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Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive > March 2006

Newsletter Archive

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 30.03.2008

March 2006

Your Extended Kytherian Family

Dear Friends of Kythera,

On my last flight to Australia I managed to finish a book by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. called "Breakfast of Champions". The book has of course nothing to do with Kythera, even if some some us consider our ancestors champions of sorts. The reason I mention it here is because a minor character in the book - an ambulance driver - comes from an African community where one family member in each generation is entrusted with mentally preserving the life stories of all the his or her family's ancestors. Hundreds of them. Off by heart. That way any other member of the family can, by asking, learn about their great-grandaunts antics as a teenager or how their family came to feud with another branch of a family (a particular theme for Kytherians...), and the stories can be passed on from generation to generation. Wouldn't that be wonderful - to have a cousin or aunt who knew everything worth knowing about the last 5 generations of your family?

Unfortunately Kytherians do not share this amazing oral tradition. But there are often family members with prodigious memories, others who are amateur historians or family researchers. If you have access to them, that's great. But in today's world extended family's rarely live together - they often don't even reside in the same city or country. Our children don't spend winter hours in front of the fireplace on their grandparent's knees listening to heroic or poetic family stories passed down from generation to generation. This kind of intergenerational exchange has been replaced by television and video games. And by the time many of us reach middle-age and, realising our own mortality, begin to search into our past (perhaps in the hope that, by doing so, our descendants might in-turn remember us in a few generations...), our grandparents are no longer around to fill in all the gaps. The first-hand history becomes third-hand speculation and doubt replaces fact as different versions of one event are passed down to different family branches.

What we have lost by replacing the traditional fireplace-evening with the television mini-series can be saved to a small extent by another technology: the internet. Millions of genealogy researchers and family-history buffs are this moment searching the web for traces of their families in online archives. Archives like The difference with our site is that you yourself can easily add your piece of the puzzle for your relatives - distant and near in either sense of the words - to discover. You can even post comments to the entries of others if you have something to add. In that way you can really leave something valuable behind for your great-grandchildren and their descendants. And for yourself, when your memory begins to fade.

James Prineas, Berlin. ( )
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John Stathatos, director of the Kythera Cultural Association and curator of many photographic exhibitions, has submitted two dozen photographs from the association's collection of pictures taken during the Second World War. The introduction follows and, below that, a link to the collection on the site.

War and Occupation
A major event of the 2004 Kythera Photographic Encounters was the exhibition "War, Occupation and Liberation in Kythera", based on the holdings of the Kythera Photographic Archive and a number of private loans. The greater part of the exhibition consisted of contemporary prints produced from glass negatives exposed between 1941 and 1945 by Manolis Fatseas, son of the photographer Panayotis Fatseas, who had died in 1938. Despite his youth (he was only fifteen at the time of his father's death), Manolis Fatseas continued to run the photography business from the studio in Leivadi. Carefully husbanding his limited resources of negative plates, paper and chemicals, he continued to photograph during the war and occupation years; the surviving work includes images of everyday life, portraits of the islanders and of the refugees who had found shelter on Kythera, but also of the Italian and German occupation forces, eager for portraits of themselves to send to their families. Finally, Manolis Fatseas was able to photograph the arrival of British and Greek troops on the island and the celebrations with which they were welcomed.

The Kythera Cultural Association is continuing its research into the history of Kythera during the war years, and is building up an associated archive of pictorial, oral and documentary testimony. We welcome any personal accounts of the period, or any other relevant information.
John Stathatos (

War and Occupation pictures on

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by Crissouli

We lived in the same small town as my grandmother, and when we eventually got a car, we would take my grandmother to visit her relatives in nearby towns. That meant lots of preparation ... preserves and jams to gather, best clothes to be prepared ... maybe some cuttings to take, but always, fresh produce and flowers.

Then off we would go. We children would be warned to be on our best behaviour, our hair neatly groomed, our clothes immaculately pressed. My brother's only question would be "Do they have kids?" I don't know why he asked, as mainly the answer was no, unless it had been arranged for our grandmother's families to visit as well.

Arrivals were always blurs of kisses and hugs, and "my, how you've grown"... "Come in, come in, the coffee's ready, and we have a little something for the children". Now, they were the words we liked to hear. Well, most times.

The little something could be anything from a small, sweet preserved fig, which I loved, too, maybe, a chocolate ... just one. Then again, it could be as exciting as a small bag of lollies, a very rare treat indeed. One of our grandmother's nieces had young children of her own, so she would bring out a toy or two to play with, some home made lemonade (wonderful) and always a biscuit plate. That was our favourite place to go. When her children, two girls, a little older than us, were home, it was even better.

Otherwise, at many of the homes we visited, it was a long wait. There was no leeway given for our age. We would have to smile nicely, sit quietly, and wait. The conversation was foreign to us, as it would either be totally Greek, or more interesting, a mixture of Greek and broken English, in deference to our mother, who didn't speak Greek, though understood a little. Depending on whether we were going on to visit another home, the proffered jams, produce, flowers and so on, would have all been handed over, to utterances of "how thoughtful, you shouldn't have, did you make all this yourself?" while my grandmother beamed with pride.

If we were heading on to another relative or friend's place, then the flowers and any produce that would wilt, were proffered, with maybe just a jar or two of jam or preserves.

The morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea would be produced with much flourish. This is the part I loved ... the smell of the strong Greek coffee; crisp, sweet kourabiethes; the wonderful figs, seeped in syrup and always served with very cold water; fragrant baklava... all the wonderful, traditional delicacies. However, as much as I loved all this, I became quite good at working out the rating of our visit.

If we hadn't been for some time, or it was close to Easter or Christmas, or maybe a birthday, out would come the best lace tablecloth, the best china, fresh flowers. It was even more elaborate if the family had not long been to my grandmother's and then there was an unspoken competition. If we'd been fairly recently, say, for a family celebration, then the setting would be just slightly less. Maybe a smaller vase of flowers, the china may not be from the very best set, maybe a few less dishes ... not that we were made any less welcome, more that we were accepted as family, not visitors. I loved this, for then we were included more and my brother and I could talk to each other, or go for a walk around the garden, without being shooshed.

After all the variation with morning or afternoon tea at our Greek family and friends, plain old scones and tea were never as exciting.

© Crissouli 2006 (

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ARONEY AWARDS, Saturday 11th March, 7:00pm.
Please come to this function to support our Kytherian youth. Seats still available.
All students of Kytherian descent have now submitted their Year 2005 HSC Results and UAI scores to the Kytherian Association of Australia for the
>Nicholas Anthony Aroney Encouragement Awards

Prize-winners have been chosen, and will be presented with their awards on behalf of the
Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust
at the Awards Dinner, to be held on Saturday 11th March, 2006,
at the Twin Reception Centre at 7.00pm
560 Botany Street Alexandria

$45...Adults $25...Children

For bookings please call Kathy Samios on (02) 9349 1849, or email at,
or President, Victor Kepreotis, by email at

Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust Encouragement Awards
c/-The Kytherian Association of Australia
PO Box A203
Sydney South, NSW 1235

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Sydney Book Launch -
'Katsehamos and the Great Idea' - Bob Carr -
Wednesday April 12, 7pm

a true story of Greeks and Australians in the early twentieth century'
248pp, paperback, bibliography, notes, index.

>You are invited to the Sydney launch of 'KATSEHAMOS AND THE GREAT IDEA'
The book will be launched in Sydney by former NSW Premier
on Wednesday April 12, 2006 at 7.00 pm
at ‘Alexander’s On The Park’ Cafe,
175 Liverpool Street, Sydney,
ground floor American Express Building, opposite Hyde Park.

Access from Museum Station and eastern suburbs buses. Easy walk from Goulburn Street Parking Station.

'KATSEHAMOS' is about the lives and struggles of Kytherian Greek immigrants to Australia in the early twentieth century, including the fascinating Roxy Theatre story.
The book explores this turbulent era in Greek and Australian history through the experiences of Peter Prineas' grandfather Peter Feros and his contemporaries.

'"KATSEHAMOS" is a broad sweep of history, sensitively and clearly presented.
Interwoven and skilfully related to the times are the lives and aspirations of immigrants from the Greek island of Kythera. A persistent thread is the pursuit of the ‘Great Idea’, be it national grandeur or business empire. It is a well-crafted narrative told with deep insight and underlying passion. I enjoyed reading this book.'
- Manuel James Aroney, AM, OBE, University of Sydney.

The production costs of 'KATSEHAMOS AND THE GREAT IDEA' are being funded by a grant from the Nicholas Aroney Trust.

You can also secure your copy of 'Katsehamos' by ordering now from PLATEIA. The price is $34.95 including packaging and postage costs. Your book will be posted promptly on publication.
All orders and payments to PLATEIA 32 Calder Road Darlington NSW 2008;
ph. (02) 9319 1513
or email
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Blue Bell Cafe Emmaville NSW J. Megaloconomos 1958
submitted by Peter Makarthis on 04.03.2006

In search of the descendants of Mr J. Megaloconomos who conducted the Blue Bell Cafe until 1958. Last known address: Pangee St Kingsgrove. Also families of Greeks at Emmaville including Theo Aroney 1906, Nicholas Kalokerinos 1910-30, John Vernados 1908, Minas Kalokerinos 1932, Andrew Comino 1942, and Coombes c. 1950.
Peter Makarthis (
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The English School
submitted by Arlette Mazarakis on 23.02.2006

Could anyone please give me any information on the English School? I know my father-in-law Nick Fatseas attended it before 1908 and that it was still standing in 1997 .
Arlette Mazarakis (
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Kytherian Winds
submitted by Kiriaki Orfanos on 09.02.2006

details please about names and origins of winds blowing over Kythera.
Kiriaki Orfanos (
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Travelling alone to Kythera
submitted by Renee Payne on 14.02.2006

I have visited Kythera once, with my family in 1999. I am planning to return, alone, in May, and will stay in Pitsinianika, in the empty house owned by my grandparents.

My main questions are; is it safe for a 20 yr old female to stay alone in a house on Kythera for a few weeks? and are there places where I can hire transport, perhaps a vespa, so I don't have to rely on Taxis. I don't know much Greek - should I study up before I leave?

Any advice would be appreciated, as last time I visited was in winter, I have no idea what to expect in the peak season.

Thanking you,
Renee (
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Stravos Paspalas. Public Lecture. April 5th, 2006.
submitted by - AAIAA - on 22.02.2006

The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, (AAIAA)

a public lecture by:
Dr. Stavros A. Paspalas
(Deputy Director, AAIA)

lecture: $5.00 (students free)
supper: $20.00 (students: $15)

For bookings and further details please
contact 02 9351 4759 or
email Camilla Norman at

General Lecture Theatre
- Main Quadrangle
- The University of Sydney
followed by supper in the Nicholson Museum
7.00 pm - Wednesday April 5th

To view/download a colourful invitation to the event:
/download/Paspalas Stavros Lecture invite.pdf

Download the booking form here:
/download/Paspalas Stavros Lecture Booking Form.pdf
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submitted by Arlette Mazarakis on 09.02.2006

looking for information on Gr.Gr.grandfather Georgios Fatseas a priest from Kytheria who wrote a book in 1760 "A Grammar of Geography " or any of his descendants.
Arlette Mazarakis (
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Local Maps of Villages or Towns
submitted by James Gavriles on 09.02.2006

Are there any more detailed maps of any of the towns?? I am looking to find a map of Logothetianica and also Potamos. Maybe something with the roads identified and maybe some of the landmarks? Someone over the years must have made maps of the towns??
James Gavriles ( )
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Kytherian Embroidery, Handcrafts, Weaving and Needlework
submitted by Kiriaki Orfanos on 09.02.2006

Details please about the meanings of the embroidery designs.
Kiriaki Orfanos (
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To contact the authors of the entries go to the site, log on, and choose the Guest Book section. There you can click on the name of the author and contact them.

James Paul Marselos - Cessnock/Australia
Family village of origin: Kapsali

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John Kalligeros - Mt. Clemens,USA
Family village of origin: Strapothi

My father George is from Strapothi son of Andoni Kalligeros
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Arlette Mazarakis - Long Island, NY
Family village of origin: Fatsathika

Looking for Fatseas family history
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Greetings to all Kythirians from The "KYTHIRA ASSOCIATION of NEW YORK USA" Peter Panaretos Treasurer/secretary
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Panagiotis Haral. Panaretos - New Jersey US
Family village of origin: Potamos

Congratulations again.
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Leslie James Comino - Inverell NSW Australia

I have photos of Dad in the Greek Navy, of him in the Australian Air Force, his mother, her sister, uncle Andrew and his wife, all my brothers and sisters and all family members and history. As I am 65 now, and was the only one with Dad until he died with his history - which is very very interesting. His nickname was Palavras.
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Stacey T Gavrily - Sydney, Australia
Family village of origin: Potamos

Vale Theodore William Gavrily: Born Narrabri NSW 11/12/1924 - Died Manly, Australia 28/8/04. Finally I have registered more than 12 months after Dad's passing. As it is when a patriarch leaves us, we struggle to recall what was such a familiar past when spoken so fondly by the man himself. It is difficult to remember the many names of Dad's friends that were a great part of country NSW/Qld community last century. It didn't matter which country town I mentioned, Dad knew someone, a Kytherian invariably, with a story or two to tell. I'm sure that some stories have been passed on to the next generation and we can share a rich & proud past with our kids. It would be greatly appreciated that if you or your parents knew of Theo and want to share any good stories with me or simply say gidday. Next time I log on I will tell you the one about the Greek who caused the match factory to strike!
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Katrina Faros - Australia Sydney 12 yrs
Family village of origin: Livathi

The best way to describe Kythera is that there is no way. It is so incredible, not because of the food or housing but the beauty. As many have said Kythera is a place, a place we will always remember, and it will always hold a place in all our hearts. When I first arrived I must admit I didn't see much of it. I only saw thorns and spiders but I didn't see the beauty behind it; the life, the ocean, and most of all, the people.
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Mandy Baillie - Australia

The man I love has family on the island, and I would dearly like to find out as much as I can about them. I am led to believe there is a family home in the bay Kapsali - the family name is Kynigalakis. The fathers name was Con Kynigalakis, he had maybe two brothers, Stan and Myron. The sons names are George Con Kynigalakis, Myron Kynigalakis and Stan Kynigalakis. Please contact me with any information. I would especially like to see some photos of the house.
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Elizabeth Osborne - Victoria

I am delighted to find my Greek heritage on this site. I am the youngest daughter of MARGARET CASSIMATY, granddaughter of George Michael Cassimaty born 23/4/1887. Thank you
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Maria Cassimatis - Australia
Family village of origin: Agia Pelagia

I love Kythera and hope to return some day soon.. It is great that you have a site like this for people who are proud of their heritage!!

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