Aphrodity Cretan (nee Kandilierakis)
|Last name||Cretan (nee Kandilierakis)|
|Country of Origin||Greece|
|Date of Birth||1/7/2020|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||5/5/1947|
|Submitted by||Helen Cretan|
Part 2 – the Journey to Australia
Aphrodity departed Athens on 27 April, 1947, travelling on a Qantas flying boat with about 45 other passengers. Overnight stops included Cairo (where she saw and ate her first banana), Saudi Arabia, Iran (visiting a king\’s tomb), Karachi, Calcutta and Singapore, arriving in Sydney on 5 May Ð Nick was there to greet her.
So, a young Aphrodity arrived in Australia to marry a man 20 years her senior whom she had never met. They married on 15 June at St Sophia\’s Greek Orthodox Church, Sydney and had three children: Helen, Kathleen and John.
Together they ran the Peter Pan CafŽ in Holbrook until 1962 and then operated the Olympia CafŽ in Mate Street, North Albury. Nick retired in 1966 and they enjoyed a cruise to Crete Ð their first visit ‘home\’ together.
Aphrodity has returned to Crete many times and loves her homeland, ‘but Australia is my country and has been good to me,’ she says.
Aphrodity enjoys her vegetable garden, almond, fig and olive trees and making Greek food: dolmades, cheese pastries, Easter biscuits and vegetable dishes are her favourite.
In spite of Aphrodity\’s elementary schooling she has taught herself English and enjoys reading. She has been humbled by recognition received in later life that has relied on literacy and recall. Her memory of Cretan sayings (mandinathes), that have a punch line and reflect the philosophy and way of life of ages past, is profound and diverse.
Aphrodity and Nick Cretan rate a mention in the 2009 Australian book The Cretans of Oceania from the 19th Century Ð Nick arrived in 1926.