His life in a suitcase, now doubling as a seat. Other villagers jostled around him, anxious to board for Port Said, then embark on the Grosser Kurfurst* bound for Australia. 1904 saw many leaving Kythera, longing for a new life. Though he’d been an Evzone #, he still had to sell his small land plot to feed his parents and four siblings.
He touched his ticket again, safe. After arriving in Fremantle, he sailed on to Sydney to a promised job. Sleeping on the cafe floor after long, tiring days made him more determined to learn from his Kytherian compatriot. With little money in his pocket, he moved on to Grafton, soon becoming a partner in the Marble Bar Cafe.
His meticulous note keeping documented his life, including first checking land near Casino in 1909. He and his newly arrived wife, now with child, walked to this land in Whiporee, in 1910…the first of nine children, a son, born there in the bush.
Touching that same suitcase, I can’t help but feel the courage, determination, persistence and love of family, shown by my paternal grandfather, as I continue to unpack the story of his life.
*Shipping list from West Australian Archives.. Grosser Kurfurst arrival Fremantle 21st November, 1904
# Evzone -guard at Greek Palace, chosen from those considered to be ‘perfect specimens of youth’.