The Greek Herald’s top 12 reads for 2023

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We’re coming to the end of another year and there have been some fantastic community, lifestyle and crime stories which have captured the attention of The Greek Herald’s readers in 2023.

From the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia’s funeral certificate investigation, to a Greek-owned fish and chip shop being named the best in South Australia, here’s our list of the 12 most-read The Greek Herald stories for this year.

12. O Thanasis in Athens named among top restaurants in the world

O Thanasis in Athens named among top restaurants in the world.
O Thanasis in Athens named among top restaurants in the world.

Well known for its juicy souvlakia, O Thanasis, located in the heart of Athens, Greece, has been ranked at number 42 on the Taste Atlas List.

Eating under the radiant white lights and reading from a laminated bilingual menu, the restaurant serves flawless meals ranging from insanely rich tzatziki, succulent grilled meats and homemade moussaka.

11. Greek-owned fish and chip shop named the best in South Australia

Stunned Mullet owners Dino and Amanda Papadopoulos. Photo The Western Australian. 2
Stunned Mullet owners Dino and Amanda Papadopoulos. Photo: The Western Australian.

Dino and Amanda Papadopoulos’ The Stunned Mullet in Henley Beach, South Australia, were crowned the best fish and chips shop in the state.

The Stunned Mullet was one of the top food offerings in South Australia’s delicious 100 list this year, welcoming every customer with a broad range of local and sustainable seafood while ensuring that the tradition of fish and chips remains a beloved element of the Aussie summer.

10. Community take action to save iconic Paragon cafe in NSW

Paragon closed in Katoomba NSW

Friends of the Paragon cafe in Katoomba, New South Wales called on people to take action this year to save the iconic 102-year-old state heritage listed building from disrepair.

The Paragon closed in May 2018 due to a maintenance dispute between the owner and the tenant. A planning panel approved a $360,000 repair and restoration development application in July 2020 but work has not yet started.

9. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia suspends Father Leslie from Leichhardt

Father Leslie from Leichhardt.
Father Leslie from Leichhardt.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia placed Father Leslie Kostoglou from St Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church in Leichhardt, Sydney on “ecclesiastical suspension” in May this year.

In a statement, the Archdiocese said the ecclesiastical suspension would be reviewed once Father Leslie “returns to the treasury of the Parish of St Gerasimos in Sydney, the money he has embezzled or there is a relevant settlement with the Board of Directors of the Parish.”

Father Leslie later apologised for his behaviour and he is now parish priest at St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in St Marys.

8. Father John Christodoulos in SA to be investigated amid sordid double life allegations

Father John Christodoulos in SA to be investigated amid sordid double life allegations.
Father John Christodoulos in SA to be investigated amid sordid double life allegations.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia launched an “internal investigation” into Archimandrite John Christodoulos from South Australia after a report by The Advertiser was released alleging the priest led a sordid double life.

Father John allegedly obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from devout elderly parishioners, while flouting church teachings by regularly meeting other men at night via gay dating and chat app, Grindr.

7. Tsindos: The legendary Greek tavern of Lonsdale Street in Melbourne

Cypriot Neofytos Tsindos came to Australia at the end of 1965.
Cypriot Neofytos Tsindos came to Australia at the end of 1965.

As almost every Greek place in central Melbourne, Tsindos tavern comes with a migrant story. The Greek Herald paid a visit to the restaurant to hear about this history and found people sitting at tables and enjoying Greek food in a place that, for the last 40 years, continues to promote Greek tradition. 

6. Family story behind Melbourne’s iconic Stalactites restaurant

Family story behind Melbourne’s iconic Stalactites restaurant

In an interview with The Greek Herald, Nicole Papasavas speaks about the iconic Stalactites Greek restaurant in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, which she now owns. Nicole’s grandfather, Konstantinos Tsoutouras, opened the restaurant in 1978, running it with her father, mother, aunt and uncle.

5. Melbourne community leader Tony Tsourdalakis slapped with restraining order

Tony tsourdalakis restraining order cretan president
The President of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand (CFANZ), Tony Tsourdalakis, was slapped with a personal safety intervention order by a Victorian magistrate on Thursday, November 16.

The President of the Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand (CFANZ), Tony Tsourdalakis, was slapped with a personal safety intervention order by a Victorian magistrate on Thursday, November 16.

Mr Tsourdalakis, who is also a Director at St Basil’s Homes for the Aged in Victoria and Board Member at AGAPI Care, allegedly threatened to incite violence on former President of the Pancretan Association of Melbourne, Emanuel Starakis.

4. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia’s funeral certificate under scrutiny

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia’s funeral certificate under scrutiny.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia’s funeral certificate under scrutiny.

Some members of Australia’s Greek community raised concerns around the necessity of a ‘Certificate of death and funeral service’ being issued by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA).

The Greek Herald’s exposé found families were expected to pay $250 for a funeral certificate that was not officially recognised in Australia nor Greece. The cost of the certificate was also found to be five times the amount compared to a government-issued death certificate in Australia and Greece. 

3. Steph and Gian: The Greek-Italian Australians on The Block 2023

Steph and Gian are the youngest couple on this season of The Block. Photo: Nine.

Steph and Gian, a 27-year-old married couple from Sydney, New South Wales, were crowned the winners of Nine’s popular renovating series The Block 2023 this year, marking the end of its 19th season.

Stephanie Ottavio, an architect and third generation Greek Australian, and Gianpietro Ottavio, a tech startup worker and third generation Italian Australian, were not only crowned this year’s winners but made a record-breaking profit of $1.75 million – the most any contestant has ever made on the show.

2. George Sioris celebrates wedding day with 101-year-old yiayia by his side

george sioris
George Sioris with his 101-year-old yiayia. Photo supplied.

After having such a huge influence on his life, it’s no surprise George Sioris couldn’t wait to celebrate his marriage to Lenyia with his 101-year-old yiayia by his side.

On Saturday, June 24 this year, George, his yiayia and family gathered outside their home to take photographs before the wedding ceremony at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Kingsford, Sydney.

In one photograph, yiayia Georgia can be seen standing next to her grandson, holding a black-and-white photo of her late husband George Sioris.

1. Five miscarriages and a baby after an Orthodox convert’s pilgrimage to Tinos

Will and Artemis Greenwood
Will and Artemis Greenwood.

After several miscarriages, Will and Artemis Greenwood visited the Greek island of Tinos to worship at the Holy Church of Panagia Evangelistria (Our Lady of Tinos). Will crawled on his hands and knees from the ferry up the Avenue of Megalohari, the slope leading to the entrance of the church where the icon of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is held. Beside him, Artemis walked solemnly.

The crawl took 45 minutes to complete, though Will said it felt much longer as he lost sense of time. While crawling, he thought of the miscarriages his wife had and prayed for her. He also prayed for a child.

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