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Society of Kytherian Studies

Academic Research > Society of Kytherian Studies > Historical archive preservation

Academic Research > Society of Kytherian Studies

submitted by Society of Kytherian Studies on 19.08.2005

Historical archive preservation

Kytherian bodies have always had a keen interest in the building and its contents of historical material. Before the Association of Kytherian Studies was established, the Kytherian Union of Athens oversaw the replacement of its wooden floors with concrete slabs and equipped the first researchers of the National Research Foundation (Ch. Maltezos, Dimitra Andritsaki and Eirini Horemi) with the necessary furniture to shelve classified material.

The Association of Kytherian Studies later showed a keen interest in the propping of the building, without, however, reaching a radical solution, not so much because of a lack of credit but due to the interlocking of state bodies (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education), so that, today, the old building (dated to Venetian times) is in danger of collapse while its invaluable contents run the risk of destruction.

For its part, the Association has continued to tend, with every means, to the operation of the Historical Archive of Kythera, the preservation of its building, its electrical power and its furnishing with stationary. It provided the first books which formed the basis of its library, and saw to the installment of special air condition devices to humidify the building. It oversaw the effort to find a qualified manager and staff, and the dispatch of a preservation expert, with the sponsorship of the Trifyllio Foundation, to restore damaged documents.

The Association shouldered the total cost (Euros 15,929.58) - funds secured from the Leventis Foundation and the N. Aronis Trust fund - to disinfect material with a qualified crew, to provide for special shelves (dexion) to place archive material and to protect it from contamination with watertight openings (windows and doors).

At the same time, the Association showed an interest in protecting the entire castle of Kythera and Mesa Vourgo from intervention. It has also made representations to the authorities over the need for their preservation and reconstruction.

Material of the most serious publications of the Association is drawn from the Historical Archive of Kythera. Based on this material, the following works have, so far, been published:
1) Census of Kythera’s population: 18th century
2) Emmanuel Kassimatis: Notary of Kythera.
3) Registry books - Estavromenou parish
4) Registry books - Agios Ioannis of Strapodi parish

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submitted by
Peter Tsicalas
on 22.08.2005

The word ‘dexion’ caught my eye. A nice piece of serendipity, if not a conscious choice. It was the brainwave of Dimitri Comino OBE, BSc(Eng), born 1902 Sydney, the eldest son of the illustrious ‘Oyster King’, John Dimitri Comino (Skordili). Upon John’s death in Sydney in 1919 his wife, nee Anna Phocas, took the family back to Greece. Dimitri subsequently attended University College, London, and graduated with first class honours in Engineering in 1924. Sometime down the line he invented the ubiquitous slotted angle metal shelving and storage system and in 1947 founded the company, Dexion, to market the stuff. By the mid 1960s his firm, now Dexion-Comino International, had subsidiaries in 7 countries, licensees in 14 others and was selling into a total of 90 countries where almost every warehouse and backyard workshop used his storage system. He went public in 1968 [with wife Katina (nee Georgiadou) and brother Athanasios as directors]. He established the charitable organisation 'The Comino Foundation' with daughter Anna 1971. ( ) In recognition of Dimitri’s contribution to the materials handling industry, Dexion (Australia) Pty Ltd donated ‘The Comino Trophy’ to the ‘Logistics Association of Australia’ for annual presentation to the firm or person who has demonstrated the most ‘significant achievement in the techniques and technology of materials storage and handling.’ Dimitri died 1988 England, and must rank near the top of the high achiever pantheon. [His first cousin, Dr Akhillefs Comino, b. 1911 Sydney, the fourth son of Zarcharis Dimitri and Kalliopi (nee Symigdalla), joins him on the pedestal. He became Governor of the National Bank of Greece, a representative on numerous international bodies and the recipient of many honours from the Greek government.]