submitted by Site Administrator on 10.12.2004
This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" :
Mr. Georgios E. Kentavros is the son of Epameinondas Kentavros, who departed this life some years ago and who was a senior office in the Greek Royal Navy. He was born on 18th December 1882, in historic Corinth, where currants grow. As son of one of the most refined families in Corinth, he moved to Athens to complete his high school studies. There he was repeatedly elected President or Secretary of various bodies. He was also appointed accountant of numerous well-known Greek companies.
He came to Australia in 1911. He was unknown to all and possessed as his only equipment his unconquerable character, his love hard work and his burning desire to progress in life. These rare talents and the weighty expertise he commands were not slow in casting their spell over the most distinguished members of the Greek community. The community recognized the wealth of his knowledge and the achievements of the enterprising. Mr. G. Kentavros and unanimously elected him as its General Secretary. Very soon Greeks throughout all of New South Wales discerned in the person of Mr. Kentavros the person fit to organize and lead the Greek community, proof of which were the financially splendid results that he produced for the community, thanks to his methodical approach, caution and expertise. In honour of his tireless efforts and the signal services he rendered during the recent national affairs of 1912-1913, a large number of members of the community of Sydney held a dinner in his honour, on the eve of his departure for Greece. They presented him with a gold watch as a souvenir, accompanying the presentation with an appropriate speech and thereby discharging a debt of gratitude of his efforts for the good of the Greek Community. The noble ideals of this unresting and constantly active spirit quickly led to commercial undertakings in Sydney, something to be regarded as greatly to his credit, if one considers the overwhelming difficulties of the language on the one hand and the ups and downs of the economy on the other.
When Mr. I. Kominos first conceived the idea of this volume, it was only in the person of Mr. G. Kentavros that he discerned the capacities required, and it was to Mr. Kentavros that he entrusted the collection of the varied information and the duty of bringing the work to a successful conclusion. Mr. Kentavros readily accepted this lofty responsibility, realizing that the complete success of the volume required close study of personalities and affairs, undertook the laborious trip around Australia, although he did not know the cities and country towns nor the Greeks settled there. After all this, his persistence and unshakeable belief overcame all difficulties in his way, successfully completing what many had considered to be impossible.
Although Mr. G. Kentavros lived in Australia for only a short period, nevertheless, during this short period he managed to acquire the confidence and respect of both his fellow Greeks and the wider business community of Australia, to which he owes his splendid success there, to the great joy of those who honoured him and loved him.
This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" published in 1916 by John Comino. It is an important book as it was one of the first Greek books published in Australia for the Greeks back in the homeland. If they needed any more convincing of the golden opportunities awaiting them in Australia, it probably helped create interest amongst young Kytherians and other Greeks. Each of the men portrayed in the book paid for the honour, which, considering their reputation for thriftiness, must have made the decision a hard one for many a Kytherian.
The Kythera-Family.net team, with the support of the Nicolaus Aroney Trust and other generous sponsors, has undertaken to transcribe the entire book for the website and to translate it into English for the non-greek-speaking diaspora community. We hope to also produce a printed version of the translation of Life in Australia sometime in 2005.
For valuable information about the historical background of the publication of Life in Australia, please read the entry by Hugh Gilchrist I ZOI EN AFSTRALLIA in the History, General History section.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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