Book on the Cretan pioneers of Australia to be launched in Victoria


The latest book authored and researched by Socrates Tsourdalakis titled The Cretan Pioneers of Australia takes us back 200 years and brings to light yesterday’s Cretans of Australia.

It documents the first Cretan that arrived on Australian shores back in 1829 and all the Cretan people that followed in the 1800s up until the 1950s before the post war migration.

When Socrates came to Australia as an immigrant in 1965, he had the pleasure of meeting several pioneers who were still alive. He would follow them with admiration and often wondered how brave they were to make the decision and set voyage to Australia, the unknown lands at the time.

Socrates would have never imagined that after commencing research he would locate Hellenes of Cretan descent that began arriving in Australia from 1829 onwards, who eventually married into the Australian society and to this day still live on seven generations later.

Socrates Tsourdalakis

The first chapter of the book refers to these Cretan immigrants in detail – when they arrived, how they arrived, who they married, their children, what they did for a living and if any had community involvement.

The second chapter refers to the descendants of these pioneers that served in the Australian Armed Forces in all theatres of conflict including the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and of course descendants that are currently serving our Armed Forces, which are so many, as profiled in the book.

The following chapters make reference to many Cretan descendants that served as founders in the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria back in 1897, many of whom served on the Boards. He then continues to profile all our Clergy of Cretan background that arrived as migrants, that served and are currently active in our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

The new book.

The final chapter is a tribute catalogue of over 15,000 names of Cretan descent that arrived on Australian shores as migrants, which have never been documented in the Diaspora. This chapter also includes vital statistics for those that will show an interest in this field of research. Socrates believes that he has captured at least 80 percent of the Cretans that arrived in the Oceania region.

The book will be launched on Sunday, June 25 at 3pm at the Sports & Art Complex of the St. Johns Greek Orthodox College situated at 1 Blanch Street, Preston.

The official launch will be presented by His Eminence Archbishop of Australia Makarios, as well as other distinguished dignitaries. A tribute video will be presented, as well as several descendants stories.  Following the event, refreshments and finger food will be served.

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