The “Golden Age” Informs the Present

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The very early immigrants from Kastellorizo mostly came through chain migration and in search of better opportunities. Once the decline in trade decelerated in the build-up to World War I, more people left the island, and as World War II loomed, there were many more. Following the devastation in World War II there were very few people left on the island. They established themselves in Australia (and other parts of the world). Kastellorizians brought with them the ideal of the pre-WWI so-called “Golden Age” of the late 19th and early 20th century, which contributed to a kind of unity. This singular image of Kastellorizo in its heyday is the connection that still binds Kastellorizians to their inherited identity, – their collective past.

Nevertheless they became good citizens in their adopted Countries.

“An island separated by only a few kilometers from the Turkish coast, Kastellorizo has nurtured a community of seafarers and travellers whose emphasis on the Hellenic identity seems to have been strengthened by their closeness to an alien frontier. This emphasis may at times have grated a little on the ears of other communities no less proud of their Hellenic heritage, but is certainly a cherished belief among ‘Kazzie’ families, and it may have contributed something to the drive and in many cases the success with which they have adapted to life in Australia. Families of Kastellorizian origin have achieved an Australian prominence out of proportion to their numbers.”

Geoffrey Bolton in the forward to Megisti in the Antiodes, by John Yiannakis