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James Prineas

January February 2005

From the Message Board

To give you some idea of the way Kythera-Family.net website can help young people keep in touch with their roots and indeed find distant relatives, here is a recent entry from the Message Board section of the site:

Souris/Coroneos/Panaretos/Trifillis Families
submitted by Dean Trearchis on 05.01.2005
“Hi, my name is Peter Trearchis and I am the 14 year old son of Dean Trearchis who has posted things here before.
We are currently trying to research my Panaretos ancestry. The farthest we can get back to is a Mary Panaretos wife of Ioannis Emmanuel Trifillis and mother of my great-grandmother Efrosini (Trifillis) Trearchis. We recently just found out that this Mary Panaretos (born in the 1860's) probably had a sister named Erifyli Panaretos who married Ioannis Demetrios Souris from Gerakari, Kythera. They had a daughter Stamatina (named after Ioannis Souris' mother) who married Nicholas Anastasios Coroneos the son of Anastasios Nicholas Coroneos and Margarita Megaloconomo. Stamatina and Nicholas immigrated to Baltimore but then returned to Piraeus, Greece (where Stamatina's parents had moved; actually she was born in Piraeus, and didn't visit Kythera until 1926) in 1920. There they had a daughter Erifyli "Fellitsa" Souris who married Naso Gregoropoulos. I am wondering if anyone has ever heard of these families or has any other information to offer. We are wondering possibly if Erifyli and Mary had a brother Stavros who had kids Cosmos, Angeliki, Gregoria (who all immigrated to Fall River, MA, USA), Eleni, and Arianthi.”
Peter Trearchis, Dracut, MA, USA

If you can help Peter just click on his name in the message board and send him a message.
James Prineas, Website Team Leader Europe, Berlin

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Letter from Kythera by Rowan Parkes
Today is a day to stay indoors, light the fire, sit on granny’s knee and hear her stories about that year long ago when the weather was actually as bad as it has been these last few years. January started off with eye opening sunshine, bright shiny days, calm waters and medium temperatures. We should all have known it was too good to last. While the Tsunami raged in other seas, we enjoyed halcyon days of sunshine, and now we are paying for the reprieve. Kythera is not one to be outdone when it comes to weather conditions. On this island, when it rains, it really rains, and when it blows, it knows just how to blow. Today it’s doing both of those, and the sprint to the outside bathroom seems so suicidal one could almost wish chamber pots were back in fashion.

So much for the weather report, now to business. January is generally a quiet month, most people are getting over the Christmas bustle, the roads are empty, everyone is trudging back to their respective workshops-offices-schools and the Christmas lights are slowly being dismantled, a sad occurrence when they bought so much warmth to the winter atmosphere. Perhaps we should all take the advice of my beloved friend Nastazia, who stands by her habit of decorating the Christmas tree in September - after the end of the Summer holidays - and dismantling it at Easter!

The only wholesome event, and that which marked the end of the celebrations, was the Epiphany tradition of the blessing of the waters, which consists of the cross being thrown out into the bay, to be recovered by one of the competing youths who were hot blooded enough to jump in at this time of year.

I believe it is only proper to dedicate this month’s letter to the great loss Kythera suffered on Boxing Day, when a young local woman from Potamos died of an illness. The whole island it seems has felt the loss greatly, to lose someone so young and good has been devastating for everyone, and heartfelt condolences go out to her parents and those close to her.

It is perhaps also appropriate to pay tribute to one of the true characters of Kythera for the past 30 or so years, Dutch George Coxman, who’s “forty day” ceremony, the orthodox ceremony that is held forty days after the death, was held last week. Coxman was an architect, a true lover of Kythera and responsible for the building of many of the roads on the island. He was also an amateur photographer with a good eye for Kytherian scenery and we are hoping his work will be found and salvaged at some point later in the year. He was active all his life, and the island has much to thank him for and will not be the same without him.

That’s all folks, so with regards, rain and showers from Kythera, hope you had a great January!

Rowan Parkes, Aloizianika, Kythera.
Kythera-family.net’s intrepid reporter/collator on the island.

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