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Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Vardas on 20.09.2006

International Kytheraismos Symposium

A display of nostalgic photographs of Kythera was mounted by the Kytherian Brotherhood of Canberra (note the copy of one of the panels from the western frieze of the Parthenon overseeing the photographic display)

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Vardas on 19.09.2006

The Hellenic Club of Canberra

The venue for the 2nd International Kytheraismos Symposium was the glorious Hellenic Club of Canberra.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Vardas on 19.09.2006

Opening of Conference by Australian Prime Minister

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, opens the symposium.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Vardas on 19.09.2006

Opening of International Kytheraismos Symposium

Elias Marsellos welcomes delegates to the Second International Institute of Kytheraismos Symposium at Canberra on 15 September 2006 as Master of Ceremonies John Comino looks on.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Institute Of Kytheraismos on 18.09.2006

Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard with Spyro Coolentianos.

At the Kytheraismos Conference held at the Hellenic Club in Canberra from 15th to the 17th of September, 2006.

Spyro was an indefatigable member of the Sydney Organising Committee for the event.

He also serves on the Executive of the Kytherian 4 Wheel Drive Club.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by The Age, Melbourne on 18.09.2006

Kytheraismos Conference. Sept 15th - 17th September, 2006.

Migrant plans 'unfair and unwelcoming'

September 16, 2006

Michelle Grattan


Ethnic groups have declared that the proposed four-year wait for migrants to become Australian citizens is unfair and unwelcoming, and an English test would be discriminatory.

Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday the Government's planned new rules for citizenship — aimed at ensuring newcomers join the "mainstream" — would include a "fairly firm" English language requirement.

The proposals are in a discussion paper that will be released tomorrow.

As Government and Labor jostle for ownership of the "values" debate, Mr Howard said prospective citizens would need to know "a good deal more about Australia", including history, values, customs and way of life.

But he insisted the test would not make it more difficult to become a citizen "if you're fair dinkum — and most people who come to this country are fair dinkum about becoming part of the community".

The waiting time for citizenship is being effectively doubled. The Government had already introduced legislation to increase it from two years to three, but that has not yet passed.

The chairwoman of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia, Voula Messimeri, said there was not a persuasive case to increase the wait.

"You would want to encourage people to embrace the Australian identity with all its rights and responsibilities as soon as possible," she said.

Ms Messimeri said linking citizenship to an English test would "create a group of people never able to become Australian citizens, including people who may be illiterate in their own language".

The Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria condemned the proposed "draconian" changes as "cruel, unfair and against the national interest".

Council chairman Phong Nguyen said extending the time for citizenship would prolong "the already difficult settlement and adjustment process" and send a message to migrants "that they are not welcome in the Australian family".

Mr Howard said: "We should all embrace the notion that when people come to this country, whatever their cultural background may be, their first requirement is to become part of the Australian mainstream."

"Zealous multiculturalism" had gone wrong because "it really encouraged people to believe that the Australian mainstream was the optional extra, and you could essentially just remain identified with your original culture," he said.

"Nobody wants people to forsake their original culture or repudiate it, despise it …There is always a place in your heart for the country in which you were born. But there has to be a greater emphasis on integration into the Australian mainstream. … I've been saying that for 10 years or more and I think most Australians agree."

Mr Howard suggested there would be flexibility in application of the English test. Asked about the difficulties faced by the elderly, he said "there will be a commonsense approach".

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said Labor had signed up for the increase in the citizenship waiting period to three years but that four was too long.

This week, Mr Beazley said people coming to Australia should have to sign up to a statement of Australian values. He said yesterday that citizenship was "down the track. My concern is at the beginning of the process, not the end of it."

People coming into Australia on a permanent basis should come "with a defined statement of respect for Australian values".

"What I'm saying (is): make a stand for mainstream values, ensure that our mainstream values are understood, our Aussie values are understood by everybody who comes into this country — and I do include tourists in that."

He conceded tourists would have to meet a lesser standard of commitment but dismissed criticisms that it was impractical to apply his idea to tourists, or that Australians did not observe the values of the countries they visit.

"When in Rome, do as Romans do … I wouldn't go to Saudi Arabia on a visit and get off the plane and look for the nearest bar for a good drink-up … I wouldn't go to Thailand and look around in a Buddhist culture where people respect the top of the head … for somebody's head to pat.

"I make a study of every country I go to, what their values are, and what their norms are, in order to be a decent ambassador for this country."

Mr Beazley has written to the Australian Tourism Export Council asking it to help with establishing the best way to ensure all people visiting Australia know and understand Australian values.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Institute Of Kytheraismos on 18.09.2006

Kytheraismos Conference. 15th-17th September, 2006.

Canberra Times. Saturday 16th September, 2006. p. 2.

PM says nation backs migrant test.

By Sandra O’MaIIey

Prime Minister John Howard believes he has community support for his plan to test the language skills of migrants, despite opposition from ethnic groups.
The Government is planning to make new arrivals take a test confirming their language skills, as well as their knowledge of Australian history and values.
And they will have to wait four years, rather than three, to become citizens.
Labor and multicultural groups oppose the strict new requirements for citizenship.
But Mr Howard believes the com­munity is behind his plan, which will be unveiled in a discussion paper on Sunday. “There’s overwhelming sup­port in the Australian community for a requirement that people who become Australian citizens have a working knowledge of English,” he said.
There will be some flexibility in the new regime, catering for cases like elderly parents joining their children.
“[The proposals are] not a tablet from the mountain,” Mr Howard said. “There will be a commonsense approach taken to these things.”
Mr Howard expects the new requirements to be relatively simple for anyone serious about becoming an Australian.
‘Certainly we are going to lift the waiting period to four years, there will be a fairly firm English language requirement and the paper itself.
will contain quite a number of issues,” he said.
“It won’t become more difficult if you’re fair dinkum, and most people who come to this country are fair dinkum about becoming part of the community.”
Mr Howard pointed to the Greek community as an example of how an ethnic group could maintain links to their original culture while becoming part of mainstream Australia. “The
Greeks are just a wonderful example of how you do it,” he said after receiving an enthusiastic welcome at a Greek community event (Kytheraismos Conference) at the Hellenic Club in Woden.
“You integrate fully, you become part of the mainstream, your first loyalty is to Australia, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a place in your heart for your home culture, and that’s how we want it.”
Labor leader Kim Beazley, who has his own plan for a values pledge by new arrivals, believes a four-year wait for citizenship is too long. And while the OppOsition believes Eng­lish skills are necessary for new migrants, it doesn’t think they should be a requirement for citizen­ship.
“It is important for migrants that they speak good English and that they have an opportunity to partici­pate effectively in the workplace [and] that’s what gives them an opportunity to do so,” Mr Beazley said. “But as a test of citizenship
no, it’s what’s in your head and in your heart that counts.”
The Federation of Ethnic Cornmunities Councils suspects the language rules would be discriminatory. Federation chairwoman Voula Messimeri said she could not see what Australia stood to gain from the plans.
"We don't support a tough language test because we feel it will discriminate against people from communities where they don't speak English," he said.
Ethnic Communities Council of NSW vice-chairman Justin Li said values could not be taught by making people study for an exam, and warned the eldefly, or migrants without literacy skills, could be discriminated against.
“We cannot expect, for example, elderly migrants from overseas, who have been sponsored by their chil­dren to live in Australia, to have the same potential for proficiency in English as younger migrants,” he said. “We also cannot expect the same standard from migrants from non-European countries or in societies without basic educational opportunities.
Pleased: Prime Minister John Howard at the Hellenic Club yesterday, commends the Greek community for setting a “wonderful example” of integration. Picture: AAP

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Institute Of Kytheraismos on 17.09.2006

Kytheraismos Conference Canberra. 15th-17th September. 2006.

Report. Front page, page 4, Sydney Morning Herald. September 16, 2006

John Howard meets Dimitri Lourandos, 3, at the gathering of Kytherans and their descendants yesterday.
Photo: Chris Lane
.

Phillip Coorey Chief Political Correspondent


Immigrants will need more than just a reasonable command of English if they want to become Australian citizens - a basic knowledge of cricket may also help.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, said yesterday a discussion paper on the new citizenship test, to be released tomorrow with an accompanying advertising campaign, would propose quizzing aspiring citizens' language skills as well as their grasp of Australia's history, culture and values.

"You'll certainly need to know a good deal more about Australia and about Australian customs and the Australian way of life," he told Melbourne radio.

Asked if the history component would include questions on cricket, Mr Howard was prepared to consider it.

"You never know. I think to understand the history of this country I think you might have to do that," he said.

Any immigrant who was "fair dinkum" about becoming a citizen would pass the test easily, he said.

The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, continued to press his idea yesterday of making people sign a pledge to respect Australian law, institutions and values before they entered the country.

This made more sense than waiting until they became eligible for citizenship, he said.

However, after days of criticism from the Government, Mr Beazley acknowledged it was impractical to put the pledge on visa forms for tourists because most tourists did not fill out such a form.

He proposed another "mechanism" to apply the idea to tourists. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I wouldn't go to Saudi Arabia on a visit and get off a plane and look for the nearest bar for a good drink-up."

The Ethnic Communities Council of NSW expressed concern yesterday that the test would be more form than substance. "We don't disagree that migrants should embrace

Australian values, but values and beliefs cannot simply be instilled into people just by making them sit though an exam," said its vice-chairman, Justin Li.

Under the proposed changes, immigrants would have to spend four years instead of two in Australia before becoming eligible for citizenship. Mr Howard said that would be plenty of time to learn English and swot up on their general knowledge.

"The whole idea of a test is that you have got to pass it in order to qualify," he said.

He acknowledged great Australians such as Victor Chang and Arvi Parvo could not speak English when they arrived but said they learnt it later. "We're not saying that nobody in future will be admitted unless they can speak fluent English at the time of admission."

Mr Howard wanted a sensible balance between the old cultural cringe and more recent zealous multiculturalism, "where people are welcome from any part of the world providing they become part of Australia".

Speaking outside a Greek community function in Canberra later yesterday, Mr Howard hailed the Greeks as a "brilliant" example of ethnic integration.

"You integrate fully, you become part of the mainstream, your first loyalty is to Australia, but that doesn't mean you don't have a place in your heart for your home culture and that's how we want it," he said.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 02.11.2006

Kytherian George Poulos. In the Class of '64.

Alan Riley's uncovering of an earlier Gilgandra Infants school photograph,
Gilgandra Infants School, 1960
prompted another school mate, Richard (Dick) Love to provide me with a photograph from our first year in High School.

The new Gilgandra High School had recently been completed, and was in pristine condition.

GILGANDRA Intermediate High School Class Photo – 1A – 1964

Picture taken outside Science Labs looking north towards timber. High School Complex, Court Street, Gilgandra NSW 2827.

I think the names go like this !!

Boys Back Row L to R: 1. Alan Riley; 2. George Poulos; 3. Alan (Mort) Howell; 4 Peter Thompson; 5. Derek (Diggsy) Semmler; 6. Wally (Kooly) George, 7. Nigel McReadie; 8. Geoff Murphy; 9. Jim Cross; 10. Graeme (Mousy) Holland.

Girls Back Row L to R: 1. Pam Bensley; 2. Helen (Darling) Johnson; 3. Kathy L’Homme; 4. Jennifer Barden; 5. Roslyn Parkes; 6. Janice Williams; 7. Christine (Sophie) Oehm; 8. Rayner Pond? 9. Jean Stokes?

Boys Front Row L to R: 1. Stephen (Pop) Offner; 2. Ross Carmichael; 3. Herb Felstead, 4. Richard (Dick) Love; 5. Malcolm Henman; 6. Colin Pond; 7. Allan Gardoll; 8; Graeme Dormer; 9 Tim (Wilma) Wilson.

Girls Front Row L to R: 1. Amanda Barling; 2. Christine Lithgow; 3. Valerie Ward; 4 Leslie (Granny) Greentree; 5. Lorraine Johnson; 6 Val Horwood; 7 Jeanette Taylor.

Teacher Eric HUNT

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by South Coast Register on 31.08.2006

At the Launch of Robyn Florance's A Touch of Greece in Junction Street.

HISTORY: Author Robyn Florance (front right, holding book) with some of the Greek family cafe owners from the Shoalhaven who feature in her book. (Back l-r) Omiros Dinias, Helen Aroney, Theo Aroney, Tony Mosckos, Helen Panaretos, Stephanie Panaretos and (front left) Zaphira Dinias.

A great Greek story

Story: Alan Clark C
Photo: Dayle Latham


From the South Coast Register, Wednesday, August 23, page 18

Descendants of the original Greek families to conduct businesses in Nowra came from as far afield as Queensland for Saturday’s launch of Shoalhaven Historical Society’s new book, A Touch of Greece in Junction Street.

They included President of the Kytherian Association, Victor Kepreotis of Bardwell Valley who performed the launch at the Kladis Estate Winery, Wandandian.

Among the 100-strong crowd were also members of the Aroney, Castrisos, Mosckos, Vlandys and Mavromattes families, most of whom came from the island of Kythera to settle in the Nowra district.

Shoalhaven City Council’s arts development manager Allan Baptist was master of ceremonies for the function in the beautiful garden setting at the winery.

Officially welcoming the guests, Mayor Greg Watson provided personal memories of eating in the cafes covered by Robyn Florance’s book. He cited the work ethic and sense of family as reasons for their success.

Member for Kiama, Matt Brown spoke of the warm feeling of the Greek cafes, and the “wholesome hamburgers” among the food they sold. On behalf of the NSW Government, he congratulated Mrs Florance on the work, which had been recognised by the Community Relations Commission that provided funding for the project under its Community Development Grants Program.

Mr Kepreotis thanked Robyn and the historical society for researching and publishing this story that was so important to the families. He said many of these pioneers had arrived with little, yet at a young age had established their own businesses which prospered. Some had migrated alone, to be followed years later by their wives, and by hard work they were able to send money back home while also accumulating capital.

They were prepared to open for long hours their premises that were often located alongside theatres and billiard rooms. After officially launching the 44-page book, Mr Kepreotis presented a history of Kythera to Mrs Florance.

Society president Lynne Allen thanked Jim and Nikki Kladis for hosting the day, and continuing the tradition of Greek hospitality, they had left no stone unturned to ensure its success. Mrs Allen said she was in awe of those Greek people who had left their homeland at a young age, without any knowledge of the language, to build successful lives in Australia. She and Mrs Florance both thanked all those who had assisted in the research, freely providing information and photographs for the publication.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by George Poulos on 18.08.2006

Two Kytherian children, at Gilgandra Primary School, Year 3, 1960.

Second row, 2nd from left, Toula Sklavos. Eldest daughter of Peter Sklavos, Pentes & Theodora Sklavos (nee, Sophios).

Back row, 2nd from left, George C Poulos. Eldest son of Con(standinos) Hlihlis (Tzortzo)Poulos, and Envangalia Belos (K)Coroneos.

Photograph kindly supplied by Alan Riley, Brisbane, in 2006.

My father was a very "unsentimental" man, and the Poulos family kept very few photographs and keepsakes from our youth.

I was very gratified therefore, when my old friend and classmate Alan Riley provided me with a photograph from this era.

Just another of the many benefits of being involved with kythera-family, and the preservation of the Kytherian heritage.

Thanks very much Al.

Class 3A, Gilgandra Primary School, 1960

Teacher Mrs Muir

Boys Back Row:

Noel Trudgett; George Poulos; Phillip Molkentien; Jim Cross; Richard Dick Love; Glenn Moose Moore; Derek Diggsy Semmler; Chris Kip McAuley; Wally Kooli George; Ross Carmichael; Robert Howell; Alan Riley

Girls Back Row:
Narelle Hurkitt; Kathy L'Homme; Elizabeth Townsend ; Lynette Wilson ; Jennifer Barden; Betty Morgan; Janice (Pro)Fressa Williams; Pam Bensley; Helen Johnson; Ella Kallinin ; Heather Bamblett

Girls Front Row:
Christine Lithgow; Toula Sklavos; Leslie Grannie Greentree; Val(erie) Ward; Amanda Barling; Roslyn McCutcheon; Lorraine Johnson; Jeanette Taylor; Diane Booty Shaw; Val Horwood ; Lynette Smith

Boys Front Row:
Herbie Felstead; Len Roach; Patrick Turtle Elliott; Stephen Pop Offner; Stephen Officer; Alan Aspro Asthmus; Ray Johnston; Malcolm Henman; Graham Mousey Holland.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Epsilon Magazine on 21.06.2006

Beach.....more relaxing. Stephanie unwinds.

Set in Gold. Stephanie Magiros works magic for NSW

Volume 1, Issue 5, Epsilon (Magazine), 31st May, 2006; pages 1, & 34-39

Epsilon is a new Greek-Australian magazine, which is published bi-weekly.

Volume 1, Issue 1, was launched on April 1, 2006.

It is available at all newstands in Australia, which sell the O Kosmos newspaper.


Contact <b>Epsilon</b> here

Epsilon, more details

Stephanie Magiros is not used to giving up easily. She might be small and young - she is barely fifteen - but after twelve long years living and breathing gymnastics she has learned that the harder the fall, the quicker you need to get back on your feet, a broad smile plastered all over your face as you bravely march on to your next apparatus. And to be quite frank, her never-give-up attitude couldn't have come handier at a better time. Not for her sake, that is, but for mine.

Thing is, we have just finished our interview, when to my horror I realise that my trusty old recorder has given up on me, capturing for prosperity only the first minutes of our almost hour-long conversation.

"No need to panic" she offers, as thick drops of sweat start running down my face, warm as baby tears. "You'll just have to do it again, won't we"? Problem is, can you trust the damn recorder? Again, Stephanie has the solution. Within a matter of minutes, she has come with a more viable solution than my old companion. She sets up her computer as a make shift recorder and we off we go, to (re) capture the essence of the pocket sized dynamo that is Stephanie Magiros.
In the hour that follows we talk about her gold and bronze medal performances during this year's recent National Gymnastics Championships, the sacrifices she had to make to reach the dizzy heights of success, her dreams and aspirations, occasionally posing to discuss the nature of the sport and the effect it can have on a young girl's life.

And if you think success has gone to her head, then think again. Bright and articulate, she answers my questions with the bravado of someone that knows how much ground they have covered in the long and often thorny road to glory, but somehow manages to exude the humbleness of a novice, her feet firmly stuck to the ground. And rather than having a good old whine about the small pleasures of life denied to her by her chosen path, Stephanie takes it all in her stride, showing a maturity not usually associated with her age.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of one very determined young lady.

Tell me a little bit more about the competition you recently excelled in.

It was a national championship where I had the chance to represent my state. NSW made history books by winning levels seven to nine in team events. I was a part of the level eight team. In these types of competition an athlete competes in four different apparatus: floor, vault, beams and bar. During the competition every team is made up of six girls. Out of the six girls, the four best results count towards the team's overall score. All my four scores counted for the team total. I suppose if I wasn't part of the NSW team and if I hadn't performed as well as I did, my team probably wouldn't have won the gold. A couple of days later I won bronze in the individual vault competition. What basically happens is that they get your score from the team competition and add it to the individual competition. The competition was held at Homebush Bay at the State Sports Centre. Sydney has held the event for the last three years in a row. Apparently it's supposed to change next year but nothing is certain.

From what your parents have been telling me, during competitions, you have to leave home and stay with the rest of the team.

That’s right. This time we stayed in a hotel at Ryde. What this means is that you don't get to see your family or your school friends for a week. The only people you see are your coaches, your chaperons and your fellow team members. Usually all six girls stay together in a room, which is good for the team morale as we get to know each other better and learn to work as a team. Everyday we have to drive to the venue. You get one day of competition, followed by a day of training and then you go back to compete again. When you are not competing, you usually stay at the venue to see your teammates and cheer them on.

Is the gold medal you have just won the highlight of your career so far?

There have been other success stories. Last year I won the NSW State Championships in level 7, and I had the chance to represent my state in last year's national competition as well.

You talk a lot about levels. How are these measured? By age or ability?

It's all down to the individual's ability and skills, by what everyone is capable of doing. It's pretty pointless to compete at level eight when I do not have the necessary skills required at that level.

How long have you been doing this?

For about twelve years now. I started gymnastics when I was two and a half years old. Not that I remember anything from that time. But from what my parents were telling me, the reason they enrolled my in gymnastics was simply because I was a jumping jellybean. I was almost teaching myself somersaults on my bed. She thought that if she enrolled me, I would stop jumping around and being so hyperactive at home. Of course, her plan never worked. It actually had the opposite effect. I would come home from the gym and practice everything I had learned on my bed.

Who has been the biggest influence of our career so far?

Apart from m parents, I have to say my coach Bill Parsons. He has been my coach since I walked through the doors of the NSW Academy of Gymnastics as a three year old. He has been with me all the way, and he is more than a coach, he is my mentor and a friend.

At what stage did gymnastics stop being what you parents enrolled you in and become what you wanted to do?

I thing I must have been four or five. I remember I was also doing ballet at the time, which I completely hated. I found it really boring, not something that consumed a lot of my energy. Ballet is all about looking pretty and elegant and I have always been more the jumpy, hyperactive type. I know from then on that gymnastics was more suited to me. As I grew older, I realised that my body wasn't suited for ballet, so I suppose I made the right choice.

I suppose it's fair to presume, that you have never considered trying rhythmic gymnastics?

No. Definitely not. And even if I had, I don't think I would have been able to do it. Again, my body is not suited to that. With rhythmic gymnastics you need to be flexible and tall and skinny, which I am not. And it's too much like ballet, which I still can't stand.

What's an average day in the life of Stephanie Magiros like?

I get up at seven o clock, get to school by eight thirty, come back just after three o'clock in the afternoon. After a quick lunch I get ready for the gym. I have to be there by four and I finish training at eight thirty at night. I have my dinner, then do a bit of homework and go to sleep around eleven - eleven thirty. I suppose I'm lucky to be one of those people that can get by with only five to six hours of sleep. It's the same routine four times a week. I train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is my day off, which gives me the chance to spend some time with my family. On Saturdays I train from ten o'clock in the morning till two in the afternoon and the rest of my weekend is free.

Is that too hard, physically as well as mentally, on a young person like yourself?

I do get tired sometimes, but that depends on what training season we are in, if there is a competition coming up or if we are learning new techniques and skills. I believe that I handle it very well, though. I never think that I don't want to do it anymore or something.

How do you manage to fit your schoolwork into your schedule?

I do my school work when ever I can, which is pretty much during free days, weekends and after the gym when I get home. I've learned not to waste time in order to fit everything in.

What did you have to sacrifice to get to the level you are today?

I don't look at it as being a sacrifice. But I had to miss out on my school life with my friends. Sometimes they might be going out shopping on a Saturday morning and I always have to turn them down and say "Sorry, I can't do this, I have to train". Sometimes they will pressure me telling me "just skip a day, it's only one day, you train all year", but they don't understand that missing a day of training adds up in the end. For example, if I skip training on a Saturday, when I go back on Monday my muscles are sore. Plus one day away from the gym might mean that I will miss out on learning a new skill. When it's competition season I have to sacrifice all the other sports I enjoy. I am not allowed to do things like ice-skating, rollerblading and all the other sports you can injure yourself. I really love water skiing and when I'm in competition season I have to stay away from it in case I have a wipe out and hurt myself. If that happens at the gym, I'd understand. If it happens elsewhere I'd be really disappointed with myself.

What about missing out on social events, like a friend's birthday or yiayia's name day? Does that have a negative effect on you?

Not really. If it's a friend's birthday I just tell them I can't go because I'm training. At first they are upset but then they understand that my life at this stage is dedicated to gymnastics.

What drives you to dedicate so much of your life to gymnastics? Wouldn't it be easier to quit, for example?

I wouldn't quit gymnastics. Apart from my love for the sport, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I did. I would have twenty spare hours that I would have to fill with something else. Also, I haven't achieved all the goals I have set for myself.

What else would you like to achieve?

I would love to represent Australia at some point. To do that, I first have to reach level 10, and compete at that level at the nationals.

How far away is that dream?

Two years I would say.

What does it take to get to level 10? How many more hours of training do you have to put in?

It's not only the hours. You have to be more consistent with your training and work hard all the time.

What's the major difference between the life you are leading now, and that of a girl your age that represents her country at Olympics level?

Olympians on an average, train between 38 to 46 hours per week. They pretty much don't have a reasonably normal life like I do. They have three hours of school and six hours of gym everyday.

Has it ever crossed your mind to put more hours in and get to that level or are you happy where you are now?

I'm happy with how my gymnastics career is going and how it has been in the past. It's probably a bit late now anyway. You have to make that decision when you are ten or eleven. I have chosen not to go that way, and I am happy with it. I think I have a nice balance: a good gymnastics career, a great family, and some very good friends.

Is it hard being away from your family? How often do you have to do that?

It's good to get away from my two brothers every now and then. I usually go away two to three times a year. I had to go away from home and compete in Queensland, Victoria, and Canberra and recently in Hawaii. I am not normally totally away from my family. My mum always comes with my as a chaperon of the squad and it's good to have her there with me. I don't really miss my school friends or my family because I see them every day. Sometimes it's fun going away and concentrating on a competition with your gymnastic friends. And anyway, there are times that I feel I am closer to the friends I have made in gymnastics. They do the same hours of training as me, they have the same routine, and we know the sacrifices we have to make.

What gives you more pleasure: winning or learning new skills?

You do feel proud when you have learned a new skill, especially when you start putting it into your routine. Then you do your routine at a competition, knowing that if you do well, you will have the chance to win a medal. If that happens, you do feel proud for what you have achieved.

What about when an award doesn't come your way. How do you deal with the disappointment?

I do feel disappointed if something goes wrong in a competition. But that failure makes me go back to the gym and work harder to get it right the second time. When you go to a competition and you fall on your first attempt, you can't just think that everything is over. You have to put that behind you and focus on the next three apparatus and try to finish strong.

Have you considered your life away from gymnastics? What would you like to do once your career is over?

After I retire I might do a bit of diving. I already have some of the skills required, like aerial sense, the motion, all the twisting and somersaulting, and the speed I have learned from gymnastics. A sport like that would be easy for me to learn. I would also love to go into coaching. It would be much easier for me to be a coach than a person off the street. I have been there and done that, I know the sport and I know what it takes to coach and develop good gymnasts, as it was done to me.

What was the hardest competition you had to take part in?

During the competition in Hawaii, a teammate and me had to compete at level ten, three levels higher than what we were at the time. We went up against a girl who had just come fifth in the world championships. We really appreciated the opportunity to compete against someone who was almost at the top.

What is your favorite apparatus?

In competition my favorite is vault and floor. Vault because it is a fast apparatus, whereas bars and beam are much longer and much easier to fall down. If your last apparatus is floor, then you can let go, show off your skills, your routine, you can show off your expressions. But in training I really enjoy beam because you get to practice the skills you've learned on the floor on a piece of wood that's 10cm wide. When you pull it off, it's the best feeling. At the moment my strongest apparatus is vault because it required speed and strength, which are my best skills. Plus I have a good aerial sense and I know where my body is when I am twisting. At the moment I am really struggling with bars. It used to be my best apparatus, but as my body changes I find it difficult. With bars you need more technique and a longer body, and as you can see I am not the tallest person in the world.

Growing up, who were your idols?

I used to look up to a girl called Trudy Macintosh. She used to have a vault named after her. She was the first girl in the world to ever perform that vault and I thought it was really cool to have a vault named after you. I was hoping in the future to learn that vault and be as good as her. I got the chance to meet Trudy during the Sydney Olympics. I was part of the closing ceremony. I was dressed as a teddy bear, doing headstands and cartwheels around the stadium. We were part of the Bananas and Pajamas float. After you did your little bit you could go in the middle and party with all the Olympians. It was there that I met Trudy Macintosh and she signed my costume. I will never throw that teddy bear outfit away.


**The parents' point of view**

Helen Magiros

How much of your time does Stephanie's career take?


It does take a lot of time driving her to training everyday and then picking her up at night. I do have another two boys and I try to divide my time equally between my children. I don't want the boys to turn around in ten of fifteen years and say "we didn't do this; we couldn't do that because of Stephanie and her gym". Most afternoons I have three drop-offs and three pick ups, because I want to give the boys their opportunities as well. They have their soccer, their baseball, their ten pin bowling.

As a parent of an athlete, do you find that you have to sacrifice a lot of things as well?

I can't say that I miss out on a lot of things, but Stephanie's career does take a lot of my spare time. When you have a child that's so heavily involved into the sport, you usually have to do a lot of other things, like helping out in the fundraising committees. And then you have the other extra things that Stephanie needs like physio appointments and doctor appointments, she might need a massage and of course I have to drive her to all those places.

Shouldn't that be the club's responsibility? Isn't it ironic that the parents’ role is often played down; when in reality without the parents' dedication we would have had the likes of Ian Thorpe for example?

The parents are in the background but they are the ones that actually provide the foundation for the children to have these sporting career. It's not as if she could drive herself to the gym when she was five. The reality is that parents need to be just as dedicated as their children, Sure we do sacrifice a bit. We miss out on holidays, on long weekends etc because Stephanie needs to train.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Epsilon Magazine on 21.06.2006

On the beach.

Relaxing......from competition.

Set in Gold. Stephanie Magiros works magic for NSW


Volume 1, Issue 5, Epsilon (Magazine), 31st May, 2006; pages 1, & 34-39

Epsilon is a new Greek-Australian magazine, which is published bi-weekly.

Volume 1, Issue 1, was launched on April 1, 2006.

It is available at all newstands in Australia, which sell the O Kosmos newspaper.


Contact <b>Epsilon</b> here

Epsilon, more details

Stephanie Magiros is not used to giving up easily. She might be small and young - she is barely fifteen - but after twelve long years living and breathing gymnastics she has learned that the harder the fall, the quicker you need to get back on your feet, a broad smile plastered all over your face as you bravely march on to your next apparatus. And to be quite frank, her never-give-up attitude couldn't have come handier at a better time. Not for her sake, that is, but for mine.

Thing is, we have just finished our interview, when to my horror I realise that my trusty old recorder has given up on me, capturing for prosperity only the first minutes of our almost hour-long conversation.

"No need to panic" she offers, as thick drops of sweat start running down my face, warm as baby tears. "You'll just have to do it again, won't we"? Problem is, can you trust the damn recorder? Again, Stephanie has the solution. Within a matter of minutes, she has come with a more viable solution than my old companion. She sets up her computer as a make shift recorder and we off we go, to (re) capture the essence of the pocket sized dynamo that is Stephanie Magiros.
In the hour that follows we talk about her gold and bronze medal performances during this year's recent National Gymnastics Championships, the sacrifices she had to make to reach the dizzy heights of success, her dreams and aspirations, occasionally posing to discuss the nature of the sport and the effect it can have on a young girl's life.

And if you think success has gone to her head, then think again. Bright and articulate, she answers my questions with the bravado of someone that knows how much ground they have covered in the long and often thorny road to glory, but somehow manages to exude the humbleness of a novice, her feet firmly stuck to the ground. And rather than having a good old whine about the small pleasures of life denied to her by her chosen path, Stephanie takes it all in her stride, showing a maturity not usually associated with her age.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of one very determined young lady.

Tell me a little bit more about the competition you recently excelled in.

It was a national championship where I had the chance to represent my state. NSW made history books by winning levels seven to nine in team events. I was a part of the level eight team. In these types of competition an athlete competes in four different apparatus: floor, vault, beams and bar. During the competition every team is made up of six girls. Out of the six girls, the four best results count towards the team's overall score. All my four scores counted for the team total. I suppose if I wasn't part of the NSW team and if I hadn't performed as well as I did, my team probably wouldn't have won the gold. A couple of days later I won bronze in the individual vault competition. What basically happens is that they get your score from the team competition and add it to the individual competition. The competition was held at Homebush Bay at the State Sports Centre. Sydney has held the event for the last three years in a row. Apparently it's supposed to change next year but nothing is certain.

From what your parents have been telling me, during competitions, you have to leave home and stay with the rest of the team.

That’s right. This time we stayed in a hotel at Ryde. What this means is that you don't get to see your family or your school friends for a week. The only people you see are your coaches, your chaperons and your fellow team members. Usually all six girls stay together in a room, which is good for the team morale as we get to know each other better and learn to work as a team. Everyday we have to drive to the venue. You get one day of competition, followed by a day of training and then you go back to compete again. When you are not competing, you usually stay at the venue to see your teammates and cheer them on.

Is the gold medal you have just won the highlight of your career so far?

There have been other success stories. Last year I won the NSW State Championships in level 7, and I had the chance to represent my state in last year's national competition as well.

You talk a lot about levels. How are these measured? By age or ability?

It's all down to the individual's ability and skills, by what everyone is capable of doing. It's pretty pointless to compete at level eight when I do not have the necessary skills required at that level.

How long have you been doing this?

For about twelve years now. I started gymnastics when I was two and a half years old. Not that I remember anything from that time. But from what my parents were telling me, the reason they enrolled my in gymnastics was simply because I was a jumping jellybean. I was almost teaching myself somersaults on my bed. She thought that if she enrolled me, I would stop jumping around and being so hyperactive at home. Of course, her plan never worked. It actually had the opposite effect. I would come home from the gym and practice everything I had learned on my bed.

Who has been the biggest influence of our career so far?

Apart from m parents, I have to say my coach Bill Parsons. He has been my coach since I walked through the doors of the NSW Academy of Gymnastics as a three year old. He has been with me all the way, and he is more than a coach, he is my mentor and a friend.

At what stage did gymnastics stop being what you parents enrolled you in and become what you wanted to do?

I thing I must have been four or five. I remember I was also doing ballet at the time, which I completely hated. I found it really boring, not something that consumed a lot of my energy. Ballet is all about looking pretty and elegant and I have always been more the jumpy, hyperactive type. I know from then on that gymnastics was more suited to me. As I grew older, I realised that my body wasn't suited for ballet, so I suppose I made the right choice.

I suppose it's fair to presume, that you have never considered trying rhythmic gymnastics?

No. Definitely not. And even if I had, I don't think I would have been able to do it. Again, my body is not suited to that. With rhythmic gymnastics you need to be flexible and tall and skinny, which I am not. And it's too much like ballet, which I still can't stand.

What's an average day in the life of Stephanie Magiros like?

I get up at seven o clock, get to school by eight thirty, come back just after three o'clock in the afternoon. After a quick lunch I get ready for the gym. I have to be there by four and I finish training at eight thirty at night. I have my dinner, then do a bit of homework and go to sleep around eleven - eleven thirty. I suppose I'm lucky to be one of those people that can get by with only five to six hours of sleep. It's the same routine four times a week. I train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is my day off, which gives me the chance to spend some time with my family. On Saturdays I train from ten o'clock in the morning till two in the afternoon and the rest of my weekend is free.

Is that too hard, physically as well as mentally, on a young person like yourself?

I do get tired sometimes, but that depends on what training season we are in, if there is a competition coming up or if we are learning new techniques and skills. I believe that I handle it very well, though. I never think that I don't want to do it anymore or something.

How do you manage to fit your schoolwork into your schedule?

I do my school work when ever I can, which is pretty much during free days, weekends and after the gym when I get home. I've learned not to waste time in order to fit everything in.

What did you have to sacrifice to get to the level you are today?

I don't look at it as being a sacrifice. But I had to miss out on my school life with my friends. Sometimes they might be going out shopping on a Saturday morning and I always have to turn them down and say "Sorry, I can't do this, I have to train". Sometimes they will pressure me telling me "just skip a day, it's only one day, you train all year", but they don't understand that missing a day of training adds up in the end. For example, if I skip training on a Saturday, when I go back on Monday my muscles are sore. Plus one day away from the gym might mean that I will miss out on learning a new skill. When it's competition season I have to sacrifice all the other sports I enjoy. I am not allowed to do things like ice-skating, rollerblading and all the other sports you can injure yourself. I really love water skiing and when I'm in competition season I have to stay away from it in case I have a wipe out and hurt myself. If that happens at the gym, I'd understand. If it happens elsewhere I'd be really disappointed with myself.

What about missing out on social events, like a friend's birthday or yiayia's name day? Does that have a negative effect on you?

Not really. If it's a friend's birthday I just tell them I can't go because I'm training. At first they are upset but then they understand that my life at this stage is dedicated to gymnastics.

What drives you to dedicate so much of your life to gymnastics? Wouldn't it be easier to quit, for example?

I wouldn't quit gymnastics. Apart from my love for the sport, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I did. I would have twenty spare hours that I would have to fill with something else. Also, I haven't achieved all the goals I have set for myself.

What else would you like to achieve?

I would love to represent Australia at some point. To do that, I first have to reach level 10, and compete at that level at the nationals.

How far away is that dream?

Two years I would say.

What does it take to get to level 10? How many more hours of training do you have to put in?

It's not only the hours. You have to be more consistent with your training and work hard all the time.

What's the major difference between the life you are leading now, and that of a girl your age that represents her country at Olympics level?

Olympians on an average, train between 38 to 46 hours per week. They pretty much don't have a reasonably normal life like I do. They have three hours of school and six hours of gym everyday.

Has it ever crossed your mind to put more hours in and get to that level or are you happy where you are now?

I'm happy with how my gymnastics career is going and how it has been in the past. It's probably a bit late now anyway. You have to make that decision when you are ten or eleven. I have chosen not to go that way, and I am happy with it. I think I have a nice balance: a good gymnastics career, a great family, and some very good friends.

Is it hard being away from your family? How often do you have to do that?

It's good to get away from my two brothers every now and then. I usually go away two to three times a year. I had to go away from home and compete in Queensland, Victoria, and Canberra and recently in Hawaii. I am not normally totally away from my family. My mum always comes with my as a chaperon of the squad and it's good to have her there with me. I don't really miss my school friends or my family because I see them every day. Sometimes it's fun going away and concentrating on a competition with your gymnastic friends. And anyway, there are times that I feel I am closer to the friends I have made in gymnastics. They do the same hours of training as me, they have the same routine, and we know the sacrifices we have to make.

What gives you more pleasure: winning or learning new skills?

You do feel proud when you have learned a new skill, especially when you start putting it into your routine. Then you do your routine at a competition, knowing that if you do well, you will have the chance to win a medal. If that happens, you do feel proud for what you have achieved.

What about when an award doesn't come your way. How do you deal with the disappointment?

I do feel disappointed if something goes wrong in a competition. But that failure makes me go back to the gym and work harder to get it right the second time. When you go to a competition and you fall on your first attempt, you can't just think that everything is over. You have to put that behind you and focus on the next three apparatus and try to finish strong.

Have you considered your life away from gymnastics? What would you like to do once your career is over?

After I retire I might do a bit of diving. I already have some of the skills required, like aerial sense, the motion, all the twisting and somersaulting, and the speed I have learned from gymnastics. A sport like that would be easy for me to learn. I would also love to go into coaching. It would be much easier for me to be a coach than a person off the street. I have been there and done that, I know the sport and I know what it takes to coach and develop good gymnasts, as it was done to me.

What was the hardest competition you had to take part in?

During the competition in Hawaii, a teammate and me had to compete at level ten, three levels higher than what we were at the time. We went up against a girl who had just come fifth in the world championships. We really appreciated the opportunity to compete against someone who was almost at the top.

What is your favorite apparatus?

In competition my favorite is vault and floor. Vault because it is a fast apparatus, whereas bars and beam are much longer and much easier to fall down. If your last apparatus is floor, then you can let go, show off your skills, your routine, you can show off your expressions. But in training I really enjoy beam because you get to practice the skills you've learned on the floor on a piece of wood that's 10cm wide. When you pull it off, it's the best feeling. At the moment my strongest apparatus is vault because it required speed and strength, which are my best skills. Plus I have a good aerial sense and I know where my body is when I am twisting. At the moment I am really struggling with bars. It used to be my best apparatus, but as my body changes I find it difficult. With bars you need more technique and a longer body, and as you can see I am not the tallest person in the world.

Growing up, who were your idols?

I used to look up to a girl called Trudy Macintosh. She used to have a vault named after her. She was the first girl in the world to ever perform that vault and I thought it was really cool to have a vault named after you. I was hoping in the future to learn that vault and be as good as her. I got the chance to meet Trudy during the Sydney Olympics. I was part of the closing ceremony. I was dressed as a teddy bear, doing headstands and cartwheels around the stadium. We were part of the Bananas and Pajamas float. After you did your little bit you could go in the middle and party with all the Olympians. It was there that I met Trudy Macintosh and she signed my costume. I will never throw that teddy bear outfit away.


**The parents' point of view**

Helen Magiros

How much of your time does Stephanie's career take?


It does take a lot of time driving her to training everyday and then picking her up at night. I do have another two boys and I try to divide my time equally between my children. I don't want the boys to turn around in ten of fifteen years and say "we didn't do this; we couldn't do that because of Stephanie and her gym". Most afternoons I have three drop-offs and three pick ups, because I want to give the boys their opportunities as well. They have their soccer, their baseball, their ten pin bowling.

As a parent of an athlete, do you find that you have to sacrifice a lot of things as well?

I can't say that I miss out on a lot of things, but Stephanie's career does take a lot of my spare time. When you have a child that's so heavily involved into the sport, you usually have to do a lot of other things, like helping out in the fundraising committees. And then you have the other extra things that Stephanie needs like physio appointments and doctor appointments, she might need a massage and of course I have to drive her to all those places.

Shouldn't that be the club's responsibility? Isn't it ironic that the parents’ role is often played down; when in reality without the parents' dedication we would have had the likes of Ian Thorpe for example?

The parents are in the background but they are the ones that actually provide the foundation for the children to have these sporting career. It's not as if she could drive herself to the gym when she was five. The reality is that parents need to be just as dedicated as their children, Sure we do sacrifice a bit. We miss out on holidays, on long weekends etc because Stephanie needs to train.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by John George PRINEAS on 04.06.2006

Kytherian Ball 2006

The 2006 Ball of the Kytherian Association of Australia was held at Star City Casino, SYDNEY.
Photos can be viewed at my website
http://prineas.isfriendly.com
and click at Kytherian Ball 2006

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Clarence River Historical Society on 02.07.2006

Greek Independence Day celebrations. Grafton. 1946.

March 1946.

Left to right:

Older man (?)

Boy, (front), George Bernard

Boy (obscured), Spiro Notaras

Older man, back (?)

Young boy, front, Angelo Notaras

Young boy obscured, Arthur Bernard

Older man, back (?)

Tall man, front (?)

Young boy, front, Mitchell Notaras

Man back, Gordon Winfield, Member of State Parliament

Man, front (?)

Man back (?)

Man with arm outstretched, Anthony Notaras, father of Mitchell, Angelo, John, Irene and Betty

Man behind, Peter Theodore

Young man, front (?)

Man, Jim Langley

Young boy (obscured) (?)

Young boy (obscured) (?)

Young girl, front, (?)

Man behind, Nick Andronicos

Man in front, Nick Langley

Boy in Cadet uniform, (?)

Man on end, Peter Bernard


From the photographic collection of the Clarence River Historical Society.

Schaeffer House

190 Fitzroy St.
Grafton NSW 2460
Australia

PO Box 396
Grafton NSW 2460

Ph: (02) 6642 5212
Fax:(02) 6642 5212

Email, Clarence River Historical Society
www.nor.com.au/community/museums

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by The Daily Examiner, Grafton on 27.05.2006

Spiro and Brinos Notaras. 1955.

At Arthur Bernards 21st Birthday party.

Group photograph, 1955

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Stephen Samios on 01.07.2006

Arthur Bernards 21st.

Grafton. 1955.

Copy obtained from Chris Hatgis, May 2006.

Standing rear

1. Norman Walham

2. Angelo Hatgis (deceased, 2005)

3.

4.

5. Minas Castrissios

6.

7. (Slightly forward)George Castrissios

8.

9. (Partly obscured)

10. (Partly obscured)

11. George Bernard

12. (Rear centre, obscured)

13. Stella Pappazissi (nee, Hatgis)

14. (Partly obscured)

15. Irene Gavrily (nee, Notaras). Spiro and Brinos's sister.

16.

17.

18.

Seated centre

19.

20. Head down, obscured, looking to viewers left)

21.

22. Arthur Bernard

23.

24.

Kneeling far lower right

25. Spiro Notaras (glasses)

26. Brinos Notaras

Kneeling far lower left

27. Chris Hatgis

28.

Lower Centre

29. (Young girl, seated) Kyranne Bernard

30. Wife of Bruce Gleeson

31. Bruce Gleeson

32.

33.

34. (Young boy, fair hair). Bob Myer. (Car Salesman, Grafton).

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Brotherhood Of Baltimore on 24.05.2006

Kytherian Society of Baltimore. USA.

Marching in the Greek Independence Day Mid-Atlantic Parade. August Anthony Conomos, carried the Brotherhood's banner with Joseph Link.

August Anthony Conomos is Touy Conomos Houzouris' and Diane Conomos Homberg's father.

Joseph Link is the great grandson of Sophia Trifillis George. Joseph's mother is Stephanie Panos Link. Stephanie's mother was Lili George Panos.
Lili's mother was Sophia Trifillis George.

The parade was held in Baltimore's Greektown on Sunday, March 26, 2006
in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Information about the parade and the
activities of the parade committee can be found on the web at www.greekparade.com.


"BALTIMORE, MARYLAND- Colorful, traditional costumes and ethnic pride of both young and old will fill the streets of Baltimore on SUNDAY, March 26, 2006, 2:00 PM, as the Greek-American Community commemorates Greek Independence Day with a festive parade in Baltimore’s historic Greektown. We have groups participating from as far away as Ocean City, Hagerstown, and Frederick, Maryland, from Washington, D.C., Falls Church and Fredericksburg, Virginia and also Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania. We honor our ancestors’ sacrifices that freed, protected and preserved the ideals of Greece, the birthplace of Freedom and Democracy, which shaped the entire world. This Parade recognizes this Legacy of Greece and our Spirit in America: Freedom and Democracy for All This event is celebrated in every corner of the world and we bare the responsibilities as our Greek and Philhellenic forefathers did to further this Legacy. We welcome one and all — especially, our children, inheritors of our traditions and future guarantors of these ideals.”

In addition, the event has drawn the attention of many area leaders. Among the dignitaries who will lead off this year’s parade are U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Governor Robert Ehrlich, Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele, U.S. Congressman Benjamin Cardin, U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, The Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus and the Consul General of Greece (both from Washington, D.C.), and many more elected officials. Adding further excitement, the Naval Academy will march in force with a unit of Greek! Philhellene Midshipmen, Color Guard, and Navy Drum and Bugle Corps.

The year’s Mid-Atlantic commemoration marks the l84” year since Greece’s declaration of independence from Ottoman Turkish rule. Greeks and Philhellenes gather on this solemn, yet joyous, occasion to remember the sacrifice of their ancestors in defeating the tyranny of slavery. We now carry the torch of Democracy to be passed to future generations.

We invite others to join with us on this day of celebration, so that the flame may burn brighter, our children may live in peace, and the world may now that never again shall the voice of freedom be extinguished. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March 25th” a national Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, acknowledging in his resolution, “ ... the lasting debt of gratitude to the People of Greece and all People of Greek heritage for the Democratic ideals which inspired the founding of our own Nation.” This day offers the United States and Greece, two nations which share the same convictions about man’s inalienable rights on this earth, an opportunity to celebrate freedom and democracy together. Prelude to the parade will be a DIGNITARY AND PRESS ONLY RECEPTION AT 12:00 NOON in the heart of Greektown at IKAROS Restaurant, located at 4805 Eastern Avenue (corner of Ponca St.). The parade will feature dance groups in ethnic costumes, children groups, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Orthodox Clergy from the Baltimore-Washington area and delicious ethnic food will be available. Parade route proceeds from Haven Street, up Eastern Avenue, turns right onto Ponca Street and ends two blocks past the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Fait Avenue".

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 08.05.2006

Victor Kepreotis, Prof. Manuel Aroney, Stavros Paspalas, & Angelo Crones.

At the lecture by Dr Stavros Paspalas, Deputy-Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, entitled Kythera: A Mediterranean Island Through Time. Sydney University

From, The Kytherian, May 2006, Page 8.

[Newsletter of the Kytherian Association of Australia.]

by, George Vardas


On 5 April 2006 more than 200 people crowded into the General Lecture Theatre in the Main Quadrangle of Sydney University to hear an enthralling lecture by Dr Stavros Paspalas, Deputy-Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, entitled “Kythera: A Mediterranean Island Through Time”. The audience was literally taken on an enchanted tour through time and space as Dr Paspalas chronicled the significant impact which this little island has had in the broader history of the Mediterranean basin from the “deep recesses of antiquity”.

The catalyst for this renewed interest in the history of Kythera has been a number of scientific and archaeological investigations, including the Australian Paliochora-Kythera Project (APKAS) which is a project of the Sydney University Archaeological Computing Laboratory and sponsored by the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens. The Nicholas Aroney Foundation has also provided financial support for the project which has been ongoing since 1999.

As Dr Paspalas explained, the landscape of Kythera is littered with evidence of human occupation going back millennia. APKAS is an intensive and systematic archaeological field survey which has sought to reconstruct the history and cultural dynamics of the northern part of the island. The team members literally walk across the landscape and record all archaeological material that is observed, including pottery fragments and other cultural remains that lie on the surface. In this way, the researchers gain a better understanding of the human activity in the areas that are surveyed.

The field walking in the area around Ammoutses produced pottery sherds from the Bronze Age (around 2SOOBC) with a heavy concentration of Early Helladic and Minoan-type ceramics. Ever since the work of the British in the 1960s at Kastri and more recently the excavations at the Minoan peak sanctuary below Aghios Georgios tou Vouno undertaken by Professor Yiannis Sakellarakis, it is clear that there was a substantial Minoan presence on Kythera, probably as a large settlement or even a Minoan colony. According to Dr Paspalas, the first Minoans came to Kythera in around 2000BC.

Just as the Minoans saw Kythera as a valuable outpost within the Minoan “thalassocracy” so later traders and merchants came to use the island’s frequently traveled sea lanes, taking the infamous Cape Malea as the major reference point, a mental map for mariners. It also be­came a lair for pirates and raiders.

During the Peloponnesian Wars Kythera was at various stages brought under both Athenian and Spartan influence because of its strategic naval position astride the sea routes. At one point, the island was seen as Sparta’s gateway to colonisation in Northern Africa. The floor mosaics reproduced below were found in the ruins of Carthage and appear to depict the travels of Celestial Aphrodite throughout the Mediterannean. The fortifications of Kythera are clearly evident.
On the rocky islet of Antidragonara (on the eastern side of the island near Diakofti) recent excavations have suggested that the site was a sanctuary connected to Poseidon. A number of coins were also found and these had originated from all over the Mediterranean as far away as the Bosphorus and Ibiza.

In around 960AD Byzantium took over the island at the beginning of the Medieval Period. APKAS has uncovered a settlement at Aghios Georgios Kolokythias (north of Aghia Pelagia) which predates the settlement at Paliochora. This was once a fortified complex with two churches and a cistern. The larger church proba­bly dates back to the 11th century. The settlement enjoyed great views over the sea and was a naturally defendable hillock.

Dr Paspalas then traced the shifts in population as raiders and pirates led to the settlement’s demise in the 12th century. In 1204 with the Fourth Crusade Venice got Kythera as part of the spoils of war. Kythera became but a stepping stone for the Venetian sea-going empire although it developed into an observation point after about 1500. It was in 1537 that the famous Barbarossa, the Ottoman Sultan’s admiral, wreaked havoc along the lonian island coastlines. Barbarossa regarded all and sundry associated with the Venetian Empire as “Venetian infidels” and sacked Paliochora in the process of taking numerous prisoners. In the aftermath of the Ottoman raids, Kythera’s fortifications and defences were strengthened. Castles were built in Hora and Milopotamos as an initial point of refuge for the local inhabitants in the event of future raids. For Venice, Kythera (or Cerigo as it was known) became a “beacon on to the Archipelago”. The famous castle at Hora overlooked the approaches to Crete whilst the western sea lanes were within view of the castle at Kato Hora in Milopotamos. The smaller castelli built at Avlemonas continued this trend. In 1669, however, Kythera’s influence began to wane with the loss of Crete to the Ottomans. At the same time, the harsh feudal system on the island caused resentment amongst the islanders and eventually the Venetian influence came to an end in 1797 when Kythera passed into the modern world. After a brief flirtation with the Russians and the Turks, the island became a British Protectorate in 1815 and saw an upsurge in colonial build­ing and educational reforms instigated by the British.

Unfortunately, Cerigo’s remoteness did not bode well for many an English soldier who spent time on this remote island. The travelling English satirist and writer, Edward Lear, who vis­ited the island in 1863 described the English and Scottish soldiers on the island as “blond and dreamy ... seeking on the horizon, perhaps, the fogs of their own country”.
Another commentator was somewhat less kind. In his Handbook for Ionian Travellers, John Murray wrote that “Cerigo is the ‘Botany Bay’ of the Ionian Islands” and was considered a very solitary station, although it was never a penal island.

As the flyer for the lecture reminds us, the results of the APKAS survey project have documented human presence in the northern region of Kythera from the Early Bronze Age onwards, with particular peaks during the Minoan, Classical and Late Mediaeval periods. The archaeology of the island provides a view into how the lives of the islanders were affected by developments in the wider Mediterranean world, and how they strove to exploit the resources Kythera offered. It also reflects the longevity of a rich tapestry of Kytherian history which learned academics such as Dr Paspalas, together with his colleagues Tim Gregory, Lita Diacopoulos and others, continue to bring to life.

Photos > Diaspora Social Life

submitted by Kytherian Newsletter Sydney on 08.05.2006

Peter J Comino, Peter Prineas, Prof. Manuel Aroney & Angelo Crones.

At the Sydney launch of Peter Prineas' book, Katsehamos and the Great Idea.

Peter, Manuel and Angelo, along with Peters' brother Leo, are the 4 members of the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Trust.

The Trust generously helped to defray some of the costs involved in publishing Katsehamos and the Great Idea.

From, Page 7, The Kytherian, Newsletter of the Kytherian Association of Australia.

See also:

Speech introducing Bob Carr at the Sydney launch

Review(s) of the book

Professor Janis Wiltons' speech, Bingara book launch

Details of the Bingara book launch, photograph unveiling, and 70th Anniversary Ball

Founders photographs unveiled, Roxy, Bingara

Flyer_-_Roxy_70th_Anniversary.pdf

Kytherians flocked to Bingara from everywhere

Peter Feros's descendants

Descendants and freinds of Roxy Theatre founder, Peter Feros


The book Katsehamos and the Great Ideais available from the publisher,
Plateia Press,
32 Calder Road, Darlington, NSW,
or email here
phone (02) 9319 1513
and also from Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW, 2037 and selected bookshops.

Katsehamos and the Great Idea is also available in the New England and Northwest region of NSW, from the Roxy Theatre, Maitland Street, Bingara.
Phone: 02 67240003
or email here

For further information
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