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Newsletter Archive > May 2008

Newsletter Archive

submitted by James Victor Prineas on 23.03.2009

May 2008

>52 Weeks In Tsirigo - Crack Go The Red Eggs
by Anna Cominos

Either it has been a long-hard winter or Kythera is definitely on the tourist radar.  If the Easter swell of visitors, both Athenians and international is any measure of travellers Kythera-bound this Summer, those 'Rooms for Rent' springing up all over the island like wild artichokes will fill (at least in the month of August). A glorious sun put on its best for locals and visitors alike on May Day 2008, wrapping up the Kythera Easter celebrations with tender affection.

The solemn mood of Easter week leading up to Megali Paraskevi (Good Friday) and peaking with the midnight mass of Anastasi (Easter Saturday) was accentuated by the bleak weather. Weighted with symbolism and reflecting the sobriety of the Crucifixion, Kythera's most famous icon Panayia Mirtidiotissa (Madonna of the Reeds) journeys the island beginning in Chora and visiting as far north as Karava throughout the two weeks of prayer.

For the few unfamiliar with the Panayia Mirtidiotissa, the icon is the most enduring symbol of the global Kytherian identity. Folklore has it, and if you look at the icon in the monastery the story is carved in gold, a shepherd heard his sheep bleating at the reeds where they were grazing and when he went to see what all the fuss was about he found the icon, with its renowned faces of the Holy mother and Child laying there. Bursting with the Miracle he took the Icon to his village but every night the icon would disappear and re-appear in the reeds, till they finally concluded that they should build the church to house the icon on the reeds.

The icon is believed to be from the time of the ransacking of Constantinople and the desecration of Agia Sophia (the central Church of all the Orthodox World). It is possible that the icon suffered in these fires (explaining the blackened faces) and was hidden by pirates as part of larger bounty. The icon began to take on legendary proportions as every Kytherian household learnt of the healing qualities of Panayia Mirtidiotissa. Believers from all over the island as well as the diaspora made pilgrimages to the Panayia asking for help. The Monastery south of Kalokerines is definitely worth a visit, the original tiny chapel is still there, as are the most macabre talismans such as wax legs or wax babies, sent from all over the world. It feels more than coincidental that this icon with its every-mother & child face would suddenly appear in a new landscape - the parallel to the migrant experience is chilling.

For Kytherian faithfuls Easter time is an extremely moving experience. The priceless Panayia icon leaves Mirtidia, under heavy police escort and is carried on a throne-like wooden structure held-up by four people. Initially it goes to Chora where it remains till Easter Saturday - visually it is all very Jesus Christ Superstar crossed with Zorba the Greek.

Easter week is also the pinnacle of the long (and times seemingly endless) 40 day fast. And it doesn't get bigger Church-wise than the Giving of Light on Saturday night to mark The Resurrection. All over Greece, home-made bangers go off endlessly during the service. This year in Agia Pelagia the Giving of Light was followed by a 20 minute firework display (very Sydney NYE). But come Easter Sunday out come the fattened lambs on the spit and it is a meatfest. This year an overcast Easter Sunday was washed out by rain and the tradition of roast lambs and picnicking on the beach was relegated to kitchens. (Personally it was a great time as a string of Australian-Greek girlfriends Margaret, Teena and Helen re-united in Kythera after 13 years.)

Throughout the Nea Evthomada (week following Easter Sunday) the Mirtidiotissa is carefully hauled from village to village, overnighting in the various local churches. A gloriously sunny May-day, people of all ages were out collecting wildflowers and making wreaths. So Kythera was ablaze with wildflowers decorating doorways, cars and of course the Mirtidiotissa

The most moving image I witnessed was today, as the icon was being jointly carried by Karavites (people from Karavas) and Pelagiotes (people from Pelagia) with the blue of the sea as background. The quiet strength of the Faithful as they waited to pay respect and worship the icon at the humble church of Agia Pelagia was palatable and then when all the procession had ended the icon was hiked onto the backs of four young strong men for the hike up the winding road from Pelagia to Potamos. The carriers constantly change as the strain is huge but the sense of community is tangible, if we can only convey that unity into maintaining Kythera industrial zoning free, meaning windmill free, maybe we would hear the reeds.

Anna Cominos, Kythera.

You can read Anna's previous blogs here:

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Dear Friends of Kythera,

Anna's above "blog" reminded me of the wind-generator project again - the one she's been reporting on in previous blogs in this newsletter. In response we've decided to set up an online petition requesting the local authorities to at least put the project proposal to the islanders and not push it through against their will. We roughly formulated the petition text but still need a lawyer/solicitor to check it - if there is someone out there who can check it for us, please let me know. I'll send out a special email to you all as soon as the petition is online and can be "signed".

The response to our relaunch-funding article in the last newsletter was very positive. I've created a list (below) of all the features yet to be funded. If you have any pull with one of the Kytherian associations you might try to use it to get them to take on one or more of the bigger "funding positions". Of course we would appreciate any donation, large or small, to help us bring the site up to date.

As you probably already know, the Kythera site is totally non-profit and the payment of programming and hosting invoices is tightly controlled by the Kytherian Association of Australia as well as the Site Team Leader in Sydney, Angelo Notaras. If you’re interesting in supporting the relaunch there are a few ways to get the money to the Kytherian Association of Australia Treasurer. If you're in Australia then you can simply send a cheque marked "Website Redesign" to:
The Treasurer, Kytherian Association of Australia. PO Box A203, Sydney South, NSW 1235. For those of you elsewhere or those who prefer using an online account or credit card, you can use the PayPal account set up for the purpose - just click on this link - : - and then choose "Send Money". The email address to "send" the money to via Paypal is "". All sponsors will receive a receipt for their donations.

If you want more details just send me a mail by clicking on the reply button in your mail program.

>Features and Programming still to be sponsored:

>1. "Leave a comment" function extension.
When clicked the comment-box is highlighted to indicated the space where a comment can be left.
30 mins. = €36 = A$62  = US$56  

>2. Chat Activation.
The chat feature was programmed into the site some years ago. It's activation has been hampered by usability issues which are now being resolved.
30 minutes = €36 = A$62  = US$56 

>3. New picture sizes.
"Size-One" conversion work - for the Lead-Article - is already included in the above position. The other new size - for the enlarged column width - will require 1.5 hours implementation
1.5 hours = €108 = A$184  = US$170

>4. Most popular entry feature in the guest book - exceptional rules
In the other areas of the site the "most popular entry" list is category specific. i.e. if you are in the landscape photo category then you see the most popular entries from that category in the 3rd (right-hand) column. In the guest book area the "most popular entries" are drawn from all areas of the site.
2 hours = €144 = A$245  = US$226

>5. Bookmark-Button
for "Social Bookmarking" ( u.a.)
2 hours = €144 = A$245  = US$226

>6. The slide-show feature
which is already available to the Administrators for presenting the site will be modified for general use and made visible to the "General User".
2.5 hours = €180 = A$307  = US$283

>7. "Link to page"
function which creates a clickable and copyable link-URL
2,5 hours = €180 = A$307  = US$283

>8. New"Top Article" link
each "new entry" email which the administrators receive with which they can rank the new entry. If  ranked as a "Top Article" this entry can subsequently be used as a leading article at the top of the home page. This leading article is changed automatically once each day from within the pool of articles collected. 
2.5 hours = €180 = A$307  = US$283

>9. Sort by: the implementation of the "Most Popular" feature
on all the sorting pulldowns on the site (at the moment users can sort by newest first, newest last, alphabetically and by author)
3 hours =  €216 = A$368  = US$340

>9. For the function above:
a manual selection feature which allows the administrators to force the use of one particular 
"Top Entry" (e.g.. an Easter entry at Easter).
3 hours = €216 = A$369  = US$340

>10. "Favourite"-feature:
internal favourite list for each individual user so they can easily find articles they've tagged as their favourites.
3.5 hours = €252 = A$430  = US$396

>11. Personal-Page:
It will be possible and optional for the registered members of the site to include a picture of themselves and other information which might be interesting to the community (family background etc.). The picture etc. could be displayed in the chat function and be made available on the Author Page as well. As soon as this function is available we would email all registered users and ask them to fill in their details and attach a picture if they wish to.
4 hours = €288 = A$491  = US$453

>12. Most Popular Articles Section.
A counter has already been installed on the site so that the most popular entries can be identified. This feature will provide a list of the most popular articles as per The Sydney Morning Herald online ( 4 hours = €288 = A$491  = US$453

>13. Lead Article implementation
on the start page: either automatically drawing from the "pool" of highly rated articles, or forced by a manual selection. 
5 hours = €360 = A$614  = US$566

>14. "Related Content"
in the third column, alternative: "Other Entries by this Author" (e.g.. 2 pictures, 4 article, sorted by date). If there aren't enough entries by the author, then the system automatically shows a list of the newest entries. 
7 hours. = €504 = A$860  = US$793

>15. New Home Page (Editorial Style)
8 hours = €576 = A$983  = US$906

>16a. Front-End (optical)
of the first 100 templates and "template-fragments". Meta-tags to enable all search-engines to evaluate each page.
28 hours = €2,016 = A$3,441  = US$3,173

>16b. Front-End (optical)
of the last 57 Templates and Template-Fragments. Meta-tags to enable all search-engines to evaluate each page.
17 hours = €1,224 = A$2,089  = US$1,926

>17a.  Back-end (php-MySQL)
programming of the new basic layout: 
25 hours = €1,800 = A$3,072  = US$2,833

>17b. "Cross-browser" Implementation
(compatible with all usual browsers): 
15 hours = €1,080 = A$1,843  = US$1,700

>19. HTML Newsletter Tool.
To liven up the look of our newsletter we want to be able to use a HTML-Template which will allow us to use colour and pictures to make the letter generally more appealing. .
15 hours = €1,120 = A$1,842  = US$1,732

>To help fund the redisign: - and then choose "Send Money". The email address to "send" the money to via Paypal is "".

All financial assistance will be acknowledged on the "Sponsors" page of the site.

Best Regards from a beautiful Spring evening in Berlin,

James Prineas

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>Guest Book Entries

>Dean Venardos - Houston, Texas. USA
Family village of origin: Agia Anastasia
My father is from Agia Anastasia. My wife and kids visited last year. I wish we could go back every year . This is a great website. I will visit often. Thanks.

>Lisa Viaros - Florida/USA
Family village of origin: Mitata
My father Angelo John Viaros passed away on September 21, 2006.

Family village of origin: Aloizianika
Hi to all my fellow Kytherians out there in the world! Anyone who would like to chat is welcome!

>Alethea Marios - Melbourne, Australia
I just wanted to say how fantastic this site is, and how excited I am to finally be able to learn about my family heritage and hopefully get to know some long lost relatives! My grandfather Peter Marios born in 1909 in Diakofti came out to Sydney, Australia approximately in the 1920's, but I dont know much more than this. He did however have three children: Nicholas(my father), John and Maria, who all appear rather clueless about their father's origins. Hopefully someone out there can help me put the pieces of the puzzle together so I can discover my identity!

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>Message Board Entries

submitted by Paul Leontsinis, 29.04.2008
Hi, can any one assist in finding out where my Grandfather cane from. He arrived in South Africa around 1905. I understood that he was from a village called "Tsirigo" This could even be an island just off Kythera. Does anyone know of this village/island, or indeed any relatives of Demetri Leontsinis
Regards Paul Leontsinis

submitted by Elizabeth Osborne, 26.04.2008
I am the youngest daughter of Margaret Cassimaty from Taree NSW. She was married to Fred Osborne. Would love any information on my grandfather George Cassimaty that owned cafe in Taree in 1930. Please contact me on

>Mystery Solved
submitted by Donna Morris, 24.04.2008
Thank you to the for just existing. I have found a long lost family member. Without this website I never would have found them.

>Nick Cominos (Ntouris) who lived in Detroit Michigan,
>relatives or recollection?
submitted by James Gavriles, 23.03.2008
My father had a very good friend here in Detroit Michigan, who was also in the Kytherian Brotherhood here. He was sort of an outspoken gentleman, I do not even know what he did for a living. All I know is that his name was Nick Cominos. From the association with my father, I would imagine he was born sometime between 1895 and 1900. He was always well dressed and smoked a cigar. Wore a fedora hat, had a moustache and loved to talk politics. He would show up at our house on Sundays. He never drove a car, he was not married, and he didn't have any children that I know of. When he would show up at the door and my mother would announce "Eirthe Oh Douris sti Borta". (Mr. Douris is at the door). I never realized as a child why they called him Douris, but I do now. He must be of the same clan as the Cominos above, and he must have also come from Ntourianika. Somehow I got the feeling that he was my father's boyhood friend, as our family came from Logothetianica, which is not that far from Ntourianika.
I would like to know if anyone out there was related to this Nick Cominos. I want to know more about him. I know that this man was one of my father's dearest friends as I rarely ever saw my father shed any tears, but when his friend Nick Cominos passed away, a few years before my father died, he cried almost a whole day for the loss of his friend. Someone on this website surely has to know something about Nick Cominos from Detroit Michigan, and who were his relatives in Kythera and in Australia??
This is not the Nick Cominos who was involved with filming and just died in California. I do think he might have been related to him.

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Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) announces that it has a searchable Virtual Surname Wall that’s free and open to all.  Entries from over a thousand genealogists from all over the world are now searchable by family name, by geographic region, and by each participant's Submitter ID.  You don’t have to be a member of SCGS to access it.  This Society is primarily California-centered but has lots of information and links that might be useful in any family history research.  Here’s the link to the Virtual Wall with instructions on how to add names:
Here’s the link to the Society’s home page:

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