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James Prineas

April 2005

1. Newsletter
2. Karavitiko Competition
3. Wonderful Recent Entries

Dear Friends of Kythera,

I'm pleased to announce that the first official Kythera-Family.net "Discover your Roots" day is to be held on Saturday the 13th of August, 2005. A single day event in the capital of Kythera, Hora, it will allow many avid fans of Kythera-family.net and of course Kythera itself to finally meet each other and swap family and island information. Some members of the Kythera-family.net team including myself will also be on hand to answer your questions and we are planning to have some island experts - archeologists, natural historians, archival specialists and artists - to present the work they have done about Kythera. The lectures will be conducted in English. I will present the site's newest features and be happy to hear your comments and suggestions regarding Kythera-Family.net.

John Stathatos, director of the Kythera Cultural Association, has booked the Kythera Village Hall (Kythiraikos Syndesmos) in Hora for the occasion. He is also heading the planning committee and can be contacted at [email protected] if you have any suggestions.

With an entry fee of only 10 Euros (for the print-outs we are preparing) and a day full of information invaluable to anyone interested in Kythera, there is no excuse for any of you lucky enough to be on the island this summer to miss out. In typical Kytherian fashion, family and friends are all welcome.

To help plan the event we need you to let us know if you'd like to attend. Please send me your name, email address and the number of people you'll bring with you. Even if you aren't 100% certain of being there let us know anyway. You'll get regular updates of additions to the program as well as optional add-ons to the program such as gallery visits and archive tours. My email address is [email protected]

And if you haven't made any plans yet for your holidays this August, we hope we've helped you decide...

Best Kytherian regards from a cold and wet Berlin,

James Prineas, Website Team Leader Europe, Berlin

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Prizes for Karavas Submissions!
In an endeavor to encourage people to submit more photographs and stories about Karavas, and Kythera, the Committee of the Karavitiko Symposium, based in Sydney, have decided to donate 3 prizes for best entries to the web-site of:

Vintage Landscapes and Architecture in and around Karavas.
Prize: A$250
The Winner will be chosen on Oxi Day, 28th of October, 2005, and announced on the 30th October, 2005.

Person/Group Portraits - of people from Karavas.
Prize: A$250
The Winner will be chosen on Oxi Day, 28th of October, 2005, and announced on the 30th October, 2005.

Best Sporting Life entry - any subject.
Prize of a signed Eastern Suburbs Rugby League football guernsey.

The Winner will be chosen on Oxi Day, 28th of October, 2005, and announced on the 30th October, 2005.

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There have been over 150 new entries on the site since I sent the last newsletter 3 weeks ago. Below are but a few of them. If you'd like to keep up with new entries you can use the "recent entry" function in the navigation - there all new entries from all categories are listed chronologically. Here's the recent entry link:

James Kalokerinos
submitted by Victor Panaretos
13.02.2005 in the "High Achievers" category.

James Kalokerinos was born on 3 June 1926 in Glen Innes, a town in northern New South Wales, the second son of Nicholas and Mary Kalokerinos, migrants from the Greek island of Kythera. In those days Kythera was poverty-stricken, and many of its people were forced to emigrate in order to survive; some went to America, but the majority came to Australia. James's family background included Minos Kalokerinos of Crete, who in the latter part of the nineteenth century dug some trenches on a plot of land he owned and found massive walls that he showed to Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist. Schliemann, however, was unable to excavate further; it was Sir Arthur Evans who finally unearthed the legendary palace of Knossos on that site. Another Kalokerinos was connected with the discovery of the statue of the Venus de Milo, and the battle with the Turks when attempts were made by the French to ship the statue to Paris.

James completed his schooling at Sydney Boys High School. After this he studied medicine at the University of Sydney, and went to Sydney Hospital as a junior medical officer. At first he intended to be a surgeon, but he early showed a special talent as a diagnostician. He had a rare ability in sorting out unusual diseases and unusual problems in a simple, common-sense way. In visiting a fellow graduate and friend, Ray Dan, who was studying radiology in Glasgow, James's future was determined when he discovered the challenge that is diagnostic radiology.

Following his return to Australia in 1956, Kalokerinos was appointed as a registrar in radiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, and from 1957 to 1959 he was assistant medical superintendent. In 1959, he became the first full-time director of radiology at the hospital, holding that position until 27 April 1967, when John Hunt took over as head of the department. Kalokerinos was a keen teacher and was involved in planning the first stage of the radiology department of the new Royal North Shore Hospital. The position was in itself a challenge: radiology was in the process of dramatic change and it was necessary to adapt, and adapt quickly.

Gastric diagnosis was a special problem. Double-contrast techniques were not in general use and were poorly understood; within a remarkably short time, James had established his department as a recognised authority in this field. The first patient to owe his life to the then new double-contrast technique at North Shore was a friend of Archie Kalokerinos, younger brother of James - he is still alive and well after thirty years. [Use the internal search engine to locate numerous entries for Archie Kalokerinos.]

James Kalokerinos quickly moved on to initiate the use of the gastric camera. This involved him in an association with the Japanese (he used an Olympus camera), who pointed out to him the advantage of the technology and how it could be applied. Kalokerinos was a pioneer in the use of this camera, which photographed the inside of the stomach, although blindly; it was a predecessor of the modern gastroscope, which has direct vision.

Kalokerinos never lost sight of the 'simple' everyday things while he was immersed in the new technology. His reports on plain chest X-rays were remarkably accurate and were based on good thinking, good teaching and considerable natural ability. Diagnostic skill became second nature to him. Very often he solved problems over the phone. If the solution immediately evaded him, he would think about it and, if necessary, consult the literature. if the answer was still not apparent he would know someone, somewhere in the world, who could give him an answer.

Outside the field of medicine, James became enthusiastic in almost everything with which he came in contact. He developed a fine tenor voice (on frequent overseas study tours he became known as a singer of Celtic songs) and became an authority on Scotland, tartans and Scottish Gaelic, but he never lost touch with his Greek background.

John Hunt was associated with James Kalokerinos for some four years at North Shore (he was the visiting radiologist when Hunt started there) before Hunt became head of the radiology department. He remembers James as: ."...flamboyant, a colourful character who sang Celtic songs ... and confident in his attitudes and his judgments ... I recall him as a 'frustrated' handyman who was always scouring for pieces of timber, nuts and bolts from anywhere for his weekend projects. He also collected coins and used to go through the hospital's barber's bag for old pennies". (Hunt, personal communication, 1995).

James encouraged others to enter the study of medicine and thought always about the common good. He was Archie's first and strongest supporter in his brother's work among Aboriginal people, both infants and adults.

Kalokerinos left Sydney in the late 1960s and entered private practice in Newcastle, in partnership with Ray Dan. He became ill and died on 17 April 1985. With his death, medicine lost a magnificent talent.

pp. 145-146, Australian Radiology. A History.
by James Ryan, Keith Sutton, Malcolm Baigent.

You can order the book from:
McGraw-Hill Book Company Australia Pty Ltd.
4 Barcoo Street,
Roseville. NSW. 2069. Australia.

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Tina Angle - Hagerstown, Md. USA
Family village of origin: Aloizianika
My father was Peter Samios, son of Nicholas (Hellonis). Peter and his brother Zachary left Kythera at age 11 and 12 for Westminster, Md. where their father owned a candy store. Their brother Anastasios joined them in 1918. Peter made a subsequent visit in 1936 to attend an AHEPA convention and see his parents in Kythera. There he met my mother, Maria Petrohilos (Mathiopoula, from Hora, and they married and returned to Hagerstown, Md. He owned the Keystone Restaurant which he had opened in 1932. I was born in 1943, my sister Georgia in 1946. Peter died in 1946. Maria died in 1988. We attended the Kytherian events in Baltimore and New York City. Mother stayed in close contact with Kytherian friends and family. She took us to Kythera for the first time in 1963. We now have a little home in Hora, which we visit annually.

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Gary Conomos - Dakabin, Australia
Family village of origin: Agia Pelagia
I am an Australian born member of the Megaloconomos family. My grandfather migrated to Australia in the early 1900s and owned businesses in Charleville and Stanthorpe before returning to Kythera with his partner Augusta, daughter Ruby and son Michael. My grandmother returned to Australia pregnant with my father Peter. In the 1950s my uncle and my father's step brother Michael arrived in Australia and they had a business partnership operating a milk bar in Nundah, Brisbane. Michael and his wife Freda returned to Agia Pelagia in the 1970s. I was fortunate to be able to travel to Kythera in 1972 and meet my grandfather. My father followed in 1973 and met his father for the first time. Although my family is very Australian and I speak no Greek I have a great interest in learning more about my roots. I intend to travel to Kythera again soon. In the meantime I would love to correspond with any Kytherians who would be able to share their stories of Kythera and perhaps my Greek family.

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This biography is part of a collection from "Life in Australia" published in 1916
submitted by Site Administrator

Ioannis D. Kominos
Simple, modest, a prodigy of commercial ability, an inexhaustible source of good works and patriotism, the very model of a head and protector of a family, the august Honorary President of the Greek Community of New South Wales - Mr. Ioannis D. Kominos is all of these things in the eyes of the whole Greek community. It is he who is the richest of the Greeks of Australia. What one should remember in particular is that Mr. Ioannis Kominos happens to possess but the slightest knowledge of letters. Until his enlistment in the Greek army, to perform his military service, he worked in the Peiraeus as a simple laborer. After discharge from the Greek army, quite by chance he received a letter, via the hand of a compatriot, containing a monetary remittance from his elder brother, Athanasios, of whose fate Ioannis Kominos had known nothing for many years. He learned from this letter that his brother had established himself with perfect success in Sydney, in Australia. Mr. Ioannis Kominos therefore decided to migrate.

Having thus arrived in Sydney, he was taken into employment by his brother, at whose side Mr. Kominos worked first as an employee and then as a partner, remaining so until the time of his brother's death. Thanks to his love of hard work, his ability and his activity, he greatly contributed to the expansion and consolidation of his brother's business. He was justly valued by his brother and so inherited half of his brother's property. From this point onwards, a splendid career opened up for Mr. I. Kominos, as well as for the Greeks of New South Wales and Queensland. From that time, 1897, thanks to his commercial abilities and inventiveness, his wealth began to grow extraordinarily, while the situation of Greeks, who are now rich, in various parts of New South Wales began to improve.

No one can doubt that numerous Greeks are already in comfortable circumstances, thanks to the initial help, supervision and advice given by Mr I. Kominos. Mr Kominos is the first to have founded a company in Australia and is an eternal leader with a fatherly interest on behalf of every fellow Greek. He is has donated to the Greek Church of Sydney and to various hospitals, to which he brings many Greeks for treatment. He is a warm supporter and devotee of every good cause. Father of Hellenism throughout New South Wales, he is a straightforward counselor and guide for every fellow Greek. In recognition of his virtues and good qualities, the Greek have deservedly proclaimed him a lifelong Honorary President of the Greek Community of New South Wales.

Very many of the Greek shops of New South Wales bear the name Cominos, which enjoys such a well-known and enviable place in commercial circles in Australia. Marrying the daughter, who is distinguished for her upbringing and education, of the Very Reverend Seraphim Phokas, Mr Kominos is the father of four male children who, thanks to their careful and attentive upbringing and education at the hand of the loving parents, wish to continue the lofty mission of their august father. Mr I. Kominos was the first to teach the Greeks of New South Wales the benefits and advantages of cooperatives. Furthermore, he is the first and chief benefactor in the founding of the Sacred Shrine in Sydney of the Holy Trinity. He was also the first of all Greeks in Australia to hear the voice of the flagships Constantinos Vassilievs, as she was being built. On account of this, he was appointed by the Central Committee in Athens President of the General Committee of New South Wales for Contributions.

And, of course, it was thanks to his care that this volume was brought to completion. The historical first fruits of Hellenism in Australia and a brief guide, our work aims firmly at contributing to a picture of Greek activity in Australia up to the present, as well as providing information and knowledge of which even those who have long been settled in Australia are ignorant. Mr. I. Kominos has eagerly and generously offered his help in every way. He has a deep and full awareness of the need for the wealth that he came to possess in Australia. Furthermore, his dream is to further the grandeur of the Greek race.

He has been a noble and valuable protector of his relations and of Greeks in general, on account of which his residence in Australia is of great importance, since Mr Kominos has linked his sojourn in Australia so firmly and unbreakably with the Greeks of Australia and with the GREEK NATION.

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.

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 later 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 of Kythera-family.net.

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