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LETTER from CRETE to DR. CONSTANTINOS KYRIAZOPOLOUS, MELBOURNE

The vendor describes the cover as "1904 usage of orange 20 lepta & green 5 lepta (Hera) stamps of Crete Greece stamps on private cover with cachet at left "New Freedom (Neas Eleftherias)" sent from Heraklion to Dr. Konstantine Kyriazopoulos, 168 Victoria str., North Melbourne, Australia with a Melbourne backstamp. An enlargement of the purple cachet is also shown (Figures 1 & 2).

A printed BANQUE D’ATHÈNES cover is addressed to Monsieur M. Kyriazopoulos, Victoria Street, North Melbourne with a 1921 usage of 25 lepta ‘blue angel’ stamp to Dr. Konstantine Kiriazopoulos, Victoria Street, North Melbourne, and the reverse is backstamped with a transit Alexandria, Egypt (Figures 3 & 4).

‘Dr. Constantinos M. Kyriazopoulos is a grandson of Yiarim-Edirne, who was beheaded, together with 27 other notables, during the Greek Revolt at Adrianople. He is also the grandson of Yiarim-Edirne who was the husband of the niece of, Patriarch Kyrillos, who was hanged in Adrianople.

Dr Kyriazopoulos was born in Adrianople, in the Cathedral district, in November 1866. Having completed his general studies in his birthplace, in 1884 he went to Athens, where he supplemented his studies at the gymnasium and enrolled in our National University, being proclaimed Doctor of Medicine in 1891. Having for 10 years perfected his knowledge of pathology and obstetrics in Paris, he returned to his place of birth, where he worked as a Government Doctor, when he moved to Bulgaria. Being compelled thereafter to abandon Bulgaria, because of growing anti-Greek sentiment, he returned to Adrianople, shortly after, in 1902, to travel to Australia and to settle in Melbourne, at 168 Victoria St., North Melbourne, where he has successfully practiced medicine for 14 years and is esteemed by all.

Married six years ago, he is already the father of two children, whom he has attempted to bring up in the most Greek of fashions. His wife, who is also Greek and also educated, and who also hails from Adrianople, has contributed greatly to this.

Being a polyglot, he offers his services, of an extremely rare quality, to the Greeks of Australia, through the medium of his writing, frequently under the pseudonym of ‘Ktilos’.

Dr. Kyriazopoulos is a warm supporter of Hellenism and one of the few whom a foreign environment has not changed over time’.

Additional facts concerning Dr. Constantinos Kyriazopoulos were found in a brief outline of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne, as follows:

20 January 1921: Election of Dr. Constantinos as president of the community. However a week later he resigned, and no reason for this was given. On 24August 1921, Dr. Constantinos
Kyriazopoulos replaced A.B. Maniakis as Honorary Consul of Greece in Melbouurne, and in 1923 Dr. Kyriazopoulos was replaced by A.B. Maniakis as the Honorary Consul of Greece in Melbourne. A picture of members of the Greek Orthodox Community in Melbourne in circa 1908 shows Dr. Kyriazopoulos standing in the back row, at the red arrow (Figure 5).

A biography of one of his sons after the family name was shortened to Krizos appeared in the Scotch College, Melbourne obituaries: Michael Constantine Kyriazopoulos (Krizos) was born at East Hotham in 3 November 1910 as Michel Kyriazopoulos, the son of a medical practitioner. He entered Wesley College in 1924 but transferred to Scotch College in June of that year. He graduated with a Batchelor of Engineering at Melbourne University in 1934 and became an engineer. In 1945 he was working in the Northern Territory and in 1948 he was senior engineer in the Victorian Department of Water Supply. He was a strong supporter of Scotch College and many charitable organizations. He died at age of 96 on 24 August 1907, survived by one son and 2 daughters.

The first Greek presence in Australia is recorded on 28 August 1829 with the arrival in the port of Sydney of seven young Greek convicts from the shipping community of Hydra who had been sentenced to death for piracy in a British court in Malta in 1828. In 1829 the sentences of three of them had been commuted to life sentences and those of the four others t0 14 years of foced labour and all transported to the English convict colony of New South Wales. The seven were fighters of the Greek revolutionary naval forces. Their ship had been captured in 1827 by the British Navy for interfering with a British commercial ship outside Crete, taking away some materials from its cargo.

This biography is derived from part of a collection from "Life in Australia" published in 1916 by John Comino. It is an important book as it was one of the first Greek books published in Australia for the Greeks back in the homeland. If they needed any more convincing of the golden opportunities awaiting them in Australia, it probably helped create interest amongst young Kytherians and other Greeks. Each of the men portrayed in the book paid for the honour, which, considering their reputation for thriftiness, must have made the decision a hard one for many a Kytherian. [Kythera refers to a small island, now part of Greece, South-east of the Peloponnesus]. As well some of the information was taken from Chrisstos N. Fifis’s work at the Latrobe University, Melbourne.

A map of Greece showing both the small Island of Kythra (red arrow) and the Island of Crete (Kriti) (green arrow) are seen in Figure 6.

 
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