

Emmanuel Kritharis died only two days after he had signed his Will, on Sunday the 9th of March 1913. [2] The cause of his death was a) valvular decease and b) pulmonary congestion, as certified by his doctor, James Mc Leod, who last saw him a day earlier on the 8th of March 1913. The burial service was conducted by Rev. Seraphim Phokas. The certificate of his death and burial was signed by John Comino (Kominos) and Spyro Bennett. A notation in the death certificate informs us that he had lived in N.S.W. for fifty-two (52) years. His grave stands as clear indication of a person that lived an honorable life and died a very dignified death.

[[picture:"Kritharis Emmanuel, gravesite.jpg" ID:10423]]

His death was announced in the local paper “Propeller” on Friday 14th of March 1913 as follows: “Mr ( George) Kritharis Emmanuel of Mortdale, died on Sunday last, Aged (80). The remains of the deceased were interred in the Greek portion of Sutherland Cemetery on Monday, a large number of fellow-countrymen and friends being present at the graveside”.
The burial ground of Emmanuel Kritharis stayed undisturbed in Woronora General Cemetery for eleven years to the day until his friend Spyro Bennett died on Thursday 13th of March 1924 and was buried there in the same grave. Spyros name was never inscribed there, nor did any one ever corrected the mistakes that the engraver made on the original monument. Spyro Bennett as mentioned, was a native of Greece and the husband of Mary Bennett, the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will but more importantly a very close friend and I suspect a trusted partner for very many years.

An agreement [7] signed on the 25th of June 1913 between the Executrix of Kritharis’Will, Mary Bennett and his cousin George who lived at Katoomba N.S.W., before the Consul General for Greece, reveals that Spyro and Mary Bennett were to inherit properties and goods in Australia and George, all the property on the island Kythera. Details of the Will, were officially transferred to the registry of Potamos, Kythera, on 21 August 1913. [8] This however is another story.

From the facts presented above we now know that:

 Emmanuel Kritharis was born on Kythera in 1832. 2, 3
 He died on the 9th March 1913 at the age of eighty one ( 81) in Mortdale, N.S.W. 1, 2, 3
 He was buried at Woronora Cemetery on Monday 10th March, grave no. 406. 1, 3, 12
 Lived in N.S.W. for 52 years as a “Gentleman of independent means”. 2
 Kritharis’ real estate was divided in to three equal parts. 7
 Made a donation of over 30.000 franks to the war effort in Greece. 6, 9
 Was never married and never became naturalized. 1, 2
 He owned no business in Australia. 1, 4
 If we allow one or two years until means of transportation was found and accept that he left Kythera at the approximate age of twenty, Emmanuel George Kritharis arrived here in 1854 , a proposition that permits us to claim that he was the first Kytherian to reach Australia.

Sources and bibliography:

1. State Government records.
2. Death Certificate No. 2366/1241.
3. Records of Woronora General Cemetery.
4. Valuer General’s of N.S.W. records.
5. Hand written letter by Emmanuel Kritharis to his brother Menas, 14 April 1902.
6. Kritharis’ Will written and signed the 7 March 1913.
7. Agreement between Mary Bennett and George Kritharis signed 25 June 1913.
8. Transfer of details of Kritharis’Will to the Registry of Potamos, Kythera 21 August 1913.
9. “I Zoi en Afstralia” Sydney 1916.
10. “Australians and Greeks” Vol. I. Hugh Gilchrist. 1997.
11. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Directory 1993.
12. “Propeller” Hurstville’s local newspaper 1913
12. “Kythiraiki Idea” Jan- Feb. 2003.
13. Sydney Press 1840- 1914.
14. “A Shop Full of Dreams” Sydney 1993.

Peter Vanges
Sydney 2005

History > Photography

submitted by Peter Vanges on 09.05.2006

The burial ground of Emmanuel Kritharis has stayed undisturbed in Woronora General Cemetery.

The First Kytherian Immigrant to Australia.

The ‘First Kytherian’ Question

First Published in The Greek Australian Vema, April 2006. pages 10/28 and 11/29.


Peter Vanges is author of Kythera. A History.

Kythera. A History. Details.

He was a long standing Committeeman of the then Kytherian Brotherhood of Australia, (11 years), serving 6 of those years as President.

Kytherian Association of Australia

When in 1916, the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” was printed in Greek, in Sydney, the name and only a few details about Emmanuel Kritharis were mentioned on page 293, that included the wrong year of his death, a reference of his being in Australia since 1854 and some information of his very substantial donation to the Greek war effort. No other details were reported that could assist us in our original research in order to establish, with certainty, who was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. We must remember that this book was published only three years after Kritharis’ death and therefore this information is the result of first hand knowledge.

In 1957 Ioannis Kasimatis published in Greece, his book, on the history of Kythera, mentions on p. 192 that “In the year 1850 (the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia) was Emmanuel Kritharis.” The above information agrees with the reference in the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as the first alludes to his arrival in Australia, while the second to his departure from the island of Kythera. Unfortunately no proof or any documents were presented to confirm this claim. Strangely and without any justification in the previous few lines, Kasimatis mentions that “some decades ago the first Kytherian to immigrate to Australia... was Athanasios Kominos”. Once again no other details or even the year of Kominos’ arrival is given in support of this claim. Official records, however, tell us that Athanasios Cominos ( Kominos) arrived in Sydney in 1873, almost twenty years after Emmanuel Kritharis.

Later in 1992, Hugh Gilchrist (Australians and Greeks, Vol. 1, p. 209) mentions... “another Kythirian family was that of Kritharis. Emmanuel Kritharis, reputed to have arrived in 1854, was a solitary man who is said to have died in Sydney in 1912 after making a large donation to the Greek war effort”. Emmanuel Kritharis’ incorrect date of death is given but other names of the Kritharis family who came to Australia are mentioned, giving us a full picture of the migration of this clan.

In my book “Kythera a History” published in 1993 the same very limited information is given on page 253 about Emmanuel Kritharis. The claim of his being the first to arrive in Australia was brief but with a more definite tone, in full knowledge that further information was needed. Since then I have undertaken the task to find fresh information that would permit me to proclaim with surety, that Emmanuel Kritharis was the first Kytherian to have arrived in Australia.

The name of Jack Melitas is mentioned on page 44, in the book “A Shop Full of Dreams”, as the pioneer of Kytherian migration. As no documented evidence is put forward this claim was disregarded and I continued with my research. The first Kytherian to arrive in Australia by the name Melitas is mentioned on page 206 of the book “I Zoi en Afstralia” as Demitrios Panagiotou Melitas who arrived in Sydney in 1903 at the young age of seventeen years old.

The Kytherian newspaper, “Kythiraiki Idea” in its publication of February 2003 under the title “Kytherians of the Diaspora ” mentions... “Some, claim that the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia was Emm. Kritharis who went there in 1850, the relevant bibliography however converge with the view that the first Kytherian ... was Athanasios Kominos who in 1875 at the age of 29 years arrived in that distant continent.”. Claims made in this article are completely unsupported and my research proves otherwise as no bibliography that we know has produced evidence to support this claim. It is regretful that “Kythiraiki Idea” even published a photo of Athanasios Kominos with the caption:.. “the first Kytherian immigrant to Australia”, when we know that he was not.

These are all the known “bibliographies” in reference to the question of the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia. The insistence of a number of commentators and reporters in ignoring the name of Emmanuel Kritharis in favour of that of Athanasios Kominos, who as mentioned, arrived in Australia in 1873, presented to me the challenge to attempt, once and forall, to uncover undisputed evidence to support my original claim that Emmanuel Kritharis arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first Kytherian to arrive in Australia.

To my surprise, the new information collected, revealed much more than was ever known before about Emmanuel Kritharis, that proves beyond reasonable doubt, he was the pioneer of Kytherian immigration to Australia. Written evidence of the exact date of his arrival in Australia has not been found. Yet, the new information uncovered further strengthens the claim, that Emmanuel Kritharis had arrived in Australia in 1854 and therefore he was the first to reach this new continent down under.

Emmanuel Kritharis, according to his death certificate Number 2366, died on Sunday the 9th March 1913, aged 81, therefore he was born in Kythera in 1832. At a very young age, hunger and uncertainty, forced young Emmanuel to leave the island in search of a better life, not unlike so many others, who also made it to the shores of the new continent. After a long wait for the opportunity of a better life he boarded a vessel destined for the unknown continent of Australia. According to Ioannis Kasimatis, Kritharis left the island in the year 1850 and as mentioned in the book “ I Zoi en Afstralia” he arrived here in 1854.

The years between 1850-1854, were in most probability, spent in search of employment, or working anywhere he could, before the decision was made to seek his fortune in Australia, as rumors were running wild about discoveries of gold in N.S.W. and Victoria (1851). After a long, difficult and perilous voyage of many months he found himself possibly in the goldfields where young Emmanuel, soon, made his fortune. We know that as early as 1852, as many as thirty sailors had found their way to the goldfields of Australia. It is unfortunate that the records do not provide us with names or other details, so most of them will remain anonymous until further new information comes to hand.

For reasons unknown to us Kritharis moved to Mortdale N.S.W. in 1861 where he lived for the remainder of his life. We know, from a letter written on the 14th April 1902 to his brother Menas on the island, that Emmanuel Kritharis lived in the area of Mortdale, in George Street, not far from Sydney in a house called “Athena Cottage”. We learn also the astonishing information that the Kytherian member of Parliament, Kaloutzis, had volunteered his services to recommend Emmanuel Kritharis for the position of Ambassador in Sydney, if he (Emmanuel) was interested. Kritharis expresses his complete surprise because “neither Mr. Kaloutzis or any other M.P. had the power to appoint ambassadors”. Emmanuel further comments that “Mr. Kaloutzis as a person in politics and a member of Parliament should have known that “there was an appointed person in the position for the past twenty years”. He concludes by saying that such a position offers no salary and is only a honorary one and that he “would have never accepted such a post as ever since he had understood the world he had never sought neither name nor power or glory”. “I consider all that as vanity” he adds. In the same letter, as a post script, he informs his brother that “ in two weeks there will be an announcement of peace and that the King will be crowned on the 26th of June1903”. The letter is clearly written with steady handwriting and very strongly expressed ideas revealing that he not only was well educated but he also kept up with the news in Australia as well as Europe.

It is possible that, before settling in Mortdale, Emmanuel Kritharis had lived for a short time else where in Australia. Due to the distance between Hurstville and Sydney, he had little contact with other members of the Greek Community and although well known, every one called him “the monk”. [9] He never married, and was never naturalized. His occupation remains a mystery and his name does not appear on any other government or municipal records. Was he perhaps another deserter afraid of someone or something? Or he felt secure in his wealth and stayed well away of other people keeping in touch only with a few relatives in Greece, enjoying life in the house called “Athena Cottage”, where he lived with his close friends Spyro and Mary? We know that Spyro Bennett was a native of Greece [13] and that his wife Mary was the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will, what we don’t know is, who Spyro really was, and what was the connection with Emmanuel?

On the 7th of March 1913 Emmanuel Kritharis must had felt that the end of his life was near and signed his Will. With this Will he instructed that “all personal estate to be converted into money and to pay the proceeds together with all monies ready or otherwise to the Consul for Greece acting in the City of Sydney aforesaid to be applied by him in the Relief of the wounded Greeks and in the carrying on of the present War in which Greece is now engaged such Greeks as aforesaid to have received their wounds in such war...”. We know that his donation was in the vicinity of over thirty thousand (30.000) franks. It was the very first donation to this cause and a very substantial one. Unfortunately details have been lost with no official record of this substantial donation neither in Australia nor in Greece being verified.

Emmanuel Kritharis died only two days after he had signed his Will, on Sunday the 9th of March 1913. [2] The cause of his death was a) valvular decease and b) pulmonary congestion, as certified by his doctor, James Mc Leod, who last saw him a day earlier on the 8th of March 1913. The burial service was conducted by Rev. Seraphim Phokas. The certificate of his death and burial was signed by John Comino (Kominos) and Spyro Bennett. A notation in the death certificate informs us that he had lived in N.S.W. for fifty-two (52) years. His grave stands as clear indication of a person that lived an honorable life and died a very dignified death.

His death was announced in the local paper “Propeller” on Friday 14th of March 1913 as follows: “Mr ( George) Kritharis Emmanuel of Mortdale, died on Sunday last, Aged (80). The remains of the deceased were interred in the Greek portion of Sutherland Cemetery on Monday, a large number of fellow-countrymen and friends being present at the graveside”.
The burial ground of Emmanuel Kritharis stayed undisturbed in Woronora General Cemetery for eleven years to the day until his friend Spyro Bennett died on Thursday 13th of March 1924 and was buried there in the same grave. Spyros name was never inscribed there, nor did any one ever corrected the mistakes that the engraver made on the original monument. Spyro Bennett as mentioned, was a native of Greece and the husband of Mary Bennett, the Executrix and Trustee of Emmanuel’s Will but more importantly a very close friend and I suspect a trusted partner for very many years.

An agreement [7] signed on the 25th of June 1913 between the Executrix of Kritharis’Will, Mary Bennett and his cousin George who lived at Katoomba N.S.W., before the Consul General for Greece, reveals that Spyro and Mary Bennett were to inherit properties and goods in Australia and George, all the property on the island Kythera. Details of the Will, were officially transferred to the registry of Potamos, Kythera, on 21 August 1913. [8] This however is another story.

From the facts presented above we now know that:

 Emmanuel Kritharis was born on Kythera in 1832. 2, 3
 He died on the 9th March 1913 at the age of eighty one ( 81) in Mortdale, N.S.W. 1, 2, 3
 He was buried at Woronora Cemetery on Monday 10th March, grave no. 406. 1, 3, 12
 Lived in N.S.W. for 52 years as a “Gentleman of independent means”. 2
 Kritharis’ real estate was divided in to three equal parts. 7
 Made a donation of over 30.000 franks to the war effort in Greece. 6, 9
 Was never married and never became naturalized. 1, 2
 He owned no business in Australia. 1, 4
 If we allow one or two years until means of transportation was found and accept that he left Kythera at the approximate age of twenty, Emmanuel George Kritharis arrived here in 1854 , a proposition that permits us to claim that he was the first Kytherian to reach Australia.

Sources and bibliography:

1. State Government records.
2. Death Certificate No. 2366/1241.
3. Records of Woronora General Cemetery.
4. Valuer General’s of N.S.W. records.
5. Hand written letter by Emmanuel Kritharis to his brother Menas, 14 April 1902.
6. Kritharis’ Will written and signed the 7 March 1913.
7. Agreement between Mary Bennett and George Kritharis signed 25 June 1913.
8. Transfer of details of Kritharis’Will to the Registry of Potamos, Kythera 21 August 1913.
9. “I Zoi en Afstralia” Sydney 1916.
10. “Australians and Greeks” Vol. I. Hugh Gilchrist. 1997.
11. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Directory 1993.
12. “Propeller” Hurstville’s local newspaper 1913
12. “Kythiraiki Idea” Jan- Feb. 2003.
13. Sydney Press 1840- 1914.
14. “A Shop Full of Dreams” Sydney 1993.

Peter Vanges
Sydney 2005

History > Photography

submitted by Merle Cork on 04.05.2006

Obituary Notice. Kevin J Cork,

13th March, 1998.

Enclosed in Kino magazine, Autumn 1998, No. 63.

Kevin Cork, Philokytherian, Biography

Conserver of the Hellenic and Kytherian Cinema Heritage in Australia.

History > Photography

submitted by National Archives, Australia on 29.04.2006

Department of Immigration photograph of the 5 000th Greek migrant in 1955.

National Archives, Australia, Canberra, A.C.T.

From,

Article on groundbreaking Greeks, NAA