Cazzie Connection

   
Castellorizo

My family heritage goes back to a little Greek island called Castellorizo. People with family ties to the island are known as Cazzies and are noted as having a strong emotional bond with their ancestral home. They also have track record of endeavour and contribution to the community. The Cazzie Connection explores the circumstances of time, place and culture that have lead to this.

 

Castellorizo (can be spelt Kastellorizo or Kastelorizo)

 

Castellorizo is the eastern-most island of Greece and roughly 2 kilometres from the Turkish coast. It is barely 10 square kilometres in size and has no potable water. Castellorizo has a barren landscape and is largely unaccessable apart from an exceptional natural harbour. At it's peak the population was probably around 10,000-12,000, and at one time (mid 19th century) it is said to have had the highest population density in the world as it's inhabitants gathered around it's bustling wharf to conduct their trade. It now has a population of around 400.

 

Castellorizo, sometime spelt 'Kastellorizo' is actually derived from Italian meaning 'Red Castle'. It's Ancient Greek name is Megisti and it has certainly had a colourful history. It was mentioned in the writings of Homer, wines from the island were drunk in the court of King Solomon, it has said to have been visited by Alexander the Great in his conquest of the known world, and was once a base for Knights on the Crusades.

 

After originally being colonised by Dorian Greeks it has been under the control of the Byzantine Empire, the Knights of St John, the King of Naples, Ottoman Empire, Venetians, France, Italy, British commandos and Allied Forces during World War II. It formally became part of the Greek state in 1948.

 

It was also the setting for the Oscar-winning 1991 movie Mediterraneo. So, Castellorizo has had an interesting and eclectic history. Could this history have contributed to the Cazzie Connection?

 

Castellorizo is the sister city of Perth, Western Australia – the reason being that many of its citizens migrated to Perth and other parts of Australia throughout the first half of the 20th century. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of it's population migrated to Australia. My grandfather Evangelos (Angelo) Koutsoukis was one of these migrants. He arrived in Fremantle in 1908.

 

The Cazzie Connection

 

Most Cazzies seem to have a stong emotional connection with the island are also known to be very parochial - sometimes to the annoyance of other Greeks. And, despite the fact that they migrated to a country with a different language and different culture, Cazzies have been remarkably prominent in Australian business, professions and civic contribution. Given that Cazzies come from an island with a population of around 400 people, a disproportionate number have shown leadership in their field of endeavour.

 

Research into Castellorizian history, migration and culture has given rise to two intriguing questions:

 

1. Why are Kazzies so emotionally connected and paraochial about their island?

2. Why have so many Kazzies been prominient as achievers and contributers to the community?

 

In an effort to explain this combination of emotional bonding and endeavour we have coined the phrase the 'Cazzie Connection'.

 

At this point in time I am in the process of researching and writing a book on the subject with renowned social historian, author and expert on Greek and Kazzie migration to Australia, Dr John Yiannakis - and yes, John is a Cazzie. The working title of the book is "The Cazzie Connetion. A remarkable story about the positive power of culture, community and connection."

 

Our quest is to discover what combination of circumstances and cultural attributes have led to the Cazzie Connection. This is firstly, to honour our forebears who toiled through difficult times and circumstances to make it in a new country, and secondly, to reveal lessons from their actions so that subsequent generations of Cazzie may continue this tradition of acheivement and contribution. I have a vested interest as the father of two Cazzie sons!

 

It is also hoped that these lessons may also be useful for those whose role is building communities with positive cultures of acheivement and contribution i.e. Leaders and managers in business, government, education and non-profit organisations. These are the people I work with in my role as a leadership speaker and consultant.

 

The Koutsoukis Connection

 

Leadership runs in my family. My great-grandfather Constantine Koutsoukis was the Mayor and Judge of Castellorizo in the early 1900s, and was awarded what we believe to be the equivalent of an OBE for his services to the community by the Sultan Hmid II - when the island was under Turkish rule. He was also the benefactor of education by organising two school teachers to come and teach the children of the island. He even paid their wages.

 

View the Resolution Decree that was issued by the Greek Government in honour of Constantine on his passing.

 

Interesting fact. You can see Constantines picture hanging up in one scene of the movie Mediterraneo.

 

Constantine married Chrousafina Toulouza who was born in Kastellorizo. Her father Nicholas was a Russian Ambassador in Cairo, and was awarded the Emerald Cross for services by Tsar Nicholas II.

 

Their son Angelo migrated to Australia in 1908 and married Violet Wallace in the 1920's. My father Albert was born in Perth in 1933.

 

Albert Koutsoukis

 

Dad, who passed away in 2005, definitely had ‘The Cazzie Connection’. He was a high achiever and has been a great role model for me. Apart from being married for 49 years to my Mum and having four good looking, well adjusted children (lol) who loved him very much, a small sample of what Dad achieved in his life included:

 

o State Junior Chess Champion

o Runner Up Australian Junior Chess Champion

o Quiz Kid (a famous radio show in the 50's)

o State 110, and 220 yard Schoolboy Sprint Champion

o Renowned school teacher for more than 30 years

o First teacher to introduce work experience into WA schools

o University lecturer

o President of a number of Associations

o Full time writer (his dream)

o Author of 52 books

 

 

 

Constantine Koutsoukis

 Constantine Koutsoukis

 

Angelo Koutsoukis    Angelo Koutsoukis

 

 

Albert Koutsoukis

     Albert Koutsoukis

 

So, Dad had the Cazzie Connection and has hopefully passed it on to me so that I will fully realise my potential – and of course pass on to my children. I had (still have) a very strong connection with Dad and we talked a lot about the 'meaning of life'. Perhaps this father-son connection and the passing on of wisdom to the next generation is part of the Cazzie Connection? I'm certainly trying to do this with my two boys Sam and Matt.

 

As I discover more, I look forward to passing on the 'secrets' of the Cazzie Connection to those who would like to hear it. And as my journey of discovery into my Greek heritage is relatively recent, I look forward to meeting others who can enlighten me further. I am very keen to interview more Cazzies to find out what makes them tick, and learn about others who have experienced the Cazzie Connection. If you can recommend someone I should talk to please contact me contact me

 

Some Interesting Cazzies of Note

 

Below is a list of Cazzies who have been successful in their field of endeavour and/or have been great contributors to the community. Some of the names may be familiar to you.

 

A NOTE TO ALL CAZZIES. As my exploration into my Cazzie heritage is relatively recent, I have a strong desire not to breach any protocol of which I am not aware, or to cause offense either by the inclusion or omission of any families or individuals. For any errors or omissons I have made I humbly apologise, and ask that I be corrected by contacting me at david@acropolisleadership.com.

 

The prime purpose of this page is to honour the spirit of Castellorizo that lives in all Cazzies, and to celebrate our connection with this unique and wonderful island.

 

Medical/Health

Dr Con Michael AO   Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr Byron Kakulas    Professor of Pathology, University of WA - Medical research MS quokkas)

Dr John Papadimitriou    (OSJ BA MBBS MD PhD FRC Path FRCPA) Professor of Pathology UWA

Dr Paul Boyatzis    GP, Co-author Embers on the Sea (about Empire Patrol Disaster)

Paul Boyatzis    Executive Director Australian Medical Association, 2010 Bob Elphick Medal contribution to community health, named in 100 most  influential people in WA 2010

Dr Dean Boyatzis MD Received Spirit of Flynn Award from the Royal Flying Doctor Service more

Dr Marcus Liveris OBE   Emeritus Professor, National President AHHA, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Curtin University and President of the Board of Royal Perth Hospital.

Dr John Lekias    Respected neurosurgeon - represented Australia at international conferences

Dr Mick Lekias   GP, Former Mayor City of Canning (delivered David Koutsoukis when he was born)

Dr Michael Lekias

Dr Spiros Moraitis AO CBE

Dr Garry Xanthis

Dr Nicholas Neates

Dr George Anastas   (Dec. 1994)

Dr Darcy Economos   Ear Nose and Throat Specialist

Dr Natasha Polites   Ear Nose and Throat Specialist

John Pitsonis   CEO, Lake Macquarie Private Hospital

Dr Peter Gregory   Leading paediatric dentist

Dr Terry K Pitsikas OAM President, Australian Dental Association WA

Dr Terry L Pitsikas GP

Dr Spiro Halikis President, Australian Dental Association WA

Evan Kakulas   Dentist, also of Kakulas Bros - Food Merchants

Theo Kannis   Founder WA Opticians

Theo Palassis   Respected WA Optometrist

Colonel (Dr) Vlas Efstathis  OAM, CstJ, RFD General Practitioner and Commissioner of St John Ambulance in Australia. Lifetime of service to Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. Service to Greek community in Queensland. Author of The Knights Castle on Kastellorizo.

Dr Alex Salvaris (1919-1996) - and his son:

Dr James (Jim) C Salvaris  GP and Clinical Lecturer University of Western Australia - and his twin sons:

Dr Patrick Salvaris

Dr Ross Salvaris  Doctor at Royal Perth Hospital

Dr Steve Anastasas  Clinical Lecturer in Dentistry University of Western Australia

 

Law

Con Zempilas   Lawyer, Former Chief Stipendiary Magistrate - the youngest Magistrate in Australia (36)

Peter Panegyres Lawyer, WA Solicitor General

Andrew Stavrianou   Lawyer, District Court Judge

Peter Michelides   Lawyer, Magistrate

Nick Pappas   PhD, Solicitor - Chairman, South Sydney Rabbitohs; Principal, Nicholas G Pappas & Company Lawyers; Member, Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia; Chairman, Laiki Bank (Australia) Ltd; President, Powerhouse Museum Australia; Member, Council of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and Board Member of the Steve Waugh Foundation. Author

'Castellorizo; An Illustrated History of the Island and its Conquerors'; 'Near Eastern Dreams: The French Occupation of Castellorizo1915-1921'; Co-author 'Embers on the Sea' (Empire Patrol); 'An Island in Time - Castellorizo in Photographs 1890-1948.'

Bartley Kakulas QC Kakulas and Kakulas

Theo Kakulas Kakulas and Kakulas

Stephen Pallaras Lawyer, Director of Prosecutions SA, Executive Committee International Anti- Corruption Association

Nick Mitaros Lawyer, Co-founder Australian Friends of Kastellorizo

 

Media

Basil Zempilas   Sports Journalist

Jonathan Barthelmes   Celebrity Chef

John Mangos   Television Journalist

George Spartels   Actor, former well known Play School personality

Jason Koutsoukis   Renowned international journalist

 

Business

George Palassis Kailis (1900-1958)  Founder of the Kailis fishing dynasty - Community benefactor

And his four sons:

Peter George Kailis  Established Red Rooster Pty Ltd, Coldale Constructions Pty Ltd, Perth Fibre Box Pty Ltd, Consolidated Pine Industries, Kailis Organic Olive Groves.

Theo George Kailis  CEO or Chairman for the following companies: G P Kailis & Sons, Ross Group International, West Ocean Canning Pty Ltd, Austral Fisheries Pty Ltd, New Fishing Australia Pty Ltd, Lobster Australia Pty Ltd and Kailis and France Foods Pty Ltd.

Michael George Kailis (1) (b1933) Chairman, Kailis Brothers Fish Markets (KFM), the largest distributor of fresh fish and frozen product in WA.

Victor Kailis Owner of the iconic Kailis Fish Market Cafe at Fremantle Boat Harbour 

Mark Kailis  (Son of Peter George) Managing Director, Kailis Organic Olive Groves

Dr Michael George Kailis (2) (1929-1999) AM CBE Cit. WA.  Founder of MG Kailis Group - Involved in the fishing and pearling industries. WA Citizen of the Year 1979

Alex Kailis Managing Director, MG Kailis Group

Peter Spero Michelides (1878-1966)  Tobacco Merchant - Consul for Greece, France, Spain and Russia - French, Russian and Greek decorations notably, in 1940, the silver cross of the Royal Order of George I of Greece

Nicholas Paspaley Snr OBE – Businessman, Pioneer of the pearling industry

Nick Paspaley AC  Executive Chairman, Paspaley Pearls, NT Export Hall of Fame. Chairman of the South Sea Pearl Consortium

Roslynne Vivienne Bracher AM   (nee Paspaley) Director Paspaley pearls, Japanese Honorary Consul General in Darwin.

Marilynne Paspaley (AM)  Managing Director, Pinctada Hotels & Resorts – former actress on ABC's GP

Mary Paspalis-Dakas   Pioneer of the pearling industry

Nick Moraitis    Managing Director Moraitis Group, Sydney Turf Club Director, Owner Melbourne Cup Winner Might and Power

Manettas Family   Seafood Industry

Tony Gemenis   Sydney restaurateur

Stacey Mitchell Pallaras   (BA, Dip Ed, M Com) Former CE, MD international firm Hong Kong, Radio Station Manager

Simon Fermanis   MBA, Partner, Mack & Co Chartered Accountants

John B. Salvaris OAM

ohn A. Salvaris OAM  Partner, KPMG MelbourneDarcy Pappas  Principal, Pappas and Associates Accounts

Sylvia and Peter Parras Hotel Industry

Eva and Dimitri Savvas Hotel Industry

Kerry Harmanis  Lawyer, Founding Director Jubliee Mines

John Gelavis (1) MBA Sales and marketing Manager at Laminex, President of the Housing Industry Association (WA)

John Gelavis (2) General Manager at 2iC Australia Pty Ltd

Con Polites Prominent South Australian Businessman and Landholder. Look for the blue Polites Signs in Adelaide. Current Affair Video | Feature Video

George Polities CEO and Managing Director Polites Corporation, South Australia  7th Dan Taekwondo

Andrew Liveris President and Managing Director Dow Chemicals (World-wide), Awarded honorary doctorate and named Alumnus of the Year 2005 University of Queensland, Premier of Queensland's Expatriate Achievement Award 2007, Elected to Board of Directors IBM, Author 'Make it in America: The Case for Re-Inventing The Economy', Advisor to Barack Obama, Honour of 'Lord' Greek Orthodox Church. Wikepedia Article

James Komninos Managing Partner RSM Bird Cameron Perth, Vice Chair of Board Variety Club WA

Peter Kambouris Owner, Kambos Electrical consumer goods stores

Steven Michael Managing Director, Segue Resources Limited

Geoffrey Conaghan (mother Stavrianos) Agent-General for Victoria in London, Victoria's Commissioner to India 2009-2013


Academia

Professor George Michael Kailis (Son of Dr George Michael Kailis 2) Vice Chancellor Notre Dame University

Professor Stanley Kailis   Professorial Fellow, UWA School of Plant Biology, former Director of Planning and Associate Professor in Pharmacy at Curtin University

Dr Desmond Kailis   Dean of Dentistry, UWA

Dr George Hondros   Lecturer in Engineering, UWA

Professor Ernest Demetrios Hondros  (FRS; DSc; Dr d'U (Paris); FIM; C, Eng.; C.M.G)

Dr Ray Petrides   Lecturer Economics

Dr Michael Conos

Dr Pantazis Constantine Houlis Research Associate & Lecturer, Dept of Civil Engineering,UWA. Bachelors Degree in Mathematics (Uni. of Crete, Greece), Masters of Mathematics (UWA), PhD in Electrical Engineering (UWA) International Puzzle Expert and Inventor Oginov Tumbler Commerical | Oginov Tumbler YouTube

Cameron Pretsel (mother Koutsoukis)  Deans Award for Excellence, Curtin University

Dr John Yiannakis   Lecturer, Author, Researcher and author of many books about Castellorizo. 'Megisti in the Antipodes', 'Odysseus in the Golden West', 'Western Australia's Castellorizian Connection, co-author 'Greek Pioneers in Western Australia and 'Vlase Zanalis Greek-Australian Artist.'

 

Education

Albert Koutsoukis (1933-2005)    Teacher, Historian and Author of 52 books, State Athlete, State Chess Champion Albert's Books

Dr Evangelinou-Yiannakis Principal, St Andrews Grammar School

Dr Jasmine Xanthis    PhD in Education

John Mistilis    Principal, WA Primary Principals Association (WAPPA) Service Award

Marilyn Tsolakis   Head of English, MLC, Co-ordinator Australian Friends of Kastellorizo, Co-author 'Kastellorizo: My Odyssey'

George Verevis    Deputy Principal, Padbury Senior High School

Dr Elizabeth Stamopoulos PhD in Education

 

Politics/Government

Senator Nick Bolkus  Former Labor Senator SA

Senator George Giorges   Former Labor Senator QLD, 1968-1986, Prominent supporter of Aboriginal rights

Michael Photios  NSW Minister for Multicultural & Ethnic Affairs (1993-95), Current Vice-President NSW Liberal Party

Chris Sidoti   Former Human Rights Commissioner

Phil Anastasakis   Local Government CEO, Shires of Merredin and Exmouth

Anthony Kannis   Executive Director, Infrastructure and Finance, Department of Treasury WA

 

Sport

Steve Malaxos   AFL/WAFL Footballer - Sandover Medallist - Captain, Fairest & Best West Coast Eagles - All Australian

Peter Panegyres Premiership footballer with West Perth

Tony Zimbulis Sheffield Shield Cricketer for WA

Con Michael  Sheffield Shield Cricketer for WA

Braith Anasta   NRL Captain, Sydney Roosters

Jordan Kyros   Member Australian National Ice Hockey Team, Captain Australian Under 20 Ice Hockey Team

 

The Arts

Alex Perry   Fashion

Vlase Zanalis   Renowned WA artist

Michael Vdelli Musican

Thaao Penghlis (now US based) Actor, Days of Our Lives

 

Civics

Mick Michael   Lord Mayor of Perth 1982 – 1988

Dr Ken Michael AC AM Cit. WA.   Governor of Western Australia - WA Citizen of the Year 2001 - Past Chancellor UWA

Les Aris AO  Commander of the Order of St John - Service to St John Ambulance

Arthur Athans OAM

Michael Tsolakis OAM President Hellenic Community and Castellorizian Associations

Despa McDonnell (nee Papastatis) OAM

Liz Pretsel (nee Koutsoukis)  Centenary Medal (Federal Government Award) - Service to people with disabilities

Tony Michael OAM

Marika Bisas (nee Koutsoukis) OAM  Contributor to community - Life Governor Royal Children's Hospital and AGSCE

Jessie Zempilas OAM

Alick Jakomos OAM (1924-1999)  First and possibly only non-Aboriginal to become President of the Aborigines Advancement League which became Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Subject of the book 'A man for all tribes'

Jim Dimitrios MBE Mayor (Shire Chairman) Mundubbera (Qld)

Emanuel Andrew Petrelis  OAM Australia Day Awards 2012

Jack George Kyros OAM Australia Day Awards 2012

Angelo Efstathis CBE OAM Contribution to Queensland community

 

Explanation of Civic Awards:

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
Commander of the British Empire (CBE)
Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Member of the British Empire (MBE)

 

Please let me know if there are any errors, or if you know of anyone I should add to the list. Of course, there will be many Kazzie women who may 'slip under the radar' because they have married names I may not recognise – please let me know of them also.

 

Cazzie Websites

 

Castellorizo Family History and Genealogy

Castellorizo History

Kastellorizian Association of Victoria

Australian Friends of Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo.net

 

 

Cazzie Calendar

 

Helene Pappas has created a great Cazzie Calendar.

You can can order one by emailing her

 

 

Cazzie Calendar