submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 14.12.2009
Sydney Morning Herald, December 9, 2009 page 10.
Photo by Jack Patty 's son, Manuel Patty
A newly reprinted book reveals the story of early Greek migrants in Australia, writes Anna Patty.
The dockets at Aroney's Cafe in Katoomba trumpeted its ''famous'' fish dinners and ''famous toasted sandwiches''. But it was the hot chocolates, created by my father, that won the cafe its true acclaim.
Customers travelled from as far as Canberra and Sydney, and even overseas, for a hot chocolate at Aroney's, which was named after its original owner, Peter Aroney. The cafe stayed open until late. The customers decided when it was time to leave.
My father treated every customer - whether they were men down on their luck from the nearby Eldon hostel or the prime minister, Ben Chifley, on his way home to Bathurst - with the same deference.
Aroney's stood at the top of the main street of Katoomba, across the road from the Paragon Cafe and Carrington Hotel, and near Theo Poulos Real Estate, which were also run … by Greeks. The Cordatos, Archondoulis, Zakis, Lekkas, Darias, Bistaros, Stavros, Prineas, Georges, Vrachnos and Fotias families have also run businesses in Katoomba in the past 40 years years.
A book distributed to Greek migrants in 1916, Life in Australia, has just been reprinted and translated into English by the Kytherian World Heritage Fund. The book, being launched at the University of Sydney today, reveals the struggles and successes of Australia's early Greek migrants.
''Greek establishments stand in the most important and most central locations in almost all of the cities in Australia,'' the book says.
''The lengthy nomenclature of their owners mean that such establishments are easily recognisable. Some Greeks, however, have shortened their names, as the Australians find it hard to pronounce such long, difficult names.''
My father, Ioannis Varipatis, left the small Greek island of Kythera, at the southern tip of the Peloponnese, in the mid 1920s, before he was even a teenager. Speaking no English, he accepted the advice of migration officials and swapped the name Ioannis Varipatis for Jack Patty.
My father and his older brother, George, bought Aroney's in 1937. Katoomba was home to a host of Greek cafes, including The Paragon, The AB Cafe and The Savoy, which was owned by another of Dad's brothers, Andy. The cafe became a family affair when Dad invited his brothers-in-law, George and Peter Cassimatis, to join his business.
Like many other Greek migrants, my father and Zacharias Simos, who established the famed Paragon cafe, were assimilated into Australian life - though they maintained a deep pride in their heritage and strong ties with Greek cultural tradition.
In 1934 Zacharias and his wife Mary (Panaretos) gave birth to their son Theodore, who became a top barrister, representing the British Government in the Spycatcher case against one Malcolm Turnbull, and later a Supreme Court Judge. He died aged 75 this year.
Life in Australia presents photos and commentary about other early Greek businesses such as those owned by the Andronicus Brothers and Nicholas Aroney.
My father retired in the late 1980s when he was aged 75. Only then did he make his first trip home to Kythera - after 66 years - and met, for the first time, the youngest of his 11 siblings, his sister Anna.
And yet, it was only during that first and only return visit to Greece that my parents realised how ''Australian'' they were. My mother, who Australianised her name from Caliopy Cassimatis to Poppy Patty, was especially offended at how rarely she heard the words ''please'' and ''thank you'' spoken in Greece.
Life in Australia had already traversed this territory. The Greek migrant is advised: ''If we carefully consider the measured and ordered life of the Australians, we find that Australians, wherever they are, eat, dress, sleep and walk with the greatest of care and circumspection. They begin every conversation with ''please'' and finish it with 'thank you.'''
It further informs: ''Raising your voice, banging your hand on the table, making gestures, forming groups in the streets, impertinence, scruffy dress are, for the Australians, something strange and unattractive. Such habits are disliked and, anyway, belong to uncivilised peoples.''
According to the latest census figures there are now more than 365,000 people of Greek heritage living in Australia. Angelo Notaras, the trustee and administrator of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, which also runs kythera-family.net, said that he was about 10 years old (in about 1943) when his father showed him a family copy of Life in Australia. It contains a photo of his father, grandfather and uncle John, standing in front of the Marble Bar Cafe in Grafton, in about 1912.
Life in Australia was written, in Greek, in 1916 by Georgios Kentavros and two merchant brothers, Kosmas and Emmanouil Andronikos.
It was was financed by another merchant, John Comino.
''Little did we realise that it was the most important Greek publication in the first 200 years of Australian history,'' Notaras said.
George Poulos, the second administrator and trustee of the Kytherian World Heritage Fund, said he hoped families would be inspired to expand and chronicle the Greek Australian narrative from 1916 to the present day.
submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 23.09.2009
Award for Excellence in Education Journalism
The Herald's Education Editor, Anna Patty, has won the top national award for excellence in education journalism for the second year in a row from the Australian Council of Deans of Education.
The award recognises the highest quality of education journalism in Australia.
Patty was awarded the overall orize for her anlaysis of education issues, news and Feature writing.
Her reports included issues such as the disproportionately high number of independent students to claim special provisions for the Higher School Certificate. the burgeoning homework loans on kindergarten students and deficiencies in the Rudd Government's "education revolution".
submitted by Kytherian Historical Record on 22.09.2009
Education Editor Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney
Anna Patty really mixed the practical with the theoretical when she completed her Master of Arts (Journalism) degree at the University of Wollongong in 1992.
Anna was a young journalist at the Illawarra Mercury when she studied at UOW, working the late “police rounds” shift from 6pm to 1.30am. She’d finish work, grab a few hours sleep, and head off to university for her Journalism studies under Professor Clem Lloyd.
Since completing her course, Anna has worked on some of the biggest newspapers in Britain and Australia, including The Times in London. She is currently The Sydney Morning Herald’s Education Editor.
“When I joined the Mercury I had an undergraduate degree, majoring in English literature, from the University of Sydney,” says Anna. “I thought the Masters degree would provide a good opportunity to expand my skills in an area directly relevant to my career.
” Anna says she was also attracted by the idea of learning from the late Professor Lloyd, who had an outstanding career as a journalist and media educator when he established the Master of Arts (Journalism) course at UOW in 1990.
“Professor Lloyd gave me an enormous amount of encouragement and inspiration,” she says. “He was an excellent teacher and had a great sense of humour, which made the classes enjoyable.
“Anna remembers being exhausted by the schedule of day-time study and night work. “But being much younger, I had enough energy to enjoy campus life and the friendships I made,” she says. “And working at night was fun because there were often opportunities to write late-breaking page one stories, and then pick the paper off the rolling printing press an hour or two later.
“Anna moved from the Mercury to The Sun-Herald and then The Daily Telegraph in Sydney before working in Athens during the 2004 Olympics and The Times, on a News Corporation exchange. She returned to Australia to work at the Telegraph's state parliament bureau.
In 2006 she was appointed Education Editor at the Herald, where she oversees the paper’s coverage of secondary and tertiary education and reports on school-based issues.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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