Pillar of Liverpool’s Greek community

Source: Liverpoolchampion

lenny1 Leny

MORE than 600 people, many from Liverpool’s Greek community, farewelled one of their favourite sons, Lenny Stathis on Monday.

The funeral service was held in the Greek church of St Raphael, built 40 years ago through the tireless work of Mr Stathis and other members of the local Greek community.

Mr Stathis, of Moorebank, who was 75 when he died last Tuesday, lived in Liverpool for more than 60 years since arriving in Australia as a 14-year-old migrant.

But his community work extended well beyond the local Greek community. As a successful businessman he also poured sponsorship money into many local sporting clubs.

He was also a big Bulldogs fan, who knew personally the late Peter “Bullfrog” Moore when he ruled the rugby league club for many years.

Mr Stathis, who was buried in the Greek Orthodox section of Liverpool cemetery, leaves behind his wife Christina, two sons and a daughter and grandchildren.

 

Flying high: World’s best airline, airport is…

Source: News

Singapore Airlines business class

Passengers enjoying a business class experience on Singapore Airlines. Picture: Supplied.

TIRED of uncomfortable plane seats, grumpy airport employees and bad food?

Well never fear, the world’s best airline and airport have been revealed, according to a survey of 28,000 frequent flyers.

The survey was conducted by Global Traveler, a US-based magazine, as part of its annual reader survey in 71 travel-related categories. It also revealed the best airport staff, best type of aircraft and the top hotel in the world.

It’s a tough crowd to please – the magazine estimates its readers’ average household income to be nearly $400,000 a year. Its readers average 16 international and 16 domestic round-trip flights per year, with 76 per cent usually travelling in business class.

Here are the winners:

Best airline in the world: Singapore Airlines
Best airline for international first class: Emirates
Best airline for business class: British Airways
Best airline cuisine: Alitalia
Best airport lounges: Emirates
Best airline for flight attendants: Asiana Airlines
Best airline for flight attendant uniforms: Etihad Airways
Best airport in the world: Incheon Airport (Seoul)
Best hotel in the world: The Address Downtown Dubai
Best aircraft type: Boeing 747
Best airport staff/gate agents: Qatar Airways
Best tourism destination: Ireland
Best frequent-flyer program: United MileagePlus
Best airport hotel: Hyatt Regency Incheon
Best WiFi service: Boingo Wireless

«Μάλλον φταίει το κρασί που δεν πεθαίνω» ο Σταμάτης Μωραΐτης

O Σταμάτης Μωραΐτης

O Σταμάτης Μωραΐτης είναι ανυπόμονος. Δεν έχει καιρό για χάσιμο: «Θέλετε κάτι άλλο; Γιατί έχουμε να μαζέψουμε ελιές με τον εγγονό μου, για να φτιάξουμε λάδι, προτού πέσει ο ήλιος» λέει με την όχι και τόσο κουρασμένη φωνή του και βιάζεται να φύγει. Ο Σταμάτης Μωραΐτης είναι 98 χρόνων. Ισως και 102. Δεν ξέρει ακριβώς και δεν τον νοιάζει ιδιαίτερα. «Γεννήθηκα στην Ικαρία, στο χωριό Μονοκάμπι το 1914, σύμφωνα με την ταυτότητά μου, αν και μια θεία μου, λίγο πριν πεθάνει, μου είχε πει ότι η χρονολογία γεννήσεώς μου είναι το 1910. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, είμαι πολύ μεγάλος για να ασχολούμαι με τέτοια πράγματα» λέει στο ΒΗmagazino όταν διηγείται για άλλη μια φορά την ιστορία μιας ζωής η οποία θα μπορούσε να γίνει το θέμα μιας συγκινητικής ταινίας, από εκείνες που βλέπεις και σκέφτεσαι ότι αυτά συμβαίνουν μόνο στο σινεμά. Συμβαίνουν, όμως, στην Ικαρία.

Ο Μωραΐτης είναι το πρόσωπο που ενέπνευσε την πρόσφατη αγάπη των Αμερικανών προς την Ελλάδα. Η ιστορία του έφτασε στους «Νew York Times», που δημοσίευσαν άρθρο για τους ανθρώπους οι οποίοι αρνούνται να πεθάνουν. Ο κύριος Σταμάτης είναι η πιο χαρακτηριστική περίπτωση. Πριν από 36 χρόνια, ενώ εργαζόταν στο Μπόιντον Μπιτς στη Φλόριδα, διαγνώστηκε με καρκίνο του πνεύμονα. Οι γιατροί εκεί του έδωσαν μόλις έξι μήνες ζωής, ωστόσο εκείνος αρνήθηκε να υποβληθεί σε χημειοθεραπείες και φαρμακευτική αγωγή. Επέστρεψε στη γενέτειρά του την Ικαρία για να απολαύσει τους τελευταίους μήνες της ζωής του. Σήμερα ζει μόνος του στο πέτρινο σπίτι του στο νησί, καθώς έχασε τη γυναίκα του Ελπινίκη πριν από δέκα μήνες, χαίρει άκρας υγείας και, κάνοντας ένα διάλειμμα από τις εργασίες στους αμπελώνες και στον κήπο του, μοιράστηκε την ιστορία του.

Στις αρχές του 1930 εγκατέλειψε το χωριό του στην Ικαρία, ολοκλήρωσε τη θητεία του στον στρατό και στη συνέχεια τον μετέφεραν στο πολεμικό ναυτικό. Λίγο προτού ξεσπάσει ο Β΄ Παγκόσμιος Πόλεμος βρισκόταν πίσω στην Ικαρία. «Οταν οι Γερμανοί και οι Ιταλοί ήρθαν εδώ, με έναν φίλο μου πήραμε μια βάρκα και ξεφύγαμε από την Ικαρία με προορισμό την Τουρκία. Επρεπε να είναι βράδυ, επειδή δεν άφηναν εκείνη την εποχή κανένα πλοίο ή βάρκα να περάσει χαμηλότερα από την Ικαρία. Το επόμενο πρωί είχαμε φτάσει σε διεθνή ύδατα και κρυβόμασταν. Από εκεί οι Βρετανοί μάς πήραν και μας πήγαν στη Δαμασκό, στη Συρία. Και από εκεί, με τους υπόλοιπους πρόσφυγες πολέμου, μας έβαλαν στην υπηρεσία στην Αίγυπτο και σε άλλα μέρη».

«ΕΧΕΙΣ ΕΞΙ ΜΗΝΕΣ ΖΩΗΣ»

Το 1943, ακολουθώντας το κύμα μετανάστευσης μακριά από την κατεστραμμένη Ευρώπη, πήγε στις ΗΠΑ προκειμένου να θεραπευτεί από τραύματα στο μπράτσο του κατά τη διάρκεια του πολέμου. Εγκαταστάθηκε στο λιμάνι Τζέφερσον της Νέας Υόρκης, ένα καταφύγιο νησιωτών από την ιδιαίτερη πατρίδα του, την Ικαρία. Επειδή έπιαναν τα χέρια του, παρακολούθησε μαθήματα σε νυχτερινό σχολείο για να μάθει πως να αναμειγνύει μπογιές και χρώματα και αργότερα εργάστηκε εκεί, κάνοντας ανακαινίσεις και βάφοντας δημόσια κτίρια και σπίτια: «Το 1943 γνώρισα την γυναίκα μου Ελπινίκη, παντρευτήκαμε και ήμασταν πολύ ευτυχισμένοι. Ζήσαμε 69 ολόκληρα χρόνια μαζί. Ηταν Ελληνοαμερικανίδα, αλλά πρώτη φορά εγώ την έφερα στην Ελλάδα. Μείναμε πολλά χρόνια στο Λονγκ Αϊλαντ στη Νέα Υόρκη και μετά μετακομίσαμε στη Φλόριδα. Η γυναίκα μου έμενε στο σπίτι και φρόντιζε τα παιδιά. Εχω τρία παιδιά, τον Γιάννη, τη Μαρία και τον Γιώργο, οκτώ εγγόνια και τέσσερα δισέγγονα και είμαι πολύ σίγουρος ότι θα δω και τρισέγγονα!».

Ωστόσο, μια ημέρα του 1976, ο Σταμάτης Μωραΐτης ένιωσε να του κόβεται η ανάσα. Του ήταν εξαιρετικά δύσκολο να ανεβαίνει σκάλες και, δεδομένου ότι η εργασία του ήταν χειρωνακτική, έπρεπε να παραιτηθεί. Υποβλήθηκε σε μια σειρά εξετάσεων και ακτινογραφιών, οι οποίες απέδειξαν ότι είχε καρκίνο του πνεύμονα. Οι αμερικανοί γιατροί τού έδωσαν το πολύ έξι με εννέα μήνες ζωής. Αποφάσισε να επιστρέψει στην Ικαρία, όπου θα μπορούσε να ταφεί πλάι στους γονείς του. Ετσι, μετακόμισε μαζί με την Ελπινίκη στο πατρικό του, ενώ η μητέρα και η γυναίκα του τον φρόντιζαν. Οταν οι παιδικοί του φίλοι ανακάλυψαν ότι είχε επιστρέψει στο νησί, άρχισαν να τον επισκέπτονται κάθε απόγευμα. Η καθημερινότητά του άλλαξε σταδιακά. Οι φίλοι του έρχονταν, μιλούσαν για ώρες, γελούσαν και δεν σκέφτονταν τον θάνατο. Ηταν μια ευχάριστη συνήθεια που συνοδευόταν από καλό κρασί ντόπιας παραγωγής. Σκέφτηκε ότι έτσι τουλάχιστον θα «έφευγε» ευτυχισμένος.

ΤΟ ΜΥΣΤΙΚΟ ΤΗΣ ΜΑΚΡΟΖΩΙΑΣ

«Περίμενα να πεθάνω, αλλά απλώς δεν συνέβαινε. Αρχισα να ασχολούμαι πάλι με τον κήπο μου, φύτεψα λαχανικά, χωρίς να περιμένω ότι θα ζήσω για να τα φάω, απλώς μου άρεσε να δουλεύω στον καθαρό αέρα. Οι έξι μήνες, λοιπόν, πέρασαν και αποφάσισα να καθαρίσω και τους αμπελώνες των γονιών μου. Ξυπνούσα αργά, δούλευα στους αμπελώνες μέχρι το μεσημέρι και μετά το φαγητό ξεκουραζόμουν. Τα βράδια περπατούσα ως την ταβέρνα όπου έπαιζα “πόρτες” και έπινα κρασί με φίλους μέχρι τα μεσάνυχτα».

Κάπως έτσι, λοιπόν, πέρασαν τα χρόνια και η υγεία του συνέχισε να βελτιώνεται. Πρόσθεσε μερικά δωμάτια στο σπίτι των γονιών του, για να μπορούν να τον επισκέπτονται τα παιδιά του, και σε ένα ταξίδι του στις ΗΠΑ αποφάσισε να βρει τους γιατρούς που είχαν κάνει τη διάγνωση και να μάθει τι ακριβώς είχε συμβεί.

«Οταν επέστρεψα να δω τους γιατρούς μου, ανακάλυψα ότι όλοι είχαν πεθάνει. Δεν μπορούσε κανένας να μου το εξηγήσει. Γι’ αυτό τώρα έρχονται και με επισκέπτονται διάφοροι γιατροί και επιστήμονες να δουν πώς ζω και τι τρώω για να καταλάβουν πώς έγινα καλά. Τους εξηγώ, λοιπόν, αυτό που θα πω και σε εσάς: τρέφομαι με τρόφιμα ντόπιας παραγωγής, με λαχανικά που φυτεύω στον κήπο μου, αρκετό ψάρι και λίγο κοτόπουλο. Το πρωί δεν πίνω καφέ, αλλά φασκόμηλο με αγνό ικαριώτικο μέλι. Αλλά εγώ νομίζω ότι το σημαντικότερο πράγμα που με κρατάει δυνατό είναι το κρασί που φτιάχνω μόνος μου και πίνω αρκετό, για να πω την αλήθεια» λέει στο ΒΗmagazino ένας άνθρωπος που βιάζεται να φύγει. Να φύγει για να ζήσει λίγο ακόμη, απολαμβάνοντας με τους όρους του μια ζωή που ο ίδιος έχει επιλέξει.

 

Hand grenade explodes show and tell in Hunter Christian School in Newcastle

Source: News

Police

Police outside the Hunter Christian School at Mayfield. Source: The Daily Telegraph

EXPLOSIVES experts from the Royal Australian Air Force have removed a World War II hand grenade brought to a NSW school for show and tell.

A primary school girl, understood to be in Year 5, brought the potentially deadly device to the Hunter Christian School in Newcastle this morning, showing a teacher what she had brought for the day’s show and tell session.

Staff immediately evacuated the school’s 450 students and called triple-0.

Police then cordoned off the area, evacuating homes in an adjacent street.

An explosive ordnance disposal technician and another defence force officer removed the device without incident shortly after arriving at 11.20am.

The device was sealed in a steel munitions tin before being loaded into their 4WD to be taken back to base for testing.

Newcastle police duty officer Gerard Lawson said the RAAF personnel had deemed the grenade a sufficient risk to conduct further examinations.

“There’s no doubt that it did pose a potential threat and the actions we’ve had today are appropriate in the circumstances,” he said.

Insp Lawson said the girl’s family had taken possession of the grenade several weeks ago, unaware of its danger.

“When they were given it, they were assured it was safe but we can’t rely on that information,” he said.

“In a classroom, certainly if it was live and it was a fully functioning device it would cause serious injuries to all the occupants.”

The school has 450 students but many were yet to arrive for school when the alarm was raised.

Police say the school had activated its SMS system alerting parents to the situation and advising them to keep their children home.

Insp Lawson said police and teachers wanted to reassure parents that all students were safe and well.

“I want to warn members of the public that if they have or are aware of military ordnance they should not touch or move it but contact police immediately,” Insp Lawson said.

School principal Boyd Allen said the students had been evacuated to a nearby club, where parents had been invited to pick them up. About 80 children were still waiting to be collected after the grenade was removed and would be looked after by staff for the rest of the day.

 

World’s tallest woman dies in China

Source: News

THE tallest woman in the world has died in China aged 40, say news reports.

Yao Defen died on November 13 in her hometown in the eastern province of Anjui, local newspaper Xin’an Wanbao reported on Tuesday.

She had been suffering from health problems for some time.

A tumour during her childhood triggered a growth spurt that saw her reach 1.85 metres by the time she was 13. Her family put her in the circus to supplement their meagre income.

Her adult height was reported by Chinese media as 2.36 metres, while the Guinness World Records has it recorded as 2.33 metres.

20121207-114950.jpg

A Conference on the Greek Crisis:11th Biannual Conference in Modern Greek Studies, University of Sydney, 6-9 December 2012

Conference on Greek crisis: open to all

Conference on Greek crisis: open to all

A conference on the current crisis in Greece will be held between 7-9 December, through the Modern Greek Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand and the Department of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney.

This is the university’s 11th biannual international conference and they have dedicated this year to the most current and most disastrous event in recent Greek history. The main topic is how the current is expressed and manifested in various aspects of Greek social, political and cultural life. Speakers from all over the world will discuss the issues in a dispassionate and detached attempt to understand how such a profound collapse in political authority and social cohesion took occurred.

One must be reminded that until 2006-7, Greece presented the appearance of a “successful integration” in the eurozone, with high growth rates and as it seemed back then minimal external debt. The conference however addresses something deeper than the actual collapse of economy; it explores the crisis of authority that we see at the moment as the ultimate consequence of the failure of the Greek political order to renew itself.

It investigates how such loss of authority is expressed in issues of historical awareness, issues of social democracy with the rise of neo-Nazism and finally issues regarding the conceptual frameworks that Greeks used in the past to talk about themselves. In such an investigation literary and artistic representations are also found to suffer under the current crisis; the euphoric and innocent images of Zorba the Greek have all but vanished and for the first time we start talking about historical errors, lack of transparency and structural deficiencies.

Indeed we are at a very strange point in modern history that we can actually confirm that the existing cultural symbols are not sufficient any more to encompass the complexity and the confusion of contemporary Greek experience. As one of the organisers of the conference I think that the pillars of modern Greek culture continue to be, unfortunately, isolated individuals, who instituted patterns and representations of self-awareness either in opposition to the dominant culture in the country or in the diaspora.

Theodoros Angelopoulos and C. P. Cavafy seem to dominate most of the discussions. Language remains one of the most critical areas of investigation while the gray areas of historical knowledge also become central. Modern writing and contemporary art are also discussed because they are the first that illustrated the approaching earthquake that destroyed the immoral practices of the post-Metapolitesfi period. An interesting aspect of the conference is that most contemporary scholars are indeed post-ideological; indeed from the point of view of the left, they reject almost all practices of the left parties and see them as part of the overall problem in the country.

Another, unhappy, realisation from the conference is that Modern Greek studies have shrunk dramatically in Australia. The great centre of Hellenism, Melbourne, is spectacularly absent as academic life has all but collapsed there. Indeed most academics who deal with Greek issues do not belong to Modern Greek studies and this is a tragic impoverishment for the discipline.

We tried to bring people from other areas, artists, thinkers and writers who explore contemporary Greek experiences in order to cover the loss; we also want to investigate new forms of expression (such as opera) and new forms of interpretations such as post/post-modernism or approaches based on critical rationality. After so many decades of Greek studies in the Antipodes we have the privilege to celebrate our achievements and at the same time to assess our losses.

The Conference is open to anyone who would like to participate and address some of the issues we want to discuss; maybe in the diaspora, we are able to retain and enhance the democratic element in modern Greek social life which suffers greatly in the Metropolis. For the complete program of the conference visit http://sydney.edu.au/arts/modern_greek/about/events/index.shtml?id=1797

 

Around Australia Ride 2013 (AAR), a major fundraising event for the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation

Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation

You may already be aware that Dale and I are going to ride around Australia in May 2013 on our motorcycle as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation. We are travelling with four very close friends from Cooma and another 30 people we don’t know yet, be assured we are going to have a fantastic trip over the five weeks.

All those going have agreed to raise funds for the foundation for a very specific research program before we go, and all riders and pillions are paying their own cost for the trip, so if you help us with fundraising all the monies 100% will go to Childhood Cancer Research.

We have a website page which will give you heaps more information on what we are up to – http://www.southeastprinting.com.au/around-australia-ride/

You may already be aware that Dale and I are going to ride around Australia in May 2013 on our motorcycle as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for the Steven Walter Children's Cancer Foundation. We are travelling with four very close friends from Cooma and another 30 people we don't know yet, be assured we are going to have a fantastic trip over the five weeks. All those going have agreed to raise funds for the foundation for a very specific research program before we go, and all riders and pillions are paying their own cost for the trip, so if you help us with fundraising all the monies 100% will go to Childhood Cancer Research. We have a website page which will give you heaps more information on what we are up to - http://www.southeastprinting.com.au/around-australia-ride/

AROUND AUSTRALIA RIDE

The Cooma Crew, Andrew & Kathy Manthey, Brian & Dale Coyte and Jack & Di Nott will be participating in the Around Australia Ride 2013 (AAR), a major fundraising event for the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation. And we are looking for your support.

The AAR will start in the first week of May 2013, the exact date has to be worked out yet. The distance will be around 14000kms and is all tar sealed except for the parts that have been dug up. Each rider is set a fundraising target of $5000 and pillions a target of $2500.

All members of the Cooma Crew have been involved with the SWCCF’s major annual fundraising event, The Snowy Ride, since its inception. The Coyte’s and Nott’s are original founding members of the Snowy Hyrdo Family Program. This program hosts families with a child suffering cancer, over the Snowy Ride weekend, treating them to a wonderful weekend in our beautiful Snowy Mountains Region. Kathy Manthey has been involved with rider registration and organisation of the traffic control for all the checkpoints and assists greatly with the logistics of the ride. Andrew Manthey for many years picked up broken bikes and does all the jobs that no one else wants to do.

All the funds we raise will go directly to SWCCF and all accommodation, fuel and other costs associated with us going on the AAR will be covered by each of us personally.

Fundraising events will include a great raffle prize, a 4 day escorted motorcycle ride through Victoria and joy rides at the Cooma Rotary Markets. Come down to the Markets on the Sunday 21.10.12 to book your ride and see the Steven Walter Foundation ST1300. Click on the icons below for more information about these events.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Wine Tasting Night.

The Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation (SWCCF) is a not-for-profit foundation with a strategic plan to develop a significant long term fundraising capacity to benefit childhood cancer research in Australia.

Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation works closely with the Children’s Cancer Centres at both the Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick and the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Both organisations share the resolute objective of achieving increased survival rates for children with cancer, a task simply not possible without public support through fundraising.

  • In 2012, 500 Australian children will sadly be diagnosed with cancer.
  • Tragically 150 of them will lose their battle with this dreadful disease.
  • In Australia, for every 10 children diagnosed with cancer, three do not survive.
  • Three children every week this year will lose their battle with cancer, we believe this is three children too many.
  • Of those brave children who do survive, many will have chronic health problems as a direct result of their treatments.

World’s oldest person Besse Cooper dies at 116 in Georgia

Source: Independsnt.ie

Guinness World Records says the oldest person alive is now 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa

Wednesday December 05 2012
A woman listed as the world’s oldest person has died in a Georgia nursing home at 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully on Tuesday in Monroe, east of Atlanta, her son Sidney said.

Mr Cooper said his mother had been ill over the weekend with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday.

He said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing, was put on oxygen in her room and died there at about 2pm local time.

Mrs Cooper was declared the world’s oldest person in January, but in May, Guinness World Records learned that Brazilian Maria Gomes Valentin was 48 days older. Ms Valentin died on June 21.

A Guinness official says the title now belongs to 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, of Johnston, Iowa.

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