Upload Your Entry
Site Administrator

Nikolaos Ioannou Kontoyiannis

This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" :

Mr. N. I. Kontoyiannis, who is vice-president of the Greek Community of Melbourne, is certainly one of the most important personalities of the Greek Community there. He, too, springs from Samos, rich in splendid men, where he was born in 1875 in Palaio Karlovasio. Here, upon completion of his preliminary studies, at a very early age he addressed himself to the business of assuring himself the necessities of the future, thanks to his hardworking and honourable character.

After a sojourn of some years, he arrived in Australia in 1900, and settled in Melbourne. He managed, through intense hard work and activity, to achieve a respectable career. His two splendid establishments, illustrations of which we append, are tangible proof of his unconquerable willpower and acute commercial acumen. Mr. Kontoyiannis has also established a large steam-powered launderette in our city, which constitutes the clearest possible proof of the man’s entrepreneurial spirit.

His eagerness to help in any matter of national need or in any affair of aid to society as a whole has earned him the love and respect of the members of the Greek community of Melbourne, which, rightly honouring Mr. Kontoyiannis’ qualities, has elected him Vice- President of the Managing Committee of the Community.

He married the daughter of the excellent pater familias, Mr. Savvas, who also hails from Samos, and now has five children. To these, with the paternal love that distinguishes him, he attempt by all means at his disposal to the strictest possible Greek upbringing and education. To this end, about two years ago he sent his eldest son, Ioannis, to Athens, entrusting his education to the expert and experienced headmaster, Mr. Konstantinides.

Mr. Kontoyiannis worked, and continues to do so, with eagerness and dedication on behalf of the affairs of the Greek Community of Melbourne. Every matter of national need finds in him a most eager and noble source of aid. He never denies his support, moral and particularly material, for any fellow Greek who is facing difficulties. This has led to his being respected and admired by his peers and to being loved and adored by those whom he has benefited.

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.

Leave A comment