Happy Birthday Papauli!

Happy Birthday to my much loved grandfather.. Theodore Haralambos Catsoulis, born 21st June 1878, in Potamos, Kythera.


and always will.. Papauli (grandfather) was the youngest of five children born to Maria Fardouly and Haralambos Catsoulis.. He was born on the 21st June 1878 in Potamos, Kythera, Greece.  

His siblings were Eleni, Panagiotitsa (brother), Stavroula (sister) and George c 1873.. as written in one of his many notebooks that were given to my Dad. 

You can read more about his courtship of the girl who had his heart in BEAUTIFUL EYES. He told his very inquisitive granddaughter the story, over and over, always saying that she had beautiful eyes. They married in Potamos .. two services were held.The engagement service for 25 year old Theodoros and Chrisanthi K. Koroneos was in the Holy Virgin Church of Potamos on Thursday, April (no date) 1904. Chrisanthi was never registered. The second service was on a Wednesday at 2.00pm, no actual date, just April 1904, in the same church, with two witnesses..*

Papauli left his young bride behind when he left Greece to come to Australia to make his way. 

He embarked at Port Said with a number of other Greek immigrants, landing at Fremantle, Western Australia in 1904. This was researched for me and verified by James Butterfield, an archivist at the National Archives, Australia in Perth. sent to me in December 2006. I haven’t found a record of Chrisanthi’s voyage, but as was the way then, she would most likely have come as a companion to another family. Their first child wasn’t born till 1910, so I very much doubt that she arrived before October 1909/1910. It must have been very hard for them, particularly Nona, when they first came out as she didn’t speak English. They’d left their large families behind but did befriend other Greeks who formed part of a large wave of immigrants in the early 1900’s. 


* I have a copy of their marriage entry. 

© Crissouli 21 Jun 2021



Papauli's suitcaseTwo shirts, collar, shaving set, socks, two vests, underpants, pair of well worn trousers… and, unbeknowns to Theo, a carefully folded note, lovingly written by his new bride and sealed with tears..

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.

Grosser Kurfurst, Papauli's transport to Australia*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’.