On August 30, the Australian Embassy in Cyprus hosted more than 200 official guests for the launch of the book The Children of Aphrodite: Cypriots in Australia by the author, Dr Anastasios M. Tamis, which took place at the New Town Hall of Nicosia.
The event took place within the framework of celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Cyprus (1973-2023). The event was led by the Australian Ambassador to Cyprus, Her Excellency Fiona McKergow with her associates, Consul Michele Anderson and consular officer Costas Gavrielides, under the auspices of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus and Leader of the Democratic Rally, The Hon Annita Demetriou.
The event was honored with the presence of the Mayor of Nicosia, Constantinos Yiorkadjis, the President of the Cyprus Community of Melbourne and Victoria (CCMV) and former Minister, Theo Theophanous, the former leader of DISY, Averof Neophytou, other Members of Parliament and Presidents of Cyprus Communities, Yiannis Pitsilos, Kyriakos Tsolakis, Dinos Toumazos and Stelios Angelodemou.
Her Excellency Fiona McKergow opened the ceremony welcoming the author of the monograph, Professor Tamis and describing the book as a feat of academic contribution to the history of Australian nationalities. She praised the virtues of the book and stressed the importance of its presentation in the context of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Cyprus as well as the enormous contribution of Cypriots to Australia’s political, cultural and economic development and described the book as a “reference step” for Cypriots and their children. The Australian diplomat also praised the rich presence of the Cypriots, their narratives and concluded on the usefulness of the book. She did not fail to congratulate CCMV for its initiative in publishing the book, referring to Mr Angelodemou who was the first, while President of the CCMV, to conceive the idea of the project and the current President Mr. Theophanous and his Board who sponsored and implemented the publication of the book.
Ms Demetriou, who had compiled the Prologue of the book and had previously welcomed the book launched in Melbourne and Sydney, echoed Ms Mckergow’s sentiments during her speech.
Mr Theophanous spoke next, commended Professor Tamis for his thorough recording and promotion of persons and institutions and referred to specific accounts made by Cypriot settlers during the pre-war and post-war period.
Assistant Professor of the University of Paphos, Dr. Kyriakos Jacovides, described the book as a “world-first… pioneering research of organized Cypriots” and “the first book published and circulated on the migration and settlement of Cypriots in the Diaspora”.
The presentation concluded with the author of the book, Professor Tamis, thanking the Cyprus Community of Melbourne for supporting the project and for the invaluable contribution of Mr Angelodimou and Mr Theofanous as well as all members of the Board, research partners and contributors, stressing the importance of the book for future generations. He also thanked H. E. Ms McKergow for her initiative to organize the launch in Cyprus.
He attributed the book to the Cypriots of Australia emphasizing it is “a tribute to the fathers and mothers of Cypriots, pioneers, people who laid the foundations of community presence and organization”.
An impressive reception followed on the roof garden of the City Hall of the Australian Embassy in Nicosia, where hundreds of guests took part and dozens of books were signed.