Historic Night for Australia's Lesvians

Book Launch is a Smash Hit

 Friday June 18 2010

In what will be remembered as a proud moment for the local Lesvian community, Sydney schoolteacher Vasiliios Vasilas' Journeys of Uncertainty and Hope was launched to packed Mytilenian House, Sydney.


Above: Two photographs of the large crowd at the Book Launch.

Over three hundred people attended this historic occasion and were impressed by the finely-tuned organisation of the Launch. 

Mytilenian Brotherhood of NSW President, Stavros Kritikos, commenced the official part of the evening by welcoming everyone and congratulating Vasilis' efforts and achievements thus far. Masters of Ceremonies, Stavroula Behlevanas- Saunders and Florence Vaporides then introduced themselves and theme of the Night- Lesvian migration to Austraia. Stella Tamvakera and Georgios Savvas were invited to speak on their personal experiences about their own migration. (It should be noted it is Stella's photograph on the actual cover of the book).

Associate Professor, Vrasidas Karalis, of the University of Sydney's Modern Greek Department, proceeded in presenting the book itself, commending Vasilis  for looking at history "from the grass roots" and highlighting "not enough of this work is being done to preserve history." 


Above Left: All the official party for the Launch. L-R: President of the Mytilenian Brotherhood, Stavros Kritikos; President of the Women's Auxiliary, Vicky Kritikos; Vasilios Vasilas; the two MCs, Stavroula Behlevanas- Saunders and Florence Vaporides; and Associate Professor, Vrasidas Karalis.

Above Right: A proud moment for the Vasilas family.

An emotional Vasilis thanked everyone for their enormous support in realising his dream on publishing Journeys of Uncertainty and Hope and emphasised the need to collect the Lesvian community's stories and information now while the storytellers are still alive, "In doing the work now, we preserve our history and identity for future generations to search for their genealogical roots."


Above: Stephanie Marshall, with Vasilios Vasilas.

Above Right: Katina Malolaki, Stavroula Behlevana- Saunders and Anna Comninakis.

Highlights of the Night were the representatives of Canberra's Mytilenian Association travellling to Sydney to be present for the occasion, as well as members from the Kytherean Association of Australia attending the Launch. What made the night extra special was having Stephanie Marshall at the Launch; her great-great grandfather, Michael Manusu (see Life Stories) was the first Lesvian migrant to Australia.


Above Left: Stan Soter and Michael Kretzas- who bought books by the box. 

Above Right: Syndesmos' Facebook connection; Vasilios Vasilas with Arthur Banos and Meropy Konitsas.  

It was also so encouraging to see so many people of ALL ages at the Launch, showing there is a keen interest in socio-historical work within the Greek community.

For more photographs: PHOTO GALLERY (Speakers).

                                           PHOTO GALLERY (General)

All Photographs courtesy of Arthur Banos