Castellorizian Society of America
History Forum
In 1926, the Castellorizian Benevolent Society of America was established in New York by a group of newly-arrived Castellorizians which included Andreas K Mihalakis, Athanasios K Tsakounis, Nikolaos Y Karazepounis and Moschos A Paraskevas. With increasing Castellorizian arrivals, the Society prospered and among its many activities was an annual ball which was held each year in the Manhattan Centre in NYC.
Italian Watercolour
In 1943, an Italian export company, Mabo SA, sponsored the publication of a calendar that featured 12 watercolours of the Dodecanese islands, then under Italian dominion. The month of June was adorned by a charming watercolour of the Kavos promontory by an unknown artist. It is reproduced here.
St Anthimos
History Forum
Not many know that the Monastery of St George of the Mountain (Ayios Yeorgios tou Vouniou) on Castellorizo was erected by a saint of the Greek Orthodox Church, Anthimos. Anthimos Kourouklis (1727-1781) was born on the island of Cephallonia. He was blind from the age of seven, and entered monastic life from the age of 25...
Boys' Class, c. 1924
Here is a photograph of a boys' class from c. 1924 taken on the steps of the Santrapeia school. The first boy from left in the second bottom row is Yeorgios Anastasiou Fermanis, while others in the photo include Vanias Pitsikas, Adam Adamides , Ioannis Anast. Papanastasiou and Nikos Exindaris.
Albert Gabriel
History Forum
Albert Gabriel (1883-1972) was a French architect, archaeologist, painter and traveller whose large body of work recently featured in a major exhibition in Istanbul.
While Gabriel's published works on his travels in the eastern Mediterranean have been widely-known for some time, his vast private collection of writings, paintings and photographs has remained untapped until recently and formed the centrepiece of the exhibition in Turkey.
Cemetery of Castellorizo
History Forum
The cemetery of Castellorizo at Mikro Nifti in the Mandraki has been in this location since the beginning of the twentieth century. Prior to this, it was located in the Horafia precinct of the town, close to the chruch of Ayios Yeorgios tou Louka. A small circular ossuary at the rear of this church is the only reminder of the burial ground that existed here from at least the 17th century.
The Tringali Family
Italian rule on Castellorizo is closely identified with the individual who represented the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese islands on the island. Salvatore Tringali (1876-1950) was until 1924 a senior finance bureaucrat based in Rhodes. In September of that year, he was posted to Patmos as delegato (delegate) of the Italian Governor. In March of the following year, he was transferred to Castellorizo, a post he was to retain until July 1934 when he and his family were transferred to Simi.
Castellorizo Today
Here are some photos taken in July 2007 by Bill Alexiou of Sydney. I have taken the liberty of adding a few captions to them to highlight the more important places of historical interest.
Municipal Elections
History Forum
In 1928, the Italian authorities permitted the first free municipal elections on Castellorizo and the other Dodecanese islands. Until this occurred, Castellorizo's municipal council had been appointed (rather than elected) by the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese islands based in Rhodes and, before Italian occupation, by the French authorities (in the period 1915-1921).
The Fire of 6 July 1944
There is only one known photo of the devastating fire which destroyed much of the Kavos promontory on 6 July 1944. It was taken by a British officer of the Levant Schooner Flotilla, WE Benyon-Tinker, who had entered the harbour while the fire was raging..
History Forum
The history of the seaplanes that used Castellorizo as a stopover in the 1920s and 1930s is a fascinating one.
With the advent of the first long-haul seaplane flights from Western Europe to the Near & Far East, stopover destinations were required at convenient and accommodating locations..
Castellorizians in the USA
Genealogy Forum
From 1892 to 1924, more than 22 million immigrants, passengers, and crew members came through Ellis Island and the Port of New York. The ship companies that transported these passengers kept detailed passenger lists, called "ship manifests"..
Junior Girls' Class 1928
Here is a photograph of the junior girls' class from 1928. The teacher in the middle is the headmistress of the girls' school, Anastasia Arnaoutoglou. Behind her stands Eleni Agapitou, who assisted in instruction of the junior classes. The other teacher at left is Evangelia Harami..


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Ben-My-Chree, Woman of my Heart

The Ben-my-Chree was a British seaplane carrier that is widely credited with having played a pioneering role in the growth of naval aviation.  What is less known is that she was sunk in the harbour of Castellorizo in 1917 when the island, then occupied by France, was subjected to fierce bombardment from the Turkish coast.  Here, for the first time, is the complete story of the ill-fated Ben-my-Chree, from her days as an Isle of Man steamer to her conversion to one of the first floatplane carriers to serve in the Great War. 

Author Ian Burns, a leading aero-naval historian, brings to light her fascinating story of passenger travel and her years of combat, culminating in her tragic sinking in the islandís accommodating harbour and the inquiry that followed.

£32.50, 240 pp

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From Kastellorizo...Memoirs of a Greek Migrant Family 

Michael (Stratos) Jack Kailis was born in Western Australia of Greek parents.  His formative years were spent in North Perth, now known as Northbridge, where many of the early migrants from Castellorizo first settled.

Michael tells of the dangerous times that forced his parents' families to come to Australia from Castellorizo.  He tells of how his parents met, of their courtship and marriage, and of their humble beginnings.  Above all, he writes with pride about the hard work and dynamism of his father in building a major business which grew to employ over 800 people. 

This is a moving account of the migrant experience that will resonate with many Australians of Greek background 

$42.50, Hesperian Press, 2006, 311pp

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Near Eastern Dreams: The French Occupation of Castellorizo, 1915-1921

On a small island in the Eastern Mediterranean, successive European powers have demonstrated their grand aspirations. In the last century alone, Castellorizo has been ruled by Turkey, France, Italy, Britain and Greece.

Its period under French administration opens a fascinating window into the ideas of the French about their country's place in the world. However, French dreams of a Near Eastern empire, expressed eloquently by naval administrators on the island, were to have little place in the plans of Paris bureaucrats.

Nicholas Pappas looks engagingly at the island, its people, its French overlords and the conflicting aspirations of the cultures and nations. His Castellorizo - "the Pearl of the Levant" to its French occupiers- is a touchstone of 20th century Western history, revealed with precision in this highly readable illustrated study.

$30.00, Halstead Press, 2005, 162pp

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Kastellorizo: To margaritari tou Levante: I Galliki Katohi, 1915-1921

(Greek edition of 'Near Eastern Dreams')

$25.00, Zaharopoulos Press, 2004, 303pp


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Embers on the Sea: The Empire Patrol Disaster, 1945

The conflagration which destroyed the Empire Patrol after World War II took with it more than just the lives of many Greek refugees.

For most of the survivors, their prospects of returning to normal peacetime homes went down along with the ship and their worldly belongings, and any physical evidence which might have revealed who was to blame. 50 years on. Embers on the Sea provides the first clear analysis of what went wrong before and during the journey, in the lax rescue operation, and at the British Naval Inquiry which followed.

Paul Boyatzis, a Perth doctor who survived the voyage, and Sydney lawyer and historian Nicholas Pappas, have teamed to piece the whole story together in text, pictures and interviews.

Tracing the historical background since the turn of the century, they explain how it is that a single shipwreck spelt the end of a Mediterranean town and set off a wave of migration to Australia.

$20.00, Halstead Press, 1995, 128pp

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Castellorizo: An Illustrated History of the Island and its Conquerors

Castellorizo- An Illustrated History of the Island and its Conquerors charts great movements in history that have controlled the fate of a small island, remote from Greece. Since distant antiquity Castellorizo has been a prize in the power games of the Mediterranean. Its story traces the unsteady fortunes of the Rhodians and Romans, the Knights of St. John, Byzantine and modern Greece, Venice, Turkey, France, Britain, Germany and Italy.

And through the ancient and modern ravages of war, and last century's peace and prosperity, through the depopulations of the Middle Ages and our own time, we find in the rocky isle's constant Greekness, one condition which trade, diplomacy and conquest have never effaced.

For the first time, Nicholas Pappas presents this history as careful scholarly research reveals it. The many fascinating illustrations include maps, old prints and rare wartime photos showing scenes of devastations which Catellorizians themselves were never able to see.

$35.00, Halstead Press, 1994, 223pp

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